An issue ago, I was ready to throw in the towel on Tom King’s Batman run, saying it was “another splutter on the path to God knows where”. In true karmic justice, King has made me eat my words in Batman #4, finally opening the curtain for us to see the intricate world he’s created. Well played, DC.
No longer are the Gotham twins the new We Are Robins, but their heroic tale has turned dark and sinister, tying in with the appearance of Hugo Strange and Psycho-Pirate in Batman #3. It’s the person behind the return of Strange and Psycho-Pirate, however, who will surprise you, as the motivations for the villains’ nefarious homecoming are laid clear for Batman. Now Batman not only needs to save Gotham from its villains, but also from its eponymous heroes.
The reveals of Batman #4 set-up an intriguing premise for the rest of the ‘I Am Gotham’ storyline, with new twists, turns and story areas to explore. My biggest complaint of King’s run was how nothing seemed to happen for large stretches of time, yet this has been remedied in a blockbuster of a book. Sure, there might be a bit too much exposition scattered in its pages as King executes some story reconciliation; however, considering the lack of story development in previous issues, it’s necessary. ‘I Am Gotham’ is turning into a different Batman story; it doesn’t feel like anything else we’ve read or seen before. The question is, will it become a seminal story?
Part of being a grown-up and functional member of society is realising when you’re wrong. After seeing the developments of issue four, I understand what King’s done with his Batman run: it’s a slow burn rather than an outright assault. So in closing, Mr King, I’m sorry for ever doubting you.