Thursday, April 27, 2017

(DC Rebirth) Batman by Tom King issue #6

Why do I have to care about Claire? She wasn't as fully fleshed out as her brother or have any other compelling qualities aside from her superpowers that lend themselves some potency by shaving years off her life. She wasn't really that impressive to me by herself either because it's been made clear she was just emulating her brother about being a vigilante. Her behavior in the last two issues had also not been pleasant. It made sense, considering the psychological scarring she had been through in the hands of Psycho Pirate, but other than that it was still quite easy to see that she had been nothing more but a supporting character in every sense of the word. She was there to give her brother Hank more gravitas and in the end she became responsible for killing him. I suppose I should be fair and give the girl a break, so I will. I might, at least, with this final installment for I Am Gotham.

I found Claire a wee bit interesting here as she slowly unraveled due to the crushing weight of grief and guilt over her brother's unfortunate passing. Claire essentially began losing what little grasp she had on sanity to begin with and started talking to herself quite loudly while addressing said dearly departed sibling. What was so intriguing about King's approach here is that he also used it as an opportunity to bring about villain cameos. These villains are obscure and old enough to make the nerdiest of fans feel a sense of delight and maybe even some slight smug entitlement that they themselves easily recognized who these villains are and what issues they appeared in. I haven't been reading Batman in comics that long (I only began to seriously digest and dissect his stories since 2014 with my Bat-blog), so these references didn't click with me at all until I've done my research.

I'm not going to discuss said cameos because I'm not an authority about their appearances and I frankly didn't give a shit. I was focused on Claire because for Chrissake why would a casual reader of present comics care about her if Tom King can't make even the veteran readers in general settle down enough to give a damn about her and stop going "Oh my god, that's a cameo from an old issue back in..." or something like that? This issue's central idea is to deal with Claire's grief over the loss that was her very own doing and yet a good percentage of readers would probably rather focus on those obscure villains. It just seemed like a disservice to whoever Claire should be. She never had a fair chance even from that start and now an issue which supposedly focuses on her was also a tribute for other things. Poor Claire. That being said, I enjoyed the idea of her still going about superheroing while losing her mind in the process. Girl at least can multi-task. And then we get a nice emotional wrap-up later on.

Nice share, Bruce, but this shouldn't be about you! This issue wasn't as awful as the one that came before it. But it's not a good one either and only had a few redeemable qualities to keep it from being worse. I want to see more or Claire after this. We have been spoiled in Issue #5 that she and Duke Thomas get married so I guess she stopped using her powers and became a normal person after that because she didn't die too soon or anything. Well, that's it for Claire, I guess. 


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