Batman #14 Review

While the majority of “I Am Suicide” was well told Tom King did not stick the ending cleanly. A big reason for the somewhat sloppy ending was the lack of surprise behind Catwoman’s deception. Now with that storyline over Tom King has a chance to rectify things with this new story arc highlighting Batman and Catwoman’s relationship. These two star crossed lovers have faced a lot of difficulties with Catwoman’s latest imprisonment, due to being responsible for killing hundreds of people, has been the latest problem for them. With Catwoman not being able to escape her fate of life in prison will Batman make the most his time with her? Let’s find out with Batman #14.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mitch Gerads

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: While hugging each other Batman reveals that the President has signed off on lifting Catwoman’s death penalty and now she only faces life without parole. Catwoman is slightly disappointed.

Batman says he will take Catwoman to Blackgate tonight. Catwoman wonders what Batman means by taking her. They then share a passionate kiss.

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Catwoman breaks the kiss and admits she wants to take tonight for herself before they take the rest of her life without parole. Catwoman looks up at the sky and thinks how the stars are shinning like a diamond.

Catwoman turns around and says she killed 237 people. Batman says she didn’t do and will prove it. Catwoman says she knows he can’t prove which is why she wants Batman to give her tonight as one last night of freedom.

Batman thinks that Catwoman will run but she says that even if she did he would catch her. Batman relents and asks what they should do together. Catwoman respond by asking Batman what he wants to do.

Sometime later Clock King is waiting for Batman in a clock tower, ready to unleash the plan he has been preparing for four years. As Clock King shows how confident he is in his plan Catwoman smashes through the clock window and knocks him out.

Batman appears and Catwoman asks him if they are done. The Batsignal suddenly shines above the sky of Gotham City.

As the night goes on Batman and Catwoman respond to crimes committed by Magpie, Signal Man, Amygoala, Gorilla Boss, Ten-Eyed Man, King Snake, Werewolf, Copperhead and Condiment King individually.

While watching Batman take out Cavalier, Zebra Man, Film Freak and Mad Monk, Catwoman recites a rhythm.

After taking out the Kite Man, Catwoman asks Batman if they are done. Batman says he doesn’t know. Catwoman then says she knows they are never done. They both leave the roof with Kite Man left alone on the ground.

Sometime later Catwoman breaks into an apartment. Batman expresses how he does not like doing this type of thing. Catwoman responds by saying they did what Batman wanted to do know it’s time to do what she likes to do.

Batman and Catwoman explosion

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They enter the room holding the Victoria Cat which was stolen from the Gotham Museum of Fine Arts four years ago. Batman recognizes the apartment is being leased by Holly Robinson. He asks Catwoman who Holly Robinson is. Catwoman takes the Victoria Cat, setting off the alarm, and reveals she is Holly Robinson.

Catwoman tells Batman to run and they both jump out the window just as an explosion is set off in the apartment.

They end up on another rooftop where Catwoman assures Batman that no one was hurt in the explosion as she owned the floors above and below the apartment.

Batman wonders why they did all of this. Catwoman says that tomorrow she will have nothing and the Victoria Cat holds everything she has put aside for the day she might have nothing.

Catwoman takes out a bag of diamonds from the statue and tells Batman to use it to build a new orphanage with it when she is put away.

Before she hands the diamonds to Batman, Catwoman throws the diamonds on the ground around them. She says that right now they should stop to do what they want.

Batman and Catwoman begin making out and take off each other’s costumes. They proceed to have sex on the rooftop as the Batsignal shines in the sky. End of issue.

The Good: After how intense things got during the course of “I Am Suicide” Batman #14 gives us a nice break from everything that has happened in this series. Given that Bane will soon take out his revenge on Batman and his entire family this break is necessary. This story also gives us an opportunity to further explore the current standing of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship.

One of the strongest issues of “I Am Suicide” was Batman #12, which highlighted a letter Batman wrote to Catwoman. In that letter we saw what Batman thinks about his relationship with Catwoman. This time around with part one of “Rooftops” we got to see the real chemistry they share together.

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This is where Tom King shines as he doesn’t beat us over the head with how in love they are. Instead he uses this story to show us how Batman and Catwoman drop their guard around each other because of the love they have for one another. It’s through dropping their guard they are able to share their real feelings, something they aren’t known for doing. And it’s because they aren’t people that wear their heart on their sleeves that makes how King treats their relationship that makes this issue so intriguing.

Seeing how Batman let Catwoman convince him to spend one last night out on the town before being taken to Blackgate was a very unBatman thing to do. The way Batman decides to spend the night with Catwoman was funny as instead of taking her out on a date they do what he does on his nightly patrol. At the same time this is exactly what we should expect Batman to do as he doesn’t know anything else.

Understanding this, it was enjoyable that Catwoman turned the tables on Batman to do what she likes to do, which is break into places and steal from them. Seeing Batman go along with it even though he didn’t know what Catwoman dragged him to rob was uncharacteristically fun to see him do. Mentioning the place belonged to Holly Robinson, who turned out to be one of Selina Kyle’s aliases, was a nice Easter egg to thrown in for long time Catwoman fans. Catwoman revealing that she rigged the place to explode once the statue was taken added to the fun King had with writing the two together.

The final scene was exactly the type of cap this issue needed to have. What made this scene better was the fact that King did not make a big deal of Batman revealing his identity to Catwoman. Instead he treats it as something that did not matter whether Catwoman knew Bruce Wayne was Batman before. By now we’ve had plenty of stories with Catwoman reacting to this reveal. This allowed both characters to continue the romantic moment they were having without something else getting in the way.

For his part Mitch Gerads delivered some solid artwork throughout Batman #14. Gerads was at his best when drawing Batman and Catwoman in action throughout the night. He had a nice flow to the action and got across how each character was enjoying the one last night they were sharing together.

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The Bad: The one flaw in Batman #14 was with the artwork. As fluid as the action was whenever we had a stop in the action and Batman and Catwoman where just talking to each other there were some inconsistencies with the characters faces. This was worse for Catwoman’s design as we saw more of her face compared to Batman. It is one time where having a dedicated inker and colorist may have enhanced these moments.

It was also an odd choice to have the fight with Kite Man, Cavalier, Zebra Man, Film Freak and Mad Monk all take place on one rooftop. Since we never saw these five villains together in a single shot it wasn’t clear if there was ever a switch in the scene or if it was happening in one location. It looks like one location given that there is no change to the rooftop but that is never clear through the artwork.

Overall: Batman #14 is an excellent follow-up to the “I Am Suicide” story arc. Tom King’s decision to focus on Batman and Catwoman’s relationship highlights his strength in understanding these characters. The relationship between the two comes across as genuine and shows us how Catwoman is the one person that Batman drops his guard for, and vice versa. The issue ends with a moment that all shippers of the Batman and Catwoman pairing will love.