REVIEW: ‘Batman: Killing Time,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman Killing Time #1 - But Why Tho

Batman: Killing Time #1 is the first of a 6 issue limited series published by DC Comics. Written by Tom King, art by David Marquez, colours by Alejandro Sánchez and letters by Clayton Cowles.

A young Batman is thrown into an unprecedented test as four of his greatest enemies work together. The Riddler, Catwoman, Penguin and Killer Croc form an alliance to enact a heist.

The plot of this comic has a brilliant structure as it opens like a heist movie. Different moments in time play out in a non-linear fashion, focussing on various aspects of the planning of the heist. The jumps are easy to follow as the different plot threads fall into place. The pace is slow but by no means boring, allowing for a build-up. King implements superb pieces of foreshadowing constantly whilst also flipping expectations. When there is action, it is in brief but intense glimpses. The whole comic exists almost in flashes as the events unfold with a curious item stolen and betrayals early on.

The characters are going to be fascinating in this book, already demonstrating that inside Batman: Killing Time #1. The title character himself is very much in the background in this opening chapter, only involved towards the end of this issue. He doesn’t even speak much for the important figures of Part 1 are the villains. All four are expertly crafted. The Riddler is the schemer, but is very nasty and violent. Catwoman is very willing to hurt people too. Killer Croc doesn’t particularly want to hurt others, his development arc is one of the most interesting at this early stage. Penguin is one that may surprise readers, notably because of what happens to him later in the issue. The classic takes on all of these characters instill a brilliant feeling of nostalgia.

Marquez’s art is utterly stunning. Every single character, whether they be minor or one of fiction’s most recognisable figures, has been given a fantastic design. There is a warmth that stems from seeing these characters again, some of whom it has been a while since they have been shown in this setting. All of the heroes and villains have a moment where they step out of the darkness and you get to see them in all of their glory. Marquez has blended a mixture of instant recognition and some updated affectations. Every person could be picked up from a silhouette, such is their distinctive nature. But the artist also reflects their movements and their scale compared to others. Killer Croc looks phenomenal, hulking, monstrous, and rife with details. The fight scene in the bank is a masterpiece of demonstrating how bodies move in a fight. The injuries can look brutal due to the intricate nature of the line art.

The colours are jaw-dropping. The understanding of lightning is incredibly by Sánchez, partnering tremendously with Marquez. whether in cold blue lightning outside or warm reds and pinks inside the atmosphere is set by the colourist. The details added to character faces by Sánchez tell so much of the story by themselves as they can depict someone who has just been crying or is flushed. The shades used for characters such as the Riddler are tempered to fit the palette but are still striking. The lettering is very good, always easy to read and fitting with the tone of the comic.

Batman: Killing Time #1 is a new story set in an old world. Whilst the younger Batman isn’t quite so easy to pick up on as a character yet, due to not speaking much, it is through the villains in which the passage of time has rewound. But it is also a fantastic heist comic as King utilises clever writing to present the threat that Batman is up against. The art team is one of the best around and makes it a visually stunning issue.

Batman: Killing Time #1 is available where comics are sold.


Batman: Killing Time #1
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TL;DR

Batman: Killing Time #1 is a new story set in an old world. Whilst the younger Batman isn’t quite so easy to pick up on as a character yet, due to not speaking much, it is through the villains in which the passage of time has rewound. But it is also a fantastic heist comic as King utilises clever writing to present the threat that Batman is up against. The art team is one of the best around and makes it a visually stunning issue.