REVIEW: ‘Batman: Killing Time,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman Killing Time #4 - But Why Tho

Batman: Killing Time #4 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, art by David Marquez, colours by Alejandro Sánchez, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Batman has been hunting Catwoman and the Riddler as the Help also joined the chase. But in this issue, the two meet again as the thieves make a bargain.

This plot has continued to be excellent. King has maintained this unique format of telling the story, constantly changing scene, time, and location on every single page. For some, this could get tedious as trying to maintain focus is difficult in a focusless story. But after four issues of this method, I have grown accustomed to it and enjoy the puzzle-piece nature of every page. There are so many plot threads unfolding simultaneously being told in fragments, but the miniseries have progressed in a way that all of them are fascinating. Perhaps the most disjointed aspect is the scenes set very far in the past, depicting Ancient Greece. It is important for the mysterious artifact everyone has been fighting for but these parts have yet been able to capture the attention.

Each plot thread has a brilliant and powerful moment ride with tension and some explosive pieces of action. The fight scenes are unique and breathtaking in their execution, including Batman against a whole group of tigers. The twists happen early within Batman: Killing Time #4. One of them is surprising and raises many questions. The other is more exciting considering the character that it ropes into this already packed cast.

Speaking of characters, King uses Batman’s rogue gallery brilliantly, Personally, there isn’t a comic that uses this many villains to a superb extent. They have a presence and a purpose to the plot, not simply there to make up the numbers. Batman almost seems like a secondary part to the comic, always chasing and very rarely speaking. And it is this new figure, the Help, that is the most fascinating part of the book. A mirrored history with the same people that Batman has trained with creates deep intrigue as to who he is, and his calm but brutal demeanour is very enjoyable to read. Additionally, the woman Riddler and Catwoman find is a delightfully vulgar character who fits a King book wonderfully. The poetic and cryptic narration the writer continues to include is very fun to read and adds a prose/crime thriller element to the comic.

The art is gorgeous. The changes in location and era do carry with them a slight alteration in how the comic looks. The lines in the bright places, such as the diner with Riddler and Catwoman, or the Greek islands, seem more prominent and clear. In the dark areas with Batman and the Help, the line weights differ, interrupted by what light sources there are. Much of this comic would not require dialogue to follow, as the storytelling by Marquez is phenomenal. The body language details minute but crucial emotions, such as hurt pride or a combatant assessing their opponent. The realism in the faces is extraordinary without breaching the uncanny valley territory. In the fight scenes, it is hard to take your eyes off the page because they are so entrancing. The suggestion of speed and power is mesmerising.

The colours are jaw-dropping in some cases and simply stunning everywhere else. There is a beautiful blending of tones that adds to the reality of the art. On the tigers, the variety of oranges that cover their fur is amazing. The backgrounds of the panels are lovely too, completely changing the tone of the scene. Sánchez assures that the lighting always looks natural yet always remains vibrant. The lettering can often seem very matter-of-fact, but it is easy to read and that is the most important thing.

Batman: Killing Time #4 is a spectacular issue if readers can get their heads around the jumps. If you aren’t prepared for it or following along, the constant switching from national park to diner to Ancient Greece to a hospital all in four pages will throw you off, like trying to hold on to a merry-go-round. But within this pace is a plot filled with fantastic fighting, dynamic characters and absolutely glorious art. Visually it is as good as it gets. 

Also, I’ll say it again. Batman vs. Tigers. More persuasion should not be needed.

Batman: Killing Time #4 is available where comics are sold. 


Batman: Killing Time #4
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TL;DR

Batman: Killing Time #4 is a spectacular issue if readers can get their heads around the jumps. If you aren’t prepared for it or following along, the constant switching from national park to diner to Ancient Greece to a hospital all in four pages will throw you off, like trying to hold on to a merry-go-round. But within this pace is a plot filled with fantastic fighting, dynamic characters and absolutely glorious art. Visually it is as good as it gets.