Batman 1 cover

How does a new creative team follow up an almost universally beloved run on a title starring arguably the most popular superhero in the world? Exactly like this.

Tom King and David Finch kicked off their run on Batman with a dynamic first issue, one that firmly establishes the duo as the next great Bat-team.

It couldn’t have been easy for King and Finch to follow in the footsteps of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, who combined to deliver the best run on Batman in a generation. However, the new writer-artist team delivered a huge home run on their first issue together.

The Caped Crusader spends much of the issue trying to keep a plane struck by an Kobra missile from crashing into the city. After request for help from Superman and Green Lantern were unfulfilled, Batman set about bringing the plans down safely himself, saying, “this is my city. I’ll save it.”

Using all the tricks and gadgets at his disposal, Batman ejects himself from the Batplane and lands on the airliner’s wing before moving to the top to commence his rescue attempt. He’s aided by both Alfred and Duke Thomas, who seems to be settling into his new role as Batman’s sidekick quite well. Alfred points out that for Batman to bring the plane down at the required angle of entry to save the passengers, he would have to remain on the outside of the plane and absorb all the impact directly. Faced with his own mortality, Batman and Alfred discuss what should happen after our hero’s impending death.

As the realization sets in, we see a mysterious shadowy figure on a rooftop, standing in front of a murdered Kobra agent with a rocket launcher by his side. Hmmm…curiouser and curiouser.

During this touching conversation, Bruce asks Alfred if his parents would have been proud of him and if this was a good death. Alfred confirms that yes, it would be a good death and that Thomas and Martha would have been proud of him, like he was. As Batman braced for impact, the plane bounced and took off again, with two caped figures under the plane guiding it to safety.

With the plane safely on the water, the pair, a man and woman, emerge. Flying in place, he looks down at Batman and says, “I am Gotham. She is Gotham Girl. This is our city. We are here to save it.” It was an incredible way to end a white-knuckler of an issue and leave us wanting more.

I’m eager to see more of the newcomers, and I’m not just talking about Gotham and Gotham Girl. I can’t wait to see what King and Finch have in store for us as the I Am Gotham story arc. Batman has been appointment reading for years, and the new dynamic duo have ensured that trend will continue.

If I could give this book more than 10/10 I would. It’s THAT good. I cannot recommend it any stronger.

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