Batman #47 by Tom King, Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea, and Tom Eumorey uses its time-travel hijinks to distill both Batman and Booster Gold to their core and turn this dark arc into a tale about heroism.
‘The Gift’ Part 3
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Tony Daniel
Ink Assists by: Sandu Florea
Colors by: Tom Eumorey
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
As Booster Gold, Batman and Catwoman zero in on the time anomaly, what they find and their actions to correct it will have ramifications on all of the DC Universe.
After the gut-punch that was thrown in the last issue, the narrative jumps a full year forward and slowly reveals the outcome and details. Tom King, again being the clever writer he is, slowly dishes out the details of what happened when an adult Bruce Wayne watched his parents die. Not surprisingly the outcome is still similar to the one we all know, just skewed. Bruce has not become Batman, but he still has become obsessed with the murders and still is using his skills and resources to do something about it. But this isn’t a superhero Bruce, this is a straight-up revenge-seeking man who wants nothing but to kill those involved.
Booster Gold has also had a rough year, looking like a man ravaged by his actions. In a neat page that makes great use of King’s beloved ‘nine-panel grid’, we get a distilled origin of Booster in his own words that seem light at first, but then slowly reveals the deeper motivations that drive him. This has been as much a Booster Gold story as it has been a Batman one.
The best writing in the issue comes at the end though, when Booster and Bruce (and Skeets) travel back to the actual real murder of Bruce’s parents to course correct it all. And King does something great in that he is able to re-tell the grossly over told Batman origin story in a way that still impacts and feels fresh. It won’t get spoiled here, but it’s a great ending to what has been a fun ride of a story.
Last issue, the art team had to pull off some graphic and disturbing images. With this chapter, it’s all about faces and emotions and they fucking kill it (pun intended). There are a lot of facial close-ups, tense talks and even some quiet moments. The contrast to the sort of stuff done earlier shows you that Tony S. Daniel is capable of a large range of storytelling that is only pushed further by the inks by Florea and the colors of Eumorey.
“The Gift” ends with everything back to normal, but it still achieved its goal of telling a twisty-turny time travel story that really is less about exploring ‘What If’ and ‘Elseworlds’ and more about what makes these beloved characters work the way they do. “The Gift” here is for the readers in the end.