Review: In the Nain Pit in BATMAN #74

FIRST IMPRESSION

Despite some narrative shortcomings, BATMAN #74 has a lot to pick through on a thematic level. It's more solid work from Tom King, with excellent artwork courtesy of Mikel Janin and Jordie Bellaire.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
- Advertisement -

Bruce and Thomas Wayne finally reach the Nain Pit in Batman #74, putting them just steps from finally reuniting their family. What’s not clear at first, though, is whether Bruce will really go along with his father’s plan.

The Writing

The writing of the book follows more of King’s trademark style of laying seemingly-unrelated or abstract story elements on the board, only to snap them into context by the story’s end.

Much of Batman #74 is occupied by the Waynes’ discussing memories of a children’s book as they wander the desert. It’s unclear what their point is until the issue’s climax, when it’s used to make a poignant observation about their divergent outlooks. Thomas says he wanted to take the book away from a young Bruce to protect him. Bruce’s response, though, casts it in a very different light. Bruce’s need to be the Batman isn’t a compulsion or addiction; it’s not even his need to avenge his parents. Rather, it’s fueled by his endless optimism.

For Thomas, it’s not just about “helping” Bruce, though. Flashpoint Batman is motivated as much by that as he is by his own desperate desire to recover his family. There’s a degree of self-interest in Thomas’s plan, revealing it is less than the altruistic move he claims. It’s about control; he says he wants Bruce to be his own man, but his actions demonstrate the opposite desire.

- Advertisement -

Intriguing as the story is from an analytical perspective, there are a few narrative elements that cause problems. Namely, two men riding through the desert talking about a children’s book isn’t the most compelling storytelling. Also, despite speculation about the Nain Pit’s nature, King doesn’t go into detail about what the Pit actually does. It’s possible this could come up later in the story. For now, though, it’s left dangling as an unresolved—and thus underdeveloped—question within the narrative.

Simply put: Batman #74 has great ideas, though it’s not the most thrilling read.

Batman #74

Batman #74

Batman #74

The Artwork

Artist Mikel Janin’s work really shines in this issue. He manages to present a lot of interesting images throughout Batman #74, while at the same time focusing the reader’s eye on the center of each panel; a pattern he only occasionally breaks. He combines that technique with a lot of repetition in layout and visual motifs. The results are illustrations that feel dynamic and engaging, but which flow perfectly from one panel to the next.

Janin manages to convey the emotional weight of the situation well through simple, sometimes barely noticeable shifts in posture, expression or body language. It’s an excellent showing all around.

Of course, Jordie Bellaire’s color work on Batman #74 plays a considerable role in bringing Janin’s illustrations to life. She bathes individual sequences in dominant hues; blinding yellows in the desert, rich blues in the night, and fiery red in the illuminated pit. It’s really a treat to take in.

Final Thoughts

Despite some shortcomings, there is more to enjoy in Batman #74 than to complain about. It’s another solid issue in King’s run, and sets us up for the upcoming climax in the City of Bane arc.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Review: Immigrants From The Sea Arrive In Amnesty Bay In AQUAMAN #50

Arthur Curry has fought elemental beings, befriended gods and goddesses, and regained painful memories of his accidental death at the hands of Mera, all...

AGE OF X-MAN: OMEGA: Thompson & Nadler Stick The Landing

The AGE OF X-MAN��is over, Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson's mutant utopia comes crashing down. AGE OF X-MAN: OMEGA wraps up this X-Men event.

Review: THE IMMORTAL HULK #21 Explores The History Of General Fortean

James Fortean, much like his mentor General Thunderbolt Ross, would like nothing more than to destroy both Bruce Banner and the Hulk. So much...

Review: GIDEON FALLS #15 Andrea Sorrentino’s Art Will Give You Nightmares

Gideon Fall #15 from Image Comics hits your local comic book store today; written by Jeff Lemire, with art by Andrea Sorrentino, colors by...

2019 Will Eisner Award Winners – The Complete List

The 2019 Will Eisner Awards were held last night at San Diego Comic-Con, and we have your complete list of winners below!

Review: UNEARTH #1 – Plunging Into a New Horror Series

Something is clearly not right in the small Mexican town of Mitlán Itzá as Unearth #1 sets the stage for a twisted blend of...

Review: Breathtaking Asian Myth Or SILVER SURFER BLACK #2?

Silver Surfer Black #2 might be one of the most beautiful books I've seen in quite some time. Tradd Moore's art is as creative...

Review: STAR WARS: AGE OF RESISTANCE: CAPTAIN PHASMA #1- A Galaxy Far Less Interesting

It’s hard not to feel sympathy for the character Captain Phasma. Not that she was dealt a particularly difficult lot in life, but the...
Avatar
David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!