Bruce Wayne is still in the jury chamber on his crusade to convince the other juror’s that Batman is fallible, and Mister Freeze could be innocent. He tries to connect the faith Gotham has in Batman to the faith Job from the Bible had faith in God. Bruce believes they should not be the same, and that Gotham must accept that Batman is just a man.
Batman #53 brings “Cold Days” home in the manner I hoped. It presents a vulnerable and hurting Bruce Wayne opening himself up to people he doesn’t know and the city that he loves. He knows he made a mistake in how he approached Freeze in his last case, and he knows that both he and Gotham must be better.
This emotional outpouring is infinitely more interesting than the meticulous pulling apart of evidence in the last issue. This is Bruce being Bruce, admitting that part of him is still that scared child in Crime Alley trying to bring justice to an unjust world.
It’s great, but it does have its flaws. Tom King does have a tendency to take an idea too far at times, and, in this case, it’s moving past sincere into the realm of hokey. The Bible quote at the end is a little cheesy. The quote, “God blesses your soul with grace. Batman punches people in the face.” Is amazing in how badly it misses the mark, but it still misses the mark.
Also, without spoiling too much, Bruce Wayne being on this jury wasn’t chance, and it takes some of the sincerity and vulnerability out of the story.
Luckily, Lee Weeks makes this one of the most beautiful comics in recent memory. He’s been nailing it with “Cold Days,” but he brings it home with an inspired rendition of the Batman punctuated with small moments of that vulnerability with Bruce Wayne. It’s incredible, and Elizabeth Bretweiser impresses no less with her cold and emphasizes that sense of fear on the part of Bruce.
Batman #53 is a damn good issue. It has its flaws, but the emotion King puts into it and the art of Weeks and Breitweiser is incredible. This one definitely earns a recommendation. Give it a read.
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