Review: Batman: Killing Time #1

“You Shouldn’t Have”
Writer: Tom King
Artist: David Marquez
Color Artist: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by Eric Lee

Batman: Killing Time #1 is a fun, frenetic cross-cut of various plots that builds to an intriguing mystery.

The first issue showcases writer Tom King’s ability to tell a cohesive story in a complicated, non-linear format. In other comics, it’s sometimes been annoying and confusing, but here, King deftly handles the time skips well and with purpose. In fact, the non-linear scenes really inform each successive scene in a different way, as it builds various characters up and retroactively informs readers of their motivation. The format almost forces readers to examine the comic like a detective case, which is very appropriate for a mystery story. A re-reading of the comic also proves to be extra rewarding.

Setting the story in the past was also a wise choice. We can see that the characters’ relationships with one another are either fresh or still evolving. Readers are less encumbered by continuity baggage, which allows them to focus on the mystery at hand instead.

Probably the only problem in the issue is that they don’t reveal what the criminals are after. It’s a mystery that gets built up for 30 pages and then the comic abruptly ends without much indication of what the item is. We know that it will probably be bad news for the Dark Knight, but without any real context, the ending feels sudden and flat.

David Marquez‘s art is nothing short of amazing; his clean but complex style makes everything so exciting. Even a mundane scene like hitting a tennis ball has so much dynamism packed into it, and Marquez seems to draw very attractive characters too. Alejandro Sanchez’s colors make the great images shine even more. This is an outstanding art team.

Conclusion

King and Marquez have set up an intriguing first issue, as it embraces non-linear storytelling and takes advantage of it in the mystery genre. Despite the abrupt ending, Batman: Killing Time #1 is a fun detective story that engages the readers with its non-traditional writing style and wonderful art.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment


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