Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mitch Gerads
Published by: DC Comics
Swamp Thing comes to Gotham City with a mysterious request for Batman—but these longtime allies will have to make up for lost time and work together in order to confront a growing threat that only they can stop!
Without a shadow of a doubt, Batman #23 is the best comic I have read this year. Yeah, this issue was that damn good. And the main reason for this is because I felt like I got an entire story in one single comic, and for once, I felt like I got my money’s worth. Boy, do I miss the days when this happened all the time!
Batman #23 features one of the strangest team-up in comics, as Batman joins forces with the one an only Swamp Thing. From page one, Batman #23 stands out with its old school cue cards signifying the name of each chapter. Some chapters are only a page, while other last a little longer. the chapters begin with a nursery rhyme, before moving on to a murder that happens to be a personal matter for Swamp Thing.
Mitch Gerads’ artwork is simply stunning. His environments set the tone and mood for each scene, and nearly every panel pops with detail. And we get plenty of gorgeous art to look at in this issue. Gerards takes his time with the flow of the story, for example: it takes nine panels for Swamp Thing to rise out of the dirt into full form. Swampy then gives Commissioner Gordon a good scare, which I got to admit made me laugh.
The story then moves to Wayne Manor where I couldn’t stop laughing. While Bruce and Swampy discuss the murder case, Alfred gets cleaning supplies and starts picking up after the green giant. Then he starts cleaning near him, and around him, and well… you get the picture. Anyways, it was one of the funniest moments I’ve seen in comics in a while.
Batman and Swamp Thing make a strange pair for sure, but Tom King makes it work. The two characters play well off each other, but their differences gives King a lot of room to play with. Those difference also lead to some quality humor like when Swamp Thing talks to grass thousands of miles away to get information he and Batman need. Or when Batman insists on taking the Batmobile. This was all brilliant stuff by Tom King.
Like I said at the beginning, Batman #23 is the best comic (so far) of 2017. This issue is also one of the best collaborations between Tom King and Mitch Gerads. The story is both funny, and heartfelt, and the ending felt like a punch to the stomach. Do yourself a favor and find a copy of Batman #23.
Batman #23 score: A+