The Oracular Beard starts the month with Tom King

Love (for comics) is a many splendored thing.

If 2017 was the “Year of (Jeff) Lemire” then this year starts my “Fling with (Tom) King.”

I first picked up Tom King (and reviewed for another site) through Vertigo’s quarterly issues Time Warp and Vertigo Quarterly, in two haunting shorts. Lately, I’ve been reading his run on Mister Miracle, a stellar take on DC’s New Gods, and you can expect the review in a few months when the series ends. While I haven’t yet picked up much of his Batman run, what I have read has been great. I try to get them for my articles monthly, and after January’s review of Vision, I was tempted to get to something else, but I’ve been dabbling a bit in the works of Tom King, so I figured I’d throw in this little tribute to love in the last few issues to hit the stands.

Batman 36:

Super Friends, pt. 1

The ladies in both Superman and Batman’s lives know a thing or two about them. In current continuity, Batman is engaged to Catwoman, and neither heroes seem particularly excited to talk to the other about it. She IS a reformed villain and all.

The first half of the issue volleys back and forth between Lois Lane and Catwoman trying to convince their men to contact the other. They’re both looking out for their men, which I’m sure can be exhausting because there can’t be that many equals to talk to … and that they’re men.

The second half of the issue volleys back and forth from panel to panel between Bat and Cat and Superman and Lois telling near exactly the same story, but from different points of view.

There’s a cute meet-up between the two couples as they defeat the bad guys, and the girls scooch in to introduce themselves. And then the boys save the day uttering the others’ catch phrases. Good stuff.

Batman 37:

Super Friends pt. 2

Touted as “A double-date 78 years in the making…” the couples make their way to the Gotham County Fair where it just so happens to be Superhero Night and they’re turned away because they’re not dressed up. Everyone swaps costumes, and it makes for some great moments.

Lois and Catwoman have their girl-time, while Superman and Batman hit rounds of baseballs while they debate the intricacies of dating a criminal that Catwoman tends to be. The boys bicker a bit, about whether or not Batman could hit a baseball if Superman threw it to him. The “Super Friends” title is a nice nod, as is the cosplayers coming out to the fair for a good time. All of this is under the guise of the acceptance of Catwoman as a viable spouse. All of the impossibility of hitting a ball from someone as powerful as Superman is just metaphor for following one’s bliss. It’s another great issue, hit out of the park, you could say.

“The Oracular Beard,” aka Jared A. Conti, resides in the upper echelon of nerd-dom, meditating on comics and the like for sustenance.

He currently is at work on a post-apocalyptic young adult novel series set in central Pennsylvania, as well as a superhero short story collection. His alter-ego is a barista at Avenue 209 Coffee House in Lock Haven. “The Oracular Beard … So you wanna be a comic book nerd” typically runs the first Thursday of each month in the Showcase.