This week Batman learns the consequences of interrupting his ex-fiancee's bisexual orgy; Astonishing X-Men continues to underwhelm; and, the Joker continues to break good.
The Rules of Engagement 2
Most of this issue is Batman and Catwoman fighting Talia's ninja soldiers and bickering like an old married couple. It is delightful. I'm not going to lie, I adore Bruce and Selina's relationship, have done since Hush had Bruce reveal his identity to Selina. I loathed the New 52 version where Selina didn't know who Bruce was and it was all based on meaningless sex. Now I'm back to adoring the relationship as Tom King exploits their long history in the way these things should be exploited: as a reason for them to know each other really, really well not as a list of continuity points to be rattled off.
Okay, King did exactly that a while back when the pair argued about how they first met which was pure fanwank about the different versions of DC continuity but you get what I mean.
Its also nice that it turns out they're hunting down Talia for more reason than Bruce having an uncomfortable conversation with his ex. Now, I'd have certainly enjoyed that story but the revealed reason (no spoilers) makes a lot more sense in the context of the rest of King's run. Also, its less self-indulgent which is probably a good thing.
Astonishing X-Men #5
Life of X 5
The rotating artist thing continues to underwhelm me but the plot is picking up. For a start its nice to see some sort of behavioural reference to the complicated relationship Xavier and Mystique had in the early-2000s. I loved the Mystique series, it was the second best thing the brief “Marvel Tsunami” line (yes, really) did which is high praise considering the best thing to come out of was Runaways.
Oh, and I'm never going to get used to the fact that the Shadow King's real name is Farouk.
I mean, damn.
Batman: White Knight #2
So how much is Joker lying? I think that's what this whole story is going to come down to. Here we get him speaking in his own defense, claiming that the crimes of the Joker have been exaggerated by a GCPD who need him to justify their budget and the prison-industrial complex they've set up with Arkham. He has his own plans for Gotham which are not strictly on the up-and-up.
Also, Sean Murphy does not like modern Harley and demonstrates this fact in absolutely scathing fashion. I was worried that having a “good” Joker in a relationship with Harley was going to be all sorts of problematic but Murphy seems to have given it a good, long think and come up with a way for it to work without being grossly offensive.
This was does, admittedly, mean jettisoning a lot of the history of the character and presuming that Joker was less awful to her in this continuity than all the others ones but there it is. Even then your mileage may vary but I rather like it.