The fate of Mr. Freeze may now be in the hands of our very own Bruce Wayne in Batman #53. With the rest of the jury against him, Bruce must prove his case in order to clear Freeze. Tom King has had an interesting journey during his run on Batman, to say the least. It feels as though, people either love his stories or hate them. Then, of course, there was the wedding, which seemed to displease nearly everyone who read the issue.
With the Cold Days story coming to a close in Batman #53, Tom King may have followed up his biggest disappointment in the wedding, with possibly his most interesting story yet. Through this arc, we have seen Bruce go back to his roots as a detective. Which has been a thrill to see in the first two issues of this arc. Despite the world believing Batman has no superpowers, Tom King reminds us that he does. Batman’s superpower is that he is the greatest detective of all time (Sorry Nancy Drew and Sherlock).
Through the issue of Batman #53, Bruce discusses his relationship with God, and whether or not he believes in one. This is quite an interesting question to think about. Here we have Batman, someone who has seen other universes, and beings who contain god-like power. Would someone who has seen what Bruce has seen and done what he has done believe in a god?
Bruce discusses with the rest of the jury about his past and how he used to believe in a god. Yet, once his parents were gone he lost that belief. Bruce left Gotham searching for something to put his faith in. But, no matter how far Bruce went he never found anything.
Bruce continues to explain to the rest of the jury how he began to look at Batman as a God. Batman has helped save so many lives, including many of those among the jury. Explaining that people view Batman as greater than human. Saying how Batman could never be wrong, creating everyone to just assume Freeze is guilty.
Bruce begins to dwell on losing Selina. Explaining how he fell, and waited for the Batman to catch him. How he is still waiting. Batman is not a god. He makes mistakes just like we all do as humans. Tom King’s writing in this scene is quite beautiful. Using Bruce to explain however good Batman is, anyone can be just as good. And however flawed everyone is, Batman can be just as flawed.
An Icy Verdict…
Bruce finishes his final speech to the jury. Explaining how if they are going to declare Freeze guilty, they are declaring Batman guilty as well. Though we do not actually see the judge announce the verdict, we find out in a more subtle way. Bruce has a discussion with Alfred saying that the vote was not guilty, though, he is unsure if justice was served.
Followed up by saying he is going to go out. This will be the first time Bruce dawns the cowl since the wedding. Bruce won’t be wearing any old cowl though, no, he asks for Alfred to prepare his original suit. Stating that he is lost, and needs to remember who he is again.
The Art In Batman #53
Batman #53 contains some simple yet elegant art from Lee Weeks. There are multiple splash pages that will pop out at you.
The issues also contains a multitude of flashbacks of Batman patrolling the rooftops, and fighting off some of his rogues. Elizabeth Breitweiser does a fabulous job with the colors. Giving each flashback the issues on color tone.
Final Thoughts on Batman #53
Batman #53 attacks the caped crusader from an angle we haven’t seen before. Tom King and the team do a great job creating a story that contains very little action but is just as intriguing.
One flaw the issue suffered was the lack of Mr. Freeze. Freeze didn’t just take a back seat, he was thrown straight into the trunk. With no dialogue and only appearing in a few panels, it would have been nice to see more from him.
After a short break out of the costume it will be fun to see what adventures lie ahead of Bruce now that he returns to hero work. The combined art and story make for a solid issue. After all the pushback received from the wedding, this story is just what Tom King needed. It will be interesting to see if he can continue in the right direction.