[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers!]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Travis Moore
When a young boy’s parent’s are murdered, Batman is reminded of his own past and immediately jumps on the case. However, not everything is what it seems. What secret is the boy hiding? And just what is his obsession with Bruce Wayne all about?
Tom King really went dark in this book and I enjoyed it. Here we find young Matthew, a boy whose parents were murdered in an alley. Bruce Wayne takes it upon himself to console the boy, who’s constantly tormented by the images of that night. Meanwhile at night, Batman is putting together any and all clues that he can that may lead to the killer. King really shows Batman in all of his detective glory in this issue and shows how smart, and relentless Batman is. Even in the dead of night, while in bed sleep with Selina, Bruce wakes up with what he believes is the answer to this mystery and immediately gets right to work solving the case.
King really gives us no negatives about this book at all. Now if you’re looking for Batman to battle some super powered villain or some Gotham crime lord in this issue you won’t find it. Here King gives us the world’s greatest detective with all of his mental skills on display, and with his emotions struggling throughout. Batman identifies with young Matthew in so many ways and you see Matthew look up to Bruce throughout the entire issue. However things with Matthew go from bad to worse and by the end of the book we find Bruce Wayne no longer consoling Matthew–but recognizing that the boy needs serious mental help.
Batman #38 is a good read. Bruce Wayne obviously is trying to make his life a little better with the addition of Selina as his wife, however it’s this particular issue that forces Bruce to evaluate his past–especially what happened that night. I really felt sorry for Matthew as well as we see him mentally progress into becoming more unstable. By the end of the book, this seemingly innocent boy, isn’t so innocent and Bruce finds himself shocked when he learns the truth. I have to admit that I like Matthew’s backstory since it’s so familiar with Bruce’s and I hope that King may utilize Matthew again in the future. He’s a pretty interesting character that I hope King can potentially use more of in the future.