This month, Tom King’s latest mini-series wraps up with issue #6 of Batman: Killing Time. With last month’s reveal of Clock King stepping in to claim the eye everyone has spent the past five issues trying to claim, just what answers will he have for us now?
This month it’s just me reviewing the title, as Casper is on vacation, so this review won’t contain it’s usual dual tone both in color and conversation. So for the both of us, I’d like to say: this was an excellent final issue. Anyone following my part of the reviews for this series will know I’ve been back and forth on how to feel about it quite a bit, often expressing frustration over elements like the narration and overuse of time jumps in particular. Gradually the structure of the series, plus the overall plot, won me over and I can honestly say I’ll sit down and read this one again. In fact, I’m quite excited to sit down and read it issue to issue to see just how it flows as a continual story.
This issue continues the trend of narration, time jumps, and building off elements we’ve seen previously, focusing on Clock King’s point of view –which it’s always followed, but we the reader understand now. We get to see his own early planning with Riddler and Catwoman, and some of his own portions interconnecting with the story in the past, but the majority of the tale is on the aftermath of the battle from the previous issue, resolving loose ends, and on Clock King’s own actions months after.
King does a good job wrapping up loose ends, we get to see nearly all the major players at least one more time, with the exception of The Help. Even his story has a kind of wrap up as we’re giving a scene with Batman and Ra’s speaking about him. These moments fit the tone of the narrative so far, and wrap up each character in a way that feels accurate to their goals in the story and their own personalities. Much of the wrap up is focused on Batman rounding up loose villains: taking in Penguin, hunting down Catwoman and Riddler, searching for The Help, and most importantly: finding Clock King.
Unfortunately, despite all this screen time he still doesn’t quite feel like the main character of his book. He’s more present, but mostly as a looming figure. The moments we get the most personality out of him are during his sparring with Ra’s and a moment near the end when he takes out Clock King. It’s been the biggest weakness of this book throughout, having Batman as less a character and more a figure just chasing everyone. Even here he’s really only reacting: chasing the villains, following Clock King, and rescuing those caught in the battle from the last issue. I wish we’d had more of him here, since Bruce himself is the one who held onto the eye for so long. He spends this whole series trying to get it back, but his own motivation for having and keeping it isn’t nearly as fleshed out as I’d want it to be. Still, in a series so focused on it’s characters, having one slip through the cracks isn’t the worst of faults to have.
David Marquez once again just knocks it out of the park with this issue. I didn’t expect to ever want to see Clock King riding off on a motorcycle looking very cool, but he gave us that and so much more. The issue is filled with stunning shots, with many centered around Clock King, but many more focused on Batman. One of my favorites is the shot with the credits where Clock King is sitting with The Acropolis behind him. Another is that shot when Batman joins him, city glittering below, and stars shining overhead. And did I mention the cool motorcycle scene? I’m starting to think Marquez can make any character look incredible speeding off on one of those.
As a final issue to this series, King does a great job wrapping up the story here. What was essentially the heist and mad dash after an ancient artifact comes to an end here with the story behind it all laid bare. For me, the inclusion of Clock King being behind the entire story makes it all work. The meticulous attention to detail, the focus on time, the way the narration works. So it feels very fitting to me that this issue feels like it’s his issue. The story does look in on everyone else, but it follows his journey and we get to see it as a whole over the course of the book. And that for me, is enough to wrap the narrative up in a nice bow.
- Clock King’s your favorite Rogue
- You want all the answers
- It’s a solid story that feels tight and neat and fun
As a final issue to this series, King does a great job wrapping up the story here. What was essentially the heist and mad dash after an ancient artifact comes to an end here with the story behind it all laid bare. He does this using Clock King’s own POV and narration to wrap up final story threads, and check in on each major character we met along the way. His, and even Batman’s motivations are revealed, and the story comes to a satisfying conclusion. This is a miniseries worth reading and re-reading just to catch everything you missed the first time around.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.