Batman #57 Review
• Tony S. Daniel & Tomeu Morey (Cover Artists)
• Get it now (Amazon)
A couple of months ago Tom King made a Tweet about how he plots out his action sequences. It was extremely simple and didn't really provide any direction for the artist. Seeing Batman and the KGBeast doing battle in the snow with practically no dialogue and just a few grunts made me think of that tweet and chuckle a bit.
Batman #57 concludes the KGBeast story arc with Batman tracking the villain to his father's home moments after he commits patricide. The comic is an amazing read even though there isn't a ton of dialogue in the issue. Just two men fighting it out in the harshest of conditions.
This isn't to say that there isn't much story here. The action is ramped up and interspersed with the brutality is an illustrated retelling of an equally brutal children's bedtime story, "The Animals in the Pit". The story narrative tells the tale of a group of animals that fall into a pit and end up eating each other. A fox ends up tricking a pig into devouring itself and becomes the sole survivor of the pit. The story doesn't say if the fox finds a way out or not.
The story is used to frame the battle and turns out to be one of Bruce's favorite bedtime stories. The fairytale may also be a general commentary on Batman and his relationship with his rogue's gallery. As Batman, Bruce is constantly battling foes bigger, stronger and generally more powerful than him but what he lacks in those areas he makes up with intelligence and cunning to stay ahead of his enemies.
The story may also be a commentary on how Tom King sees Batman's eventual end. There is a strong possibility that Bruce will never make it out of "The Pit" even if the opportunity presents itself.
The art for the issue is outstanding, Tony S. Daniel, and the always steller Tomeu Morey get a lot of mileage out of a relatively simple story which is surprising considering how limited the scope of the comic really is. The Folktale is also beautiful to look at considering how dark it gets in its conclusion.
All things considered, this is a nice arc that only falls apart when you consider that Bruce Wayne traveled to the to one of the harshest locations on the planet just to beat a guy up.
The Animals in the Pit
by Alexander Nikolaevich Afanasyev
A Pig was going to church at St. Petersburg, and the Wolf met him.
"Piggy, Piggy, where are you faring?"
"To St. Petersburg, to pray to God."
"Take me with!"
"Come along, Gossip."
So they went on together, and met the Vixen.
"Pig, where are you going?"
"To St. Petersburg, so please you."
"Take me with!"
"Come along, Gossip."
So they went on together and met the Hare, who said, "Piggy, Piggy, where are you going?"
"On to St. Petersburg, to pray to God?"
"Very well, take me with."
"Very well, Slant-eyes, I will."
Then they met the Squirrel, who also went with them. But on their road they came across a broad, deep pit. The Pig jumped and tumbled in, and after him the Wolf, the Fox, the Hare and the Squirrel.
And they sat there for a long time, and became very hungry, for they had nothing to eat.
"Let's all begin singing," said the Vixen, "and we will eat the animal who has the thinnest voice."
So the Wolf struck in a deep gruff voice, Aw, aw, aw! And the Pig followed in a tone just a shade softer, Oo, oo, oo! But the Vixen came in fine and sharp, Eh, eh, eh; whilst the Hare trilled the thinnest Ee, ee, ee in the world. The Squirrel also sang Ee, ee, ee! So the animals at once set-to tearing up the Squirrel and Hare, and ate them down to their bones.
Next day the Vixen said: "We will eat the person with the fattest voice." That was the Wolf with his great gruff Aw, aw, aw! So they ate him up. The Vixen ate up the flesh and kept the heart and the bowels, And for three days she sat and ate them.
And the Pig then asked her: "What are you eating?—give me some!"
"Oh, Pig, I am eating my own flesh. You tear your belly up and munch it yourself."
So the Pig did, and the Vixen feasted on him.
The Vixen then was left as the last person in the pit.
Did she climb up, or is she there still? I don't know, really!