It's Batman Day!

  It's Batman day! As we celebrate The World's Greatest Detective & his legacy as well as the release of the DC Universe streaming service today I wanted to talk a bit about Tom King's current ongoing run on the comic as well as what the Dark Knight has meant to me. Batman at his core is a character with a mission against the crime & evil that took his parents away in his boyhood. He has become arguably the greatest/coolest superhero to many for numerous reasons. One of which is not having powers. This guy has a contingency plan for nearly every situation including ways to take down all JLA members if need be. As good a read as that makes for, what makes Batman great to me are the stories that are deeply personal. Tom King is the current writer on Batman. The former CIA officer wrote another favorite run of mine on The Vision for Marvel so I was really excited for him to take on THE BAT. And his run hasn't disappointed! Every arc is so personal on both sides for Bruce Wayne & Batman alike. In this run we've seen Bane's childhood get more closely engrained with the Wayne family history, an untold story of a war early on between Riddler & Joker which leads to Batman revealing his greatest regret to Catwoman, a proposal, a subsequent leaving at the altar, & the ensuing grief that comes with it. And we are just at the halfway mark of the planned 103 issues! What Tom King is doing is so great to me because in my opinion for maybe the first time this superpowerless hero feels human. I anticipate each new story with hopes of again being moved, possibly even to tears. Seeing Batman deal with real love & heartache has been truly incredible. There are some great issues like some of Bats & Cats first encounters, Batman & Catwoman double dating with Superman & Lois, Batman having to tell Talia Al Ghul (mother of his son Damian) he is getting married, and a personal favorite of mine dedicated to Ace the bat hound. But my favorite issues so far have come after Bruce being left at the altar. It is so much more than the normal brooding we are accustomed to. In losing true love Batman feels the only actual kind of pain that can cause him hurt. His war on crime is due to the death of his parents. Even losing a Robin can't compare to their death as much as it may weigh. With Catwoman getting cold feet he loses more than just a love interest. Selina Kyle / Catwoman is the only person that gets him and all of him. Being romantically involved she may even understand him and be open more in a way that Alfred and Dick can't. I love to see this hero that can defeat Superman finally appear vulnerable. There's a great issue where Bruce is trying to hold himself together in jury duty. Mr. Freeze is on trial and the jury is ready to put him away because he is a villain and Batman caught him. Bruce really challenges them to look at all the circumstances and make sure there is irrefutable evidence. He talks about how he used to believe in god until his parents died. He found a god in Batman. But he too had to realize that Batman is still a man and capable of poor decisions & mistakes. That he is vulnerable but also capable and worth believing in. Another issue tells the story of him first taking in Dick after he lost his parents. They show the parallels between Dick's mourning back then & Bruce's current grieving over his lost love. It is such a great read and one of my favorite pages in any Batman story has him trying to keep his composure and a near standoffishness with Nightwing as he is trying to lighten the mood and joke around with Bruce. He makes a joke with a pun about the giant penny in the Batcave. Batman starts laughing but immediately catches himself and tries to stop, but cant help breaking down infront of his first adopted son / closest friend. I cried my eyes out big time for these stories and many that came earlier in the book. By its end it will be one of the defining Batman runs. Please I urge you to seek out Tom King's current ongoing run on Batman if you are checking comics out. It has and will continue to be a treasure. These stories and characters have been here for me when I didn't have anything or anyone. As we celebrate Batman today I am thankful for each new fan & reader that finds the Caped Crusader. I'm glad Batman will continue to father orphaned children, find and lead the lost, & inspire countless other people for generations to come.

-Dan Carreras

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