Subway Shorts – Batman 52

Bruce Wayne continues his time on jury duty as he argues that maybe Batman’s capture of Mr. Freeze maybe wasn’t enough to convict the cold-hearted criminal.

Batman 52
Written by Tom King 
Pencils and Inks by Lee Weeks 
Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser 

Last issue ended with Bruce Wayne the lone holdout on a jury that was looking to convict Mister Freeze on murder charges, setting up the classic 12 ANGRY MEN premise that we have with this first post-non-wedding Batman story from Tom King. Here, the billionaire playboy starts to try and convince the other members of the jury why he’s voting “not guilty.”

Wayne isn’t just trying to be contrarian, or even do a Henry Fonda impersonation. At some point during the trial, as he played back the events of the evening where he caught Freeze, he realized that maybe he missed something. Or, actually, maybe he saw what someone else wanted him to see. With Bane’s return at the end of BATMAN 50, everything about the all-too-easy capture of Freeze is starting to be suspect in Wayne’s head. And as he tries to convince the rest of the jury of his points, it’s clear he’s using the time to work out what actually happened.

It’s a great slow-build story from King, and the pacing of these issues are worlds better than some of his earlier Batman work (I’m looking at you, WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES). And the art from Weeks and Breitweiser continues to be amazing. This is the kind of story that would work great as an extended episode of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. I’d even recommend that they try and ape the art style here and turn this into one of their next animated features.