Batman, Volume 5
In the continuation of BATMAN VOL. 4, author Tom King pens the fifth volume of his critically acclaimed, best-selling Batman series in BATMAN VOL. 5!Don't miss out on the newest installment of this best-selling, critically acclaimed graphic novel series written by breakout star Tom King! Batman and his new vigilante colleagues take on a new dark and terrifying force in BATMAN VOL. 5. Collects BATMAN #33-37 and BATMAN ANNUAL #2.

Batman, Volume 5 Details

TitleBatman, Volume 5
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 1st, 2018
PublisherDC Comics
ISBN-139781401277314
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Comics, Superheroes, Dc Comics, Graphic Novels, Batman

Batman, Volume 5 Review

  • Sean Gibson
    January 1, 1970
    Mixing Batman and humor is a little like bringing your insanely smart but incredibly weird coworker to trivia night with your friends. On the surface, it seems like a good match—“Hey, Frank knows more about Italian renaissance architecture than I do about my own body, and I spend a LOT of time exploring that, so he could really help us out, and my friends are good eggs, so they’ll be okay with the fact that he’s a little off.” But, five minutes into the first game, Frank’s only contribution has Mixing Batman and humor is a little like bringing your insanely smart but incredibly weird coworker to trivia night with your friends. On the surface, it seems like a good match—“Hey, Frank knows more about Italian renaissance architecture than I do about my own body, and I spend a LOT of time exploring that, so he could really help us out, and my friends are good eggs, so they’ll be okay with the fact that he’s a little off.” But, five minutes into the first game, Frank’s only contribution has been to ask your friend Melissa, in a scientifically inclined monotone, whether her exceedingly hard nipples are a result of the cool air temperature or sexual arousal as a result of being in close proximity to your friend Marvin, whose girlfriend is sitting right there, and you’re suddenly starting to wonder if these two things can co-exist.That’s the first part of this book—Batman and his lady love Catwoman set out to meet up with Batman’s former flame Talia al Ghul to resolve an issue that might stand in the way of their impending [thing I won’t say because: spoilers], which leads to a ridiculous sword fight and some forced humorous banter between Damian and Nightwing. The art is solid and King lands a few good lines, but the whole thing just feels tonally off. I’m okay with a little humor being dropped into a Batman book, but it doesn’t feel right when it’s driving the story. Redemption soon follows, however, in a brilliant story in which nary a bad guy is punched out (save for one low-level thug who’s taken out with a baseball in ingenious fashion), but in which Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle (that would be Catwoman for those of you who aren’t regular readers), Clark Kent (aka Superman) and Lois Lane spend some quality social time on a double date at the local fair. I recently lamented to some GR comic peeps how little mainstream superhero comics focus on character these days due to the unrelenting assault of and focus on massive events. This issue is the perfect antidote to that, and hats off to King for crushing it. A five-star issue without a doubt.The volume concludes with a schmaltzy future tale that might make even the most ardent This Is Us viewer long for something less saccharine, but I again appreciated the character-driven nature of it. In all, a worthy outing. (And, in case you’re wondering, Melissa actually does have a thing for Marvin. And Frank was asked to leave before he could provide a single answer because he told your friend Raul about all of the disgusting things that live underneath his fingernails right after Raul bit off a hangnail.)
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  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    The Bat finally popped the question to the Cat and now they’re getting hitched. Which means Bruce has gotta do the banal things many single fathers do when they remarry: meet with the ex, have a talk with his kid about his new soon-to-be stepmother and break the happy news to his friends. But Bruce is not an ordinary person so these tasks inevitably involve taking on a small army of silent soldiers, breaking UN agreements and sword-fighting in the desert with a lunatic! Which do you prefer your The Bat finally popped the question to the Cat and now they’re getting hitched. Which means Bruce has gotta do the banal things many single fathers do when they remarry: meet with the ex, have a talk with his kid about his new soon-to-be stepmother and break the happy news to his friends. But Bruce is not an ordinary person so these tasks inevitably involve taking on a small army of silent soldiers, breaking UN agreements and sword-fighting in the desert with a lunatic! Which do you prefer your Batman comics to be: character or plot-driven? Ideally both, right? Well, if it’s plot-driven then you might not enjoy Batman, Volume 5: The Rules of Engagement as there’s barely any attempt at a story - this is unabashedly all about the characters. And this one in particular is a unicorn: it’s all about the feels. I know - cold, stoic Batman… and emotions? R-r-romance…? Oh my god. It’s… so good!? I’m gonna stop underestimating Tom King’s Batman series. Against all of my expectations - because I haven’t cared for any of his other highly acclaimed comics, The Vision/Omega Men/The Sheriff of Babylon - it’s been really, really amazing so far, despite the overlong/mediocre last volume, The War of Jokes and Riddles. And, somehow, it’s only gotten better five books in. I know, I rolled my eyes too when I heard Batman and Catwoman were getting married. Oh, that’ll last! Oh, here come the gimmicks - getting desperate now, King! Y’know what, even if it doesn’t last, and it probably won’t, this book is still fan-bloody-tastic. King writes a really amusing Talia al Ghul as she reacts to Bruce and Selina’s nuptials by giving them swords and attacking them. Blunt, arrogant, elegant and deadly, he absolutely nailed her character. And the spectacular Joelle Jones draws it all so damn beautifully, with swirling, confident lines, piercing facial expressions and mesmerising body language - I wish she was a regular on Batman. And I liked the cheeky bit of self promotion she threw in - Damian’s reading a book called The Lady Killer Murders of 1961, a nod to Jones’ ‘60s-set Dark Horse series, Lady Killer, which is an absolutely brilliant comic. I love how King writes Damian here. Like father, like son, he’s standoffish but he’s also a kid and he’s obviously conflicted about what’s going on. That’s why I loved how Dick is there for him, like a big brother should be, waiting outside with him while Talia’s rages at Bruce inside. Dick and Damian are still the best damn Batman and Robin there ever was and I really appreciate King continuing to build these characters’ friendship long after that partnership ended. The Superfriends two-parter is definitely the standout of the book. Bruce finally sees Clark and they decide to go on an adorbs couples double date - Bruce & Selina, Clark & Lois - to a fair with a superhero theme and decide to dress as each other. Bruce goes as Superman, Clark as Bats, Lois as Cats, and Selina as… sexpot? It’s such good fun watching Clark and Bruce’s batting cage rivalry and Lois and Selina swigging from a hipflask and bonding. It’s King’s laconic, almost singsong in its repetitious call and answer style, dialogue that makes it work. Bruce quipping that the Bat symbol stands for bats, Lois and Selina giggling over their mens’ abs, Bruce saying that he’ll need to kick a bunch of trees to work off the fair food and Lois wondering why anyone would kick a tree (it’s a Year One reference). The love boat panels made me laugh, seeing Clark and Lois emerging cutely hand in hand and then Bruce and Selina coming out, Selina crawling all over Bruce!The book closes out with an overview of Bruce and Selina’s tempestuous courtship. King’s Batman/Elmer Fudd artist Lee Weeks draws this story with a nod to their previous collab as Catwoman crashes the Batmobile into Porky’s Bar. Weeks’ art always looks good but it’s particularly eye-catching here - there’s a lot of dramatic perspective shifts, from intimate close-ups to cinematic pull-backs, and a remarkable use of light and shadow. Michael Lark - I know, this book has all the best artists - draws the final story which is 100% pure schmaltz. And I didn’t care. It was a fine way to round out a book all about love. You can nitpick this book if you want. Batman and Catwoman rescuing Holly Robinson, the woman who killed 237 people which Selina took the blame for, just happens to be sheltering with Talia Al-Ghul. It’s pure contrivance, designed just to get the Bat, Cat and Talia together to do their thing. Superman getting upset that Batman was breaking UN sanctions against Khadym was pointless as there were no consequences to it. Would Selina really best Talia in a swordfight? And Selina’s “meeeow”-ing gets old fast. They’re small criticisms though that don’t affect the overall themes of the book, derail what’s happening or take away from my enjoyment of it. And I really enjoyed this one - it’s so much fun! King nails the characters, gives them terrific dialogue, concocts very amusing scenes with them and has one amazing artist after another visually bring it to vivid life. Like I said, if you don’t care that much about the characters and you prefer story-heavy books, this one probably won’t do much for you. But Batman is my dude and if he means as much to you as he does to me then it doesn’t get much better than Batman, Volume 5: The Rules of Engagement. Right, well, best start shopping for a top hat - the wedding’s right round the corner! I wonder if Superman’s gonna be the best man - what would a Superman stag night look like? Probably sweaters and board games? Let’s hope Jason Todd is in charge of that detail!
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  • James DeSantis
    January 1, 1970
    Tom King has done it. He has made a 5 star volume of Batman. It's been a LONG time since I gave a Batman book a 5 star. See this volume does something the previous did not. There's no big threat, no danger looming in the background, nobody dies (okay maybe someone at one point) but this is a story that gives real humanity to Bruce. We finally see a extremely vulnerable Bruce who's going through shit internally and you can see it effecting him. This is because last arc Batman had asked Selina to Tom King has done it. He has made a 5 star volume of Batman. It's been a LONG time since I gave a Batman book a 5 star. See this volume does something the previous did not. There's no big threat, no danger looming in the background, nobody dies (okay maybe someone at one point) but this is a story that gives real humanity to Bruce. We finally see a extremely vulnerable Bruce who's going through shit internally and you can see it effecting him. This is because last arc Batman had asked Selina to Marry him and she said yes. Now we face the leading up to marriage. We have a story of the Batman and Catwoman traveling into the desert to face Talia. Not so much for combat, though she does send guards to attack them, but for Batman to know how serious he is about this Marriage. Funny enough it will be Selina who will do the talking. Then we have a one shot annual that goes through Bruce's entire life with Selina and it's...well we'll get to that. Then we have a two parter about Bruce and Clark meeting up, and their lovely ladies chatting it up, and you see a very human side to everyone. Good: Everything. Seriously. The first arc probably being the weakest but still really strong. To get a little more indepth on Selina mindset here and how much she cares about Bruce is wonderful. The reaction from the Batfamily is wonderful. The best being Damien and Dick, and then watching their reaction and talk is near perfect. The annual might go down as one of my favorite stories ever for Batman. I love the emotion it captures. It hardly has Batman dressed up at all but you get to see his first meetings with Catwoman till the last few days of their life, and it's bitter, and beautiful, and very very very well done. Last but not least you have Superfriends two parter which is Clark and Bruce first refusing to call each other. Too scared to have the ladies meet. However, hearing them speak about each other is so wonderful and a great insight to how they really feel. Second part is them all going out, including lois and Selina and it's so wonderful, and cute, and well done, and feels like it's made for ADULTS. Like only adults can understand the relationships going on here because you've been through it. Bad: NoneI honestly loved every moment of this volume. Well paced, amazing dialog, truly strong character moments, and a future that sounds bright as can be. I only fear the happiness Bruce is trying to seek will be taken from him so for now, I bask in it till it's gone. A 5 out of 5.
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  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.After the newly-found quality that surged from The War of Jokes and Riddles, writer Tom King delivers another excellent volume featuring no supervillains at all. How is that event possible? Rules of Engagement is an exploration of various relationships, notably the two new lovebirds who came crashing in with a love for each other bigger than life itself.In this volume, we are presented with three different stories: The Rules of Engagement (3 par You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.After the newly-found quality that surged from The War of Jokes and Riddles, writer Tom King delivers another excellent volume featuring no supervillains at all. How is that event possible? Rules of Engagement is an exploration of various relationships, notably the two new lovebirds who came crashing in with a love for each other bigger than life itself.In this volume, we are presented with three different stories: The Rules of Engagement (3 part), Some of These Days (annual #2) and Superfriends (2 part). What they all have in common is the presence of Catwoman, (view spoiler)[ the woman to whom Batman/Bruce Wayne asked to marry him and received a surprisingly pleasant “yes” (hide spoiler)]. It is a relationship that has been teased over the years in Batman’s lore, but Tom King takes it upon himself to make it happen. If anything he delivers a synergistic relationship that has an authentic chemistry where they both stay loyal to who they are while being a perfect match for each other.Of all three stories, The Rules of Engagement was the oddity in all this. It started off mysterious in every way possible with two different narratives taking place simultaneously. One featuring the kids part of the Batfamily (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne and Duke Thomas) as they wonder what has been going on with Bruce Wayne and what he is now up to, and another featuring Catwoman and Batman off to an obscure place called Khadym. But as Tom King slowly peels the layers away and presents us with the purpose of this story, only more questions arise. At first interesting, they quickly turned into plot holes for which I doubt we’ll ever see any explanations in the future volume.While it had its issues—the same kind of problems I often seem to have with King’s writing—it did have its upside, especially in regards to the banter between Cats and Bats. (view spoiler)[ I definitely enjoyed the overload of cuteness that radiated from these two as they enter a cave filled with misery and blood. Not only are they dressed similarly and just make us want to root for their relationship to be eternal, they also show how much they known each other and why they are meant to be together. It only gets better when you throw in Talia into the mix, also known as the crazy ex. In fact, it also definitely helped that her psychopathy was showing more than a 15 month pregnancy. (hide spoiler)] The artwork was also nice, even if it’s not Mikel Janin. It sometimes felt like it was bordering a cartoonish-bubbly style, but it never lasted long enough to annoy me for this story.The second story (in chronological order of their single issue release) is the Annual #2 issue called Some of These Days. This is by far the best annual issue story that I have ever read. The first thing I just have to mention is its phenomenal artwork that clearly raised this little story into a work of fiction worth putting side-by-side with other classics. What Tom King delivers is a cat and mouse story (quite literally too, really) between Bats and Cats. It takes place early in their careers as heroes and villains, and highlights their complex relationship and their undeniable understanding of each other. It ends with a glimpse into their later years that will easily be qualified as one of the most bittersweet endings of all time. This was simply masterful. Beautiful. Brilliant. Sad.The last story is called Superfriends. This two part mini-adventure is a hilarious and cute (I’d even say hot to some extent) adventure featuring Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle. Again, Tom King nails the personalities of these characters as boys are boys and girls are girls. He also brilliantly delivers a side-by-side dialogue where Batman explains the greatness of Superman, and Superman explains the greatness of Batman, while they both sell themselves short in the process. It was beautiful and almost tear-inducing. This story also answers the one question that every fan has been dying to know: Can Batman hit a baseball pitched by Superman? 😉And with that, Tom King delivers a successful story arc without any big villains or major world-threatening event. With Rules of Engagement, he actually makes us care for this newly-formed relationship, but honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if something really horrible happens to someone in particular in the next volume. Besides the first story within this volume, this was perfect. I definitely enjoyed the improvement in King’s work since his debut on this Batman series and I hope he’ll be able to continue this streak of quality content.Yours truly,Lashaan | Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog: https://bookidote.com/____________________________Tom King successfully delivers a volume without any supervillains. Events focus on the relationship between Cats and Bats, as well as the two power couples. So much cuteness and sweetness packed within each panels. I had a good laugh in the Superfriends story, but the Batman Annual #2 packed a helluva punch too. Sad and beautiful. I'd blame the first story, The Rules of Engagement, for being the oddity in all this. Otherwise, this was another great volume after the newly-found quality that King showcased in The War of Jokes and Riddles (Volume 4).P.S. Full review coming soon.Yours truly,Lashaan | Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog: https://bookidote.com/
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  • Chad
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I'm impressed. There's barely a villain in the book and I loved it! Tom King has quickly made me do a 180 on the Batman / Catwoman romance. Their relationship and banter here is so fantastic. He's really gotten into their heads.First up, Batman and Catwoman head to the desert to talk to Talia. The dialogue in this book even in the midst of sword fights is fantastic. The character moments between Damian and Dick are spot on. I wish we'd get more moments like this among the Robins. Joelle Jo Wow! I'm impressed. There's barely a villain in the book and I loved it! Tom King has quickly made me do a 180 on the Batman / Catwoman romance. Their relationship and banter here is so fantastic. He's really gotten into their heads.First up, Batman and Catwoman head to the desert to talk to Talia. The dialogue in this book even in the midst of sword fights is fantastic. The character moments between Damian and Dick are spot on. I wish we'd get more moments like this among the Robins. Joelle Jones gets a chance to play with the big boys and her art really shines. I can see some Adam Hughes and Terry Dodson influences while still giving her own distinct look with her swirly line work. DC should snatch her up while she still can. I also dug the easter egg to Jones's Lady Killer series.Next we move onto Superfriends. I love when they present Batman and Superman in parallel, showcasing how they are opposite sides of the same coin. Both of them are reluctant to make the first move about Bruce's engagement. Tom King just really gets relationships. It takes Lois Lane and Selina Kyle forcing them together, much like my own wife would, for the boys to talk. Then the four of them head out a county fair on a double date and it is glorious. Finally, we have the annual which showcases the origins of Batman and Catwoman's relationship. Then we get a little addendum set in the future at the end of their lives. It's all very well done.
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  • Wing Kee
    January 1, 1970
    PerfectWorld: The art is just simply beautiful and the tone is beautiful and this arc is entirely and utterly the perfect arc. The world building is fantastic cause it not only moves the world forward in a way that u did not expect that DC would allow but also honors and deals with the past with Talia and even Damian. It's well thought and we'll constructed. Story: What can I say about this arc. It's perfect in every possible way. From the tone, the pacing, the stakes, the dialog, the everything PerfectWorld: The art is just simply beautiful and the tone is beautiful and this arc is entirely and utterly the perfect arc. The world building is fantastic cause it not only moves the world forward in a way that u did not expect that DC would allow but also honors and deals with the past with Talia and even Damian. It's well thought and we'll constructed. Story: What can I say about this arc. It's perfect in every possible way. From the tone, the pacing, the stakes, the dialog, the everything. This is a culmination of a relationship that has been brewing ever since modern Selina has come into being. This is a new status quo and I love it. It's so tied into their lore and history that it makes so much sense. King honors the past and honors readers and their feelings and builds a new world moving forward. Brilliant. Then to follow that with Superfriends!!??? My brain exploded. That first issue with Bruce and Clark expressing why the other us a better man is just...you have to read it. Then Cat and Lois and their banter. This arc made me cry. Characters: Perfect. A microcosm of what Batman and Superman represent and also a reminder of why Cat and Lois are so perfect and the best female characters in comics. I can't express enough. Perfect. Onward to the next book! *read individual issues*
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  • Artemy
    January 1, 1970
    Who has the patience to wait until May to read the new Batman volume by Tom King? Certainly not me. So I got the single issues and read them all at once.After the brilliant thriller that was The War of Jokes and Riddles, Tom King is taking it slow with Rules of Engagement. There are no super-villains, big schemes, crazy explosions or anything like that in this volume. It's just pure, unadulterated character piece, and it's perfect. Tom King is phenomenal with literally every single character in Who has the patience to wait until May to read the new Batman volume by Tom King? Certainly not me. So I got the single issues and read them all at once.After the brilliant thriller that was The War of Jokes and Riddles, Tom King is taking it slow with Rules of Engagement. There are no super-villains, big schemes, crazy explosions or anything like that in this volume. It's just pure, unadulterated character piece, and it's perfect. Tom King is phenomenal with literally every single character in this book, from all of the Robins to Bruce to Selina to Clark Kent and Lois Lane. So the relationship between the Bat and the Cat grows deeper and stronger, and I love it. It feels weird to admit it, but I have rarely ever been this invested in a relationship between two fictional characters — the last time that happened to me it was Root and Shaw on Jonathan Nolan's wonderful Person of Interest TV show, and my soul still hurts a bit from how that played out. King also toyed with my sappy heart in this volume with Annual #2, an outstanding issue that almost brought me to tears.But it's not all relationships and melodrama here in the Rules of Engagement. There's also bromance! Clark and Bruce, Supes and Bats... When it's done right, they have the best bromance in comics, and it's definitely done right here. Tom King just gets both their characters so well, so of course his Batman and Superman are perfect buddies. There is a whole excellent issue (#37) here which sends Clark, Bruce, Selina and Lois on a double-date with an (awesome) twist, and it may easily be one of the best single issues of the last year. It makes me ache for Tom King's Superman book in any possible form. Please, DC people, pretty please? It would be the best present for Supes, your best and most important character, on his 80th birthday. He deserves it.Tom King jumps from strength to strength with his Batman run, and Rules of Engagement is yet another incredible success. It took me a while to get into his run, but now I honestly don't remember the last time I was enjoying Batman comics that much. I am one happy fan.
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  • Chris Lemmerman
    January 1, 1970
    [Read as single issues]Batman and Catwoman are getting ready to get married - but before they do that, there are a few things they need to sort out first, like telling his best friends, rescuing her best friend, and telling his ex. This'll end well.Rules of Engagement is a three part arc that sees Batman and Catwoman visiting Talia Al Ghul in order to rescue Holly Robinson, still in hiding for her role in the I Am Suicide arc and the death of a lot of people. This arc's quite good fun, if a litt [Read as single issues]Batman and Catwoman are getting ready to get married - but before they do that, there are a few things they need to sort out first, like telling his best friends, rescuing her best friend, and telling his ex. This'll end well.Rules of Engagement is a three part arc that sees Batman and Catwoman visiting Talia Al Ghul in order to rescue Holly Robinson, still in hiding for her role in the I Am Suicide arc and the death of a lot of people. This arc's quite good fun, if a little underdeveloped. The reactions of the rest of the Bat Family to the proposal is pretty damn on point though, and it's nice to see Damian acting like a kid for a change.Next comes the two issue Super-Friends arc, which is actually the first of two stories about Batman and the others of the Trinity meeting Catwoman properly. This is, hands down, one of the most brilliant stories I've read in a very long time. There's no peril, no worries, just Batman, Superman, Catwoman, and Lois Lane going out on the town and trying to enjoy each other's company. It's such a well done examination of the relationships between the four characters, which is exactly what Tom King does best.And then finally Batman Annual 2 is included, giving us a potential flashforward at the results of the Bat/Cat marriage, and a slight reprise of the Elmer Fudd/Batman one-shot from a few months back. Not massively essential, but thematically appropriate with the rest of the collection.Joelle Jones pencils Rules Of Engagement after a successful run on Supergirl: Being Super, while Clay Mann appears for the Super Friends arc and the annual is split between Lee Weeks and Michael Lark. That's an impressive lineup of artists, and if David Finch can't tackle this series anymore then these are all worthy replacements.These are stories that could only be told with the current Bat/Cat status quo, and I think that's definitely a point in it's favour - Tom King is running with this idea and capitalizing on all of the story potential that it creates. Now to see if they actually get to the altar or not.
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  • Diz
    January 1, 1970
    This volume explores some of the Batman's key relationships before his marriage to Selina Kyle. We get to see Batman and Catwoman visit Talia, Batman and Superman work on their friendship, and Selina and Lois bond for the first time. Relationship centered books like this are they types of comics that really let readers connect with characters. More like this, please.
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    Holy Cinderella, I really enjoyed this one! The "Superfriends" arc that's included in this book has to be one of my favorite Batman stories ever. And the Annual issue included here is one of the best single issues of Batman I've read.Many people like to say that Bruce Wayne is the alter ego and that Batman is the real person, and while I understand the sentiment, I don't fully agree. I suspect that neither Bruce or Batman is the real man and that there is another person underneath it all and tha Holy Cinderella, I really enjoyed this one! The "Superfriends" arc that's included in this book has to be one of my favorite Batman stories ever. And the Annual issue included here is one of the best single issues of Batman I've read.Many people like to say that Bruce Wayne is the alter ego and that Batman is the real person, and while I understand the sentiment, I don't fully agree. I suspect that neither Bruce or Batman is the real man and that there is another person underneath it all and that is where his true self lies. And I believe that's what Tom King is exploring in this tumultuous run on the character.As we all know, Batman asked Catwoman to marry him and she said yes. So this book begins to explore their engagement. First they travel to the Middle East to break the news to the craziest ex of all time, Bruce's babymama: Talia Al Ghul. And that story is fine, as we get to see the reactions of most of Bruce's loved ones as they here the news that Batman is marrying a cat burglar. But then we get to Superfriends, where Bruce and Superman reconnect and finally get Lois and Selina to meet, going on a double date to Superhero Night at the Gotham County Fair, and dress up in the other's costume. It's an absolutely adorable story that explores all angles of Bruce and Clark's friendship, their mutual respect, and why they are friends. It's really endearing, and barely has any super-action, but instead focusing on the characters and relationships. I'm also reading the Injustice series as well where they are enemies, and this makes that story feel even more tragic.I literally had a smile on my face for most of the time I was reading this book. This is what I expected when writer Tom King mentioned that we wanted to really focus on Bruce Wayne the man himself in this Batman run. We're now seeing Bruce struggling a bit with the personal, emotional toll that being Batman is taking, as well as dealing with the relationships of the people around him. Why didn't Tom King start with this stuff rather than all the atrocious, overwrought Gotham/Suicide/Bane bullshit that he wasted a year and half with? This right here is the good stuff.And the book concludes with a showstopping standalone Annual issue, taking us back to the early days of the Batman/Catwoman relationship, where Selina kept breaking into Wayne Manor and Bruce kept chasing her and how this game of cat and bat kept them both from being completely lonely, broken people. I LOVED THIS GUYS.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    The best Batman book ever?Well . . . that's a matter of personal opinion.The best Batman book I've ever read?Yes.Vol. 5: Rules of Engagement continues the story-line from the climax of Vol. 2: I Am Suicide (if memory serves - I read it 11 months ago) in regards to the Batman / Catwoman "let's take it up a notch" relationship. This volume is ALL about the two of them, and contains three distinct short stories.The opener shares the title of the volume, as the boyfriend / girlfriend dynamic duo rid The best Batman book ever?Well . . . that's a matter of personal opinion.The best Batman book I've ever read?Yes.Vol. 5: Rules of Engagement continues the story-line from the climax of Vol. 2: I Am Suicide (if memory serves - I read it 11 months ago) in regards to the Batman / Catwoman "let's take it up a notch" relationship. This volume is ALL about the two of them, and contains three distinct short stories.The opener shares the title of the volume, as the boyfriend / girlfriend dynamic duo rides into the desert in a search for Talia al Ghul. (They're going to get her blessing for their wedding . . . just kidding. But Ghul's reaction goes about as well as expected.) Lots of action / adventure between the quippy dialogue, and also featuring the past and present Robins back at Wayne Manor (for the most part) being briefed by Alfred and then having a sort of round-table discussion on the situation. Next is 'Super Friends,' with concerned guest star Superman trying to wrap his head around his JLA colleague's choice of a romantic partner. Naturally then Lois Lane / Superman and Catwoman / Batman promptly go on a double date (!). The venue and the 'theme night' happening at their destination - along with the decision for their choice of attire - provides much of the humor. Heavy on the dialogue, but so well-written (especially the Lois / Selina scenes) and true to the characters.The less said about the powerful finale 'Some of These Days' the better - just read it and be moved.Writer Tom King should be really proud of his work. I really loved every minute of this volume.
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  • Rory Wilding
    January 1, 1970
    Although he is defined by tragedy during childhood and uses that pain to justify his purpose to fight crime like a creature of the night, who’s to say that Batman can’t show off his funny side? After the major influence of Frank Miller, most fans and creators would lean towards the darker aspects of the character, even though from what we’ve learned from The Lego Batman Movie and the late Bright Knight himself, Adam West, Batman can be funny — something that writer Tom King has placed great valu Although he is defined by tragedy during childhood and uses that pain to justify his purpose to fight crime like a creature of the night, who’s to say that Batman can’t show off his funny side? After the major influence of Frank Miller, most fans and creators would lean towards the darker aspects of the character, even though from what we’ve learned from The Lego Batman Movie and the late Bright Knight himself, Adam West, Batman can be funny — something that writer Tom King has placed great value in during his terrific run on the main Batman title.Please click here for my full review.
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  • Roy
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great Volume where its more about the characters than an actual story plot. 2 story arcs, the first involving Talia and giving us Selinas actual take on Bruce. The second is a double date between Bruce/Selina and Clark/Lois. Its just the four of them being normal and exposing their human side. Great story telling!!
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  • Kay
    January 1, 1970
    Perfect.(Or perrrrfect. Meeow.)This volume can be broken up into three perfect segments. 1. Batman and Catwoman's (unsanctioned) trip to Khadym. Issues #33-35 "The Rules of Engagment"2. The double date. Issues #36 & 37 "Superfriends"3. Batman & Catwoman's beginnings & their end. Batman Annual #2I honestly don't know how to talk about everything I love without doing a page by page recap. Everything was just that good. 1. The trip to Khadym (Issues #33-35)... though I didn't love the a Perfect.(Or perrrrfect. Meeow.)This volume can be broken up into three perfect segments. 1. Batman and Catwoman's (unsanctioned) trip to Khadym. Issues #33-35 "The Rules of Engagment"2. The double date. Issues #36 & 37 "Superfriends"3. Batman & Catwoman's beginnings & their end. Batman Annual #2I honestly don't know how to talk about everything I love without doing a page by page recap. Everything was just that good. 1. The trip to Khadym (Issues #33-35)... though I didn't love the art, there is one page where Talia Al Ghul (the Ex) is sitting on the edge of a bed with what is clearly the aftermath of an orgy asleep behind her. On the next page Cat and Bat argue back and forth:Cat: "That's a lot."Bat: "I've seen more."Cat: "I didn't say I haven't seen more. I'm just saying, that's a lot."They argue for that entire page, their back and forth in individual frames (a style I particularly love) and the big reveal on the next page (when you turn over to the verso) is a whole double page spread of ninjas. LOL! The comedic timing, the clever writing from Tom King, and the art, all work together perfectly to make this one kick ass volume. Other things I loved from the trip to Khadym: *Damian crying. And Duke and Jason freaking out. And Dick... <3*That we all think Batman is going to Khadym for Talia (view spoiler)[but really, they're there for Holly Robinson, who murdered 237 people and Selina/Cat took the blame at the time to protect her. Holly's been hiding out in Khadym under Talia's protection & Selina has now asked her to go and confess to clear Selina's name. Holly doesn't leave Khadym with Selina, so it's impossible to know if she will eventually confess and clear Selina's name or not... We'll have to wait & see. (hide spoiler)].*Damian and Dick waiting. Damian and Dick together "from the beginning... And all the way to the end." <3+ Superman seeing them from Central City, lol.*Talia's pretty feminist ideas of marriage and partnership. Forgetting the fact that she raped Bruce to get pregnant with Damian...*Selina openly admitting to knowing that Batman will put his crusade for Justice before her, but loves him anyway. It spoke a lot to her character & the strength of their relationship (which will be defended in the next two issues "Superfriends").Her honesty regarding Bruce was both insulting, and a beautiful confession of love.*The idea that Bruce isn't happy. Doesn't know how to be happy. But is working on it. And hopes to become happy with Selina.2. The double date. (Issues #36 & 37)Wow this was well done. I loved every page, but here's the quick review:*Batman trying to get out of saying that Superman is his closest friend.Bat: "Gordon is my closest friend."Cat: "What? No. He doesn't even know your name."Bat: "... Fine. Alfred is my closest friend."Cat: "Alfred's on your payroll. That doesn't count."Bat: "Am I not supposed to pay him?"LOL*Selina and Lois step up in a big way in this story, and I love it a lot. We rarely get to see how strong the supportive love interest/partner can be.*The side by side panels of Bruce talking to Selina about Superman & Clark talking to Lois about Batman... Really genius writing, paneling, and drawing. + The Bromance is SO strong! <3*Them double dating at a Super Hero Night & needing costumes. The costume swap was so good it felt a little like fan fiction. Like it was too good to be true. That's how hilarious it was.*Batman's "No."s. He keeps saying them, but he's still there. <3*"The bat stands for a bat."*Selina to Lois: "It's just, when I fall, he catches me." (and Lois's face is precious.)and Bruce to Clark: "When I fall, she catches me." <3*Just Batman and Clark interacting & talking. Being perfectly themselves & perfect. 3. Batman Annual #2Ok, the only way to share how I feel about this story, is to tell you three things:1. I turned 30 on Saturday.2. I read this on Saturday.3. I cried after reading this.Batman made me cry on my Birthday. I am a 30-year-old woman who cried from reading Batman.My life is a joke. This story is not.It is Cat and Bat's beginning (they met on the street, no, on a boat.) and their end. I cried.
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  • Logan
    January 1, 1970
    Very good! So Tom King as cracked the code on writing a batman comic I feel as these last two volumes have been very good! So if you have been living under a rock, Batman and Catwoman are engaged! Whether your on board or not with that (I am), this volume pretty much focuses on that. Its 3 different stories in this volume, but the batman catwoman engagement plays a theme through out. The First story has batman and Catwoman go to the middle east for a case where they run into Talia Al Ghul. I can Very good! So Tom King as cracked the code on writing a batman comic I feel as these last two volumes have been very good! So if you have been living under a rock, Batman and Catwoman are engaged! Whether your on board or not with that (I am), this volume pretty much focuses on that. Its 3 different stories in this volume, but the batman catwoman engagement plays a theme through out. The First story has batman and Catwoman go to the middle east for a case where they run into Talia Al Ghul. I can imagine the writers were thinking: "Hey remember that time where Batman had a sword fight with Ras Al Ghul in the desert? Lets have that but with Talia and Catwoman!". That's not to say it was bad, that's just what I was thinking. But otherwise it was a very well done, and I love that Batman wore the BvS mad max style outfit from the movie, along with catwoman getting her own variation of it! The next story has Superman and Lois meet Catwoman for the first time and them accepting (more Superman then Lois) the engagement. I think this one was my favourite as it has some pretty dry humour throughout and I'm always a sucker for a Batman/Superman team up. Overall if your reading this review you get the just of what this volume is all about. I personally think Tom King has done some smart stuff with the batman catwoman relationship writing wise! But overall this gets a recommmed from me!
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  • Adam Spanos
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written and poetic, this Tom King authored run of Batman is simply incredible. I guess it is not a spoiler to say at this point that Batman and Catwoman appear to be getting hitched: this volume continues to explore their relationship, their history, their connections, developing the idea of two hyper-talented, painfully injured people who have found their match in each other. The section "Super Friends" and the final section are particularly powerful. There's not a lot of action her Beautifully written and poetic, this Tom King authored run of Batman is simply incredible. I guess it is not a spoiler to say at this point that Batman and Catwoman appear to be getting hitched: this volume continues to explore their relationship, their history, their connections, developing the idea of two hyper-talented, painfully injured people who have found their match in each other. The section "Super Friends" and the final section are particularly powerful. There's not a lot of action here, but King is doing an amazing job exploring the mythos of Batman.The art is beautiful throughout, but is especially so in the Clay Mann drawn "Super Friends" story.
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  • Ryan Stewart
    January 1, 1970
    Daaaaamn THIS is what I’ve been waiting for from Tom King on Batman! It’s been a minute since a comic got me choked up, but this got me good.
  • Malum
    January 1, 1970
    If a superhero comic is going to be mostly talking with little action, then it usually has to be very well written to keep my attention. Well, King knocked it out of the park with this one. This volume is all about Batman and Catwoman preparing for their big day, and it is completely engrossing, funny, and even relatable, to the very end. We have seen silly 60s Batman, ultra-violent Batman, cartoon Batman, etc., but we are starting to see Batman like we have never seen before, and it is so funny If a superhero comic is going to be mostly talking with little action, then it usually has to be very well written to keep my attention. Well, King knocked it out of the park with this one. This volume is all about Batman and Catwoman preparing for their big day, and it is completely engrossing, funny, and even relatable, to the very end. We have seen silly 60s Batman, ultra-violent Batman, cartoon Batman, etc., but we are starting to see Batman like we have never seen before, and it is so funny and refreshing to watch him out of his element.
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  • Frédéric
    January 1, 1970
    Tom King rules.Four issues and an annual where nothing really happens and it's still great. This man is a goddam genius and arguably one of the very top writer in the industry in the recent years.No plot, not really. But characters. Excellent characters. Great interactions between the characters, whether from the Bat Family- Damian and Dick notably, in a brilliant scene where nothing happens, just the two of them talking- or the costumed community- the Superfriends 2-parter with Supes and Loïs. Tom King rules.Four issues and an annual where nothing really happens and it's still great. This man is a goddam genius and arguably one of the very top writer in the industry in the recent years.No plot, not really. But characters. Excellent characters. Great interactions between the characters, whether from the Bat Family- Damian and Dick notably, in a brilliant scene where nothing happens, just the two of them talking- or the costumed community- the Superfriends 2-parter with Supes and Loïs. And some of the best dialogues I've ever read. Not only the dialogues. Their timing too.   Tom King obviously understands the comic book medium like few do. Beyond a good script with pictures or a deluxe story-board, he really does exploit the principles of the comic book form to tell his story, to convey action, intrigue or characters and emotions. A true master.I wouldn't want to diminish Joelle Jones and Clay Mann's part in the book. Both do a great job.One small note on the annual: I don't dig them much. Most are of no interest whatsoever, pure light stuff adding nothing to the series, a 30 odd pages waste.But this one, Tom King on the script of course, is just one of the best I've read. Illustrated by the great Lee Weeks for the most part- Michael Lark for a few pagew- it bewitched me into a cat/mouse love story (you'll get the pun when you read it), to a poignant finale. Beautiful colors by none other than Bettie Breiweiser.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Netgalley and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Wow, just wow. Best Batman volume in ages, and a wonderful tear-jerker ending, too. Something not normally seen or expected, but brilliant nonetheless. Great work, Tom King!
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  • Pavle
    January 1, 1970
    Originalna subverzija i pozitivni anti-klimaks; kad je retko, retko je. Zdravo je videti superheroje kao, ne čak ni heroje, nego samo ljude sa, eto, malčice ekstremnijim hobijima.4+
  • Rod Brown
    January 1, 1970
    I was a little resistant at first, but Tom King has totally won me over with his run on Batman. This volume is clever, sexy, witty, fun and humorous.I loved it!This is the best Batman book I've read in what seems like forever, and just thinking about it now puts a big grin on my face.
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  • Albert
    January 1, 1970
    Batman, Volume 5: Rules of Engagement combines the incredible storytelling of Tom King with arguably the very best artist in the business; Joelle Jones. This is the lead in set of tales that lay the groundwork for the current big wedding in comic book world. The marriage between the Bat and the Cat.A journey to the heart of darkness and facing Talia ah Ghul which results in a terrific sword fight between Talia and the Cat. Meeting the Bat family and more so, the Boy Scout. Does the Cat when ever Batman, Volume 5: Rules of Engagement combines the incredible storytelling of Tom King with arguably the very best artist in the business; Joelle Jones. This is the lead in set of tales that lay the groundwork for the current big wedding in comic book world. The marriage between the Bat and the Cat.A journey to the heart of darkness and facing Talia ah Ghul which results in a terrific sword fight between Talia and the Cat. Meeting the Bat family and more so, the Boy Scout. Does the Cat when everyone's approval? Does she really care?What has made this series so good is the subtle changes in the past series that have set up the Batman to be in this position. To be where he questions his own mortality and his own life. His sacrifice of any kind of true happiness in his quest to be the Bat. His denial of his own love life. Strangely it is not the Cat who goes continually to the Bat for redemption but the reverse. It is the Batman who comes to her. With her, he finds the sanctuary he is denied everywhere else. Extremely well written with impeccable artwork. This very well maybe some of the best Batman stories that have ever been. It is surely the most human he has ever been.
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  • Eli Seibert
    January 1, 1970
    I love this volume. I love seeing Bruce dip his toe into the pool of happiness and peace. I think Bruce Wayne- Selina as well- deserves a chance to be truly happy for once, and they could give that to each other. I also love the art, and seeing the parallels between Superman and Batman, as well as the interactions between the two couples in the Superfriends two parter was hilarious and fun and had a lot of heart.Honestly, the more I read this volume, the more I love everything about it. This is I love this volume. I love seeing Bruce dip his toe into the pool of happiness and peace. I think Bruce Wayne- Selina as well- deserves a chance to be truly happy for once, and they could give that to each other. I also love the art, and seeing the parallels between Superman and Batman, as well as the interactions between the two couples in the Superfriends two parter was hilarious and fun and had a lot of heart.Honestly, the more I read this volume, the more I love everything about it. This is easily within my top 5 favorite bat-books ever.
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  • Scott Lee
    January 1, 1970
    King has Bruce in a place I've never seen him before: vulnerable to the feelings/words/etc. of another person, and I love it. This volume has nary a fight in it (the only extended action sequence is between Talia and Selina) and instead explores a number of relationships in the context of potentially serious change to Batman for the first time in forever. Generally speaking the types of change we see to Batman or Superman are the types of things typical of comics. A new sidekick, a new uniform, King has Bruce in a place I've never seen him before: vulnerable to the feelings/words/etc. of another person, and I love it. This volume has nary a fight in it (the only extended action sequence is between Talia and Selina) and instead explores a number of relationships in the context of potentially serious change to Batman for the first time in forever. Generally speaking the types of change we see to Batman or Superman are the types of things typical of comics. A new sidekick, a new uniform, a short-term replacement because the original is out of action for one reason or another. But having Bruce choose to marry Selina, and to have built up a storyline in which Bruce making a choice for himself and for his own happiness rather than his war is quite the achievement. I love the discussion of Bruce between Talia and Selina it nails how it is that Selina understands Bruce. I love the interaction between Dick, Damian, Jason and Duke Thomas, and especially between Dick and Damian. Then there's a Bruce and Selina end up on a double date with Lois and Clark issue that is as revealing of both heroes as it is of their wives and the relationship between both is so beautifully handled. Finally there's a last issue that purports to trace the relationship between Bruce and Selina through the years, projecting their marriage far into a future they share together. King has done this beautifully. And it works so well, and he demonstrates with excellence exactly why that is. I hope DC has the guts to stick with it as they have with Clark and Lois. PLEASE don't let this be something that some idiot "One More Day's" like Marvel did to Peter and MJ, or Morrison's tragic destruction of Scott and Jean's marriage in X-Men. PLEASE....
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  • Nate
    January 1, 1970
    This is just a majestically great, emotional resonating collection that I didn't in any way see coming. The Rules of Engagement story line is a good to great plot that ads an interesting real world depth to the relationship between Batman and Catwoman and is a narrative quantum leap forward from the end of Volume 4. This is Tom King at the absolute peak of his powers as a writer and the team of artists involved all seem in lock step with King's vision. It's also hard to overstate what an emotion This is just a majestically great, emotional resonating collection that I didn't in any way see coming. The Rules of Engagement story line is a good to great plot that ads an interesting real world depth to the relationship between Batman and Catwoman and is a narrative quantum leap forward from the end of Volume 4. This is Tom King at the absolute peak of his powers as a writer and the team of artists involved all seem in lock step with King's vision. It's also hard to overstate what an emotional high this collection goes out on. The two issue double date between Superman and Lois Lane and Batman and Catwoman is written like a ultra smart romantic comedy in a way Star Wars fans secretly wished the Rey-Kylo Ren scenes in The Last Jedi should have been handled. Lastly, the annual that concludes the collection is a beautiful pair of stories about the beginning and inevitable end of a great love that should be the story all comic writers hope to one day write.
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  • Blindzider
    January 1, 1970
    I'm giving this 4 stars primarily for being different and unexpected. King shows how Batman and Catwoman are made for each other when they go up against an old flame of Bruce's. You also get to see that despite being superheroes, Batman and Superman are still 'guys', who have trouble talking to each other. Then the craziest yet revealing issue is when Bruce and Selina go on a double date with Clark and Lois. What happens during that night and the analysis of the two couples is something I don't I'm giving this 4 stars primarily for being different and unexpected. King shows how Batman and Catwoman are made for each other when they go up against an old flame of Bruce's. You also get to see that despite being superheroes, Batman and Superman are still 'guys', who have trouble talking to each other. Then the craziest yet revealing issue is when Bruce and Selina go on a double date with Clark and Lois. What happens during that night and the analysis of the two couples is something I don't think I've ever read before concerning these four characters.The art is 4 stars as well: Jones' work is a little rough around the edges for me, but has flashes of greatness. Clay Mann's art is a little more my style, although each panel feels like a pinup and may need some work with sequential storytelling.This is definitely a different Batman from any previous era.
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  • Fraser Sherman
    January 1, 1970
    Tom King finally wrote one I thoroughly enjoy. It's light-hearted and funny as Bruce dithers over telling Clark he's engaged, he and Selina hang out with the Kents, and the various Robins all get the news from Alfred (I've got to say their terrified reaction the Big Secret would be something horrible sums up an awful lot of 21st century Batman). A lot of fun.
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  • M.
    January 1, 1970
    - While you were inside, did you... Happen to see Mother?- She stabbed your dad in the back. So I stabbed HER in the back.- I see. Well, the more things change...
  • Craig
    January 1, 1970
    I've been rather ambivalent about Tom King's run on Batman so far. It has largely paled in comparison to what Scott Snyder did. But this volume really worked for me. It is largely focused on the engagement of Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne and follows them through 3 rather disparate stories. One concerns a trip to the desert kingdom where Talia al'Ghul is hiding a fugitive and allows the two women in Batman's life to get a measure of each other. Then there's a double date between Clark Kent and Loi I've been rather ambivalent about Tom King's run on Batman so far. It has largely paled in comparison to what Scott Snyder did. But this volume really worked for me. It is largely focused on the engagement of Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne and follows them through 3 rather disparate stories. One concerns a trip to the desert kingdom where Talia al'Ghul is hiding a fugitive and allows the two women in Batman's life to get a measure of each other. Then there's a double date between Clark Kent and Lois Lane with Bruce and Selina where they attend a county fair and spend some time in the batting cages, with Bruce assuring Clark he could hit anything he throws at him. Finally, there's an issue that shows the whole love affair between Bat and Cat from the start to the end. I realize this whole thing is a bit controversial for a lot of Bat-fans, but I love it and this volume just worked like gangbusters for me from start to finish. Highly recommended.
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