Batman: Killing Time #2 is part of a miniseries published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, with art by Dave Marquez, colors by Alejandro Sanchez, and letters by Clayton Cowles. In the previous issue, a consortium of Batman’s villains came together to enact a bank heist. Riddler and Catwoman escaped while Killer Croc was jailed and Penguin was hospitalized. In this issue, Batman gathers evidence on the heist while Catwoman and the Riddler await a call from the buyer.
The plot has a similar structure to the premier issue, but the pace of Batman: Killing Time #2 slows down. It could be suggested that this is to gain control over the chaos and mysteries of the first chapter, but instead, it is done to add more on. The heroes and the villains of the piece are very separate, acting on their own machinations and plans. King focusing on both sides of the coin ensures that the tension is mounted for when they meet. Selina and Nygma hide out in a cabin, trying to avoid detection. And when someone appears at the door, there is a nervousness regarding who it might be.
But the writer is also jumping between periods, going even further into the past to show the beginning of the plan. Some additions don’t yet have much direct bearing on the plot, but that will be revealed soon. The downside of switching between these locations so often it is damaging the atmosphere of each scene. We are hopping backward and forwards in time on practically every page, and it could threaten the coercion of the story if it continues in this vein.
The characters and the script are phenomenal. These are the young versions of many of these figures, but they have still known about each other for a period of time. These relationships are in their formative stages. Batman is still asserting his dominance and influence, Commissioner Gordon struggling to rein him in at times. This is so early in the timelin\e that Arkham Asylum is only newly dedicated to housing Batman’s enemies. The suspense between Catwoman and Riddler is also fascinating as they are the only members of the heist crew still together. Still, Nygma is starting to grate on the frayed nerves of Catwoman.
There are constant captions in the comic, almost narrating everything that is happening. These captions are beautifully poetic and dramatic in their execution and add an element of prose to the book part of a comic book. The art continues to be stunning. The design of every single character is perfect, brilliantly encapsulating how they look. But Marquez takes particular time to highlight that they are younger than how they are represented now. This isn’t noticeable at first, but Catwoman and especially Riddler have youthful faces. Any piece of the action is superb, often depicting the point of impact. For example, Batman’s interrogation of Killer Croc looks brutal due to how the force of his blows look. Marquez has an incredible ability to denote motion and speed, from characters moving to the Batmobile speeding along a country road. The Batmobile also deserves a mention as it has an awesome design.
The colors are gorgeous, often being used to suggest the location change. In Gotham, there is a grim and muted hue to everything as it is mostly the glow of lights that brightens any of the panels. Out in the country, there is much more light, and Sanchez presents it as natural, but there is still a deftness to the shades. The combination of purple for Catwoman and green and purple for Riddler is really lovely, and the use of color for both of them is frequently amazing. The lettering is superb at helping to tell stories, being pivotal to the execution of the best joke of the issue.
Batman: Killing Time #2 is a superb comic to spend time in. The characters all have natural voices, and King writes all of them with depth and personality. The plot itself is engaging as the mysteries deepen, even if the jumping between timelines threatens to be too much. There is a classic Batman feel to this story, but it’s laced with modern writing. And the art is giving so much life to this world. It’s a perfect blend of a cinematic experience but with the script and dialogue of a novel.
Batman: Killing Time #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Batman: Killing Time #2
Batman: Killing Time #2 is a superb comic to spend time in. The characters all have natural voices, and King writes all of them with depth and personality. The plot itself is engaging as the mysteries deepen, even if the jumping between timelines threatens to be too much. There is a classic Batman feel to this story, but it’s laced with modern writing.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”