After his Wedding in Volume 7, the Dark Knight is moving onto a new chapter in his life. It looks like he couldn’t be happy, however, as we know, when it comes to Batman’s peace of mind, things can’t last forever.
Cold Days picks up in the midst of The Caped Crusaders transformative point and shows how even in the end, he will forever be stalked by tragedy.
Throughout this review, I’ll be discussing everything that you need to know about cold days. There will be some spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet then I highly recommend that you skip to the score.
With that out the way, let’s dive into Batman: Cold Days!
The opening of the graphic novel centers around Bruce Wayne being called up for Jury Duty in the case of Batman V Mr. Freeze. Never before have we seen such a scenario play out on the page and it’s intriguing to witness how a criminal case would actually play out had Batman been instrumental in the defendant’s arrest.
Due to his vigilante status, it pretty much renders the entire trial a farce and Wayne must deal with the fact that he is seen more like a loophole that can negate criminal prosecution, rather than help it.
It’s a clear homage to 12 Angry Men and Wayne stands in as Fonda’s character to question the Jury’s assumptions. He really breaks down the case and makes the characters (and the reader) question their own assumptions. It really puts you in the jury seat too and watching it play out is breathtaking to behold.
In the end, it makes for an awesome cross-examination of Batman, his methods and what he means to the city. Making for an outstanding read.
The Flying Graysons
The second storyline centers around the relationship of Bruce and Dick Grayson and features artwork by Matt Wagner. I’m a huge fan of Wagner and thought that his work on the Mad Monk and Monster Men was astounding and here it’s no different.
The work jumps back and forth between Dick’s initial arrival at Wayne manor all the way up to his current position as Nightwing and it expertly shows the growth of the character over the years and how time builds appreciation.
Dick and Bruce’s relationship throughout is fascinating and the work really showcases how much both characters have evolved over time, making for an excellent tread down memory lane. It complements the work and seeing Wagner truly touches it with a hint of nostalgia that elevates this above most. King is constantly getting better as a writer and this piece exemplifies his talent.
This shines at the middle point of the book and makes it required reading for any hardcore DC fans.
Mirroring this, the follow on story centers around Bruce and Dicks relationship and how the two are almost yin and yang in terms of personalities. Dick is fun-loving and always cracking jokes whereas Bruce is straight-laced, wry and rarely cracks a smile.
All seems like it’s going well until a KGBeast shoots Dick in the head as the two meet at the Bat-signal.
It’s random, unjustified and is a clear comment on the gun debate that rages on in America. I’ve always wondered why a criminal never took this tactic when trying to defeat the dynamic duo and it makes for an interesting read that shows Batman going head to head with a villain that isn’t really playing by the rule book.
Batman tracks the beast throughout the world until he eventually discovers him in the wilderness, waiting for him.
It ends somewhat open and because of this, I feel like it felt slightly anti-climactic.
That’s not to say that it’s bad, however without a definitive ending to the entire arc it feels somewhat lacking from what, up until this point, had been a great book.
Cold Days is another superb addition to the Batman run by Tom King. Whilst it doesn’t quite recapture the highs of its predecessor, there’s still a lot to like here and it’s quite a fun journey.
I am interested to see where the story goes from here and that’s definitely a credit to the creative team.
However, it doesn’t feel like a complete home run and that’s why it gets an…