Batman's new creative team is wasting no time in setting itself apart from the work of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Two issues into Tom King and David Finch's run, and already the tone of the two stories couldn't be more different.
Whereas Snyder's Batman often felt experimental, King's in many ways feels more traditional. Perhaps that is thanks to two classic Batman villains appearing in issue #2.
Spoilers for Batman #2! below!
The first of those villains is Solomon Grundy. At the beginning of the comic, new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl are locked in battle with the immortal brute. Though it looks like the new dynamic duo has the situation under control, Batman steps in regardless to clean house. Bruce isn't exactly sure how to feel about Gotham and Gotham Girl at this point. It seems clear they mean to do well, but so far they haven't lived up to Batman's expectations.
That being said, Bruce knows he needs a backup plan for Gotham (the city) in case he dies, as he almost did in this arc's first issue. Gotham City needs heroes, and Batman, no matter how much he wants to, won't always be there to save it.
It's with that in mind that Batman looks to let Gotham and Gotham Girl in on how he operates. He introduces them to Commissioner Gordon and tells them they need to do better. But despite trying to open up with them, he's still very much the same Batman fans know and love. He still vanishes from Gordon's rooftop at a moment's notice. He still adopts an "it's never good enough" attitude when it comes to himself and his allies. He still keeps his loved ones at arm's length.
Speaking of Batman's loved ones, Alfred steals the show in this issue. King's take on Bruce's butler is full of a dry wit that is so spot-on for the character that it's sure to bring a smile to the face of fans. He only says a handful of lines this issue, but each one is memorable and oh-so-perfect.
It's only at the end of the issue that the second familiar villain shows himself: Hugo Strange, alongside Amanda Waller. What are these two characters up to? That's still a mystery. For the past two issues King has been hinting at some larger conspiracy at play, but it's still unclear exactly what King is building toward. It all has something to do with the "Night of the Monster Men" crossover event coming later this year, but all the pieces haven't come together as of yet.
King and Finch's Batman feels like classic Dark Knight, and that's not a bad thing coming off of Snyder and Capullo's great - though occasionally "out there" - run on DC's most popular character. How will it stack up as the issues continue to roll out? That remains to be seen, but it should be entertaining to find out.