By Brandy Dykhuizen. Our Week In Review sums up our weekly comic book coverage while taking time for a new review or two before it’s all over. This week: ‘Batman’ #48 and ‘Giant Days’ #39.

Week In Review: Batman #48, Giant Days #39Batman #48

DC Comics/$3.99

Written Tom King.

Art by Mikel Janín.

Colors by June Chung.

Letters by Clayton Cowles.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Joker has some big, serious thoughts about love, and most of them seem to stem from deeply-seeded mommy issues. Also to be expected, he goes about throwing the mother of all tantrums as all attention has recently shifted to Batman’s and Catwoman’s imminent big day.

Brilliantly written and highly disturbing, Batman #48 grips you so tightly you can’t look away, no matter how badly you might want to. Joker finds the right buttons to push to draw Batman out of his cave – slaughtering innocents, in a church, no less, and during a wedding rehearsal. The cheek on this guy. All to give an epic, grand soliloquy on love, to which Batman remains fairly speechless.

This issue really is the Joker’s show, and as intense as it is, you get the feeling that it must only be a taste of what’s to come. Tom King dives deep into Joker’s madness. All this carnage is just for funsies, just to get a tête-à-tête with The Bat. And that speech he delivers, half to Batman, half for his own benefit, is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. The writing paints deeply sadistic pictures on the back of your eyelids that you won’t unsee for a while.

Mikel Janín uses every shadow, every wrinkle, in Joker’s face to invoke his contorted mania. Joker engages in pure madness, but King and Janín convey the abysmal loneliness that drives the delirium along. It would be almost heartbreaking if he didn’t just murder dozens of people a few panels back. But that’s what keeps Batman listening – that tiniest bit of humanity, no matter how malformed and disfigured it’s become. That combined magic — of King and Janín, of Batman and the Joker —  makes this a memorable issue, one that casts an ominous pall over what should be DC’s biggest event of 2018.

9 out of 10

Check out this five-page preview of ‘Batman’ #48, courtesy of DC Comics!

Week In Review: Batman #48, Giant Days #39Giant Days #39

Boom Box/BOOM! Studios/$3.99.

Written John Allison.

Art by Julia Madrigal.

Colors by Whitney Cogar.

Letters by Jim Campbell.

No need to save the world or solve a mystery when the herculean task of surviving a job fair with your sanity intact is at hand. The next step towards the “real world” is a huge one for Daisy and Esther, and the two girls have very different approaches towards this whole “growing up” ordeal.

John Allison manages to take an event as horribly mundane as a job fair and turn it into an enviable adventure. Well, perhaps “adventure” is too strong a word, but with the right friends, even the most banal experiences can be enjoyable, and Allison taps into the necessity of strong relationships in order to get by in this world.

Daisy and Esther look out for each other in their own quirky ways, with witticisms and sarcasm fueling their odyssey. Neither of them quite has a hold on what the future has in store, which means there are probably surprises lurking ahead for both women. For now, however, it’s still one day at a time until the big decisions need to be made.

Julia Madrigal’s clear artwork shies away from the fussy or overly complex, which suits the book quite well in the absence of series regular Max Sarin. With a series that dwells in the banal, but no less poignant, minutiae of growing up, it’s nice to see an artist focus primarily on the characters’ facial expressions and body language rather than a cluttered scene.

All the characters have quirks in spades, which keeps the cuteness of Giant Days from plunging head first into the saccharine. There is a sentimentality to the book that occasionally borders on cloying, but is usually rescued in time by a bout of snark or silliness. Giant Days remains a relevant and funny read that can stave off life’s anxieties for a little while.

8 out of 10

Check out this five-page preview of ‘Giant Days’ #39, courtesy of BOOM! Studios!

From earlier this week — 

PREVIEW: Anderson, Hickman & Dillon let fly ‘Moth & Whisper’, an all-new AfterShock joint

Big Week Coming — CASUAL WEDNESDAYS WITH DOOMROCKET

STAFF PICKS: ‘The Immortal Hulk’ macabre mayhem in the mighty Marvel manner

EXCLUSIVE: Enjoy a DJ-guided tour of reality and existence in ‘Eternity Girl’ #4

NEWSWIRE: DC relaunches Vertigo as DC Vertigo, announces new series from Russell, Villalobos and more

REVIEW: ‘The Unexpected’ an off-beat, off-the-rails TKO of energy and verve

BOOKS FOR BABES: ‘The Joe Shuster Story’ gets to the heart of one of comics’ greatest pioneers

PREVIEW: Dredd endures the “Paradigm Shift” in ‘2000 AD’ Prog 2085

BUILDING A BETTER MARVEL: Psychologically arresting ‘The Immortal Hulk’ unafraid to gaze into the abyss

What books did YOU read this week? We want to know! Make it short and sweet — the best response wins a free set of DoomRocket stickers!

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