Writer: Tom King /Artist: Mikel Janín/ DC Comics
Bruce Wayne always turned to Batman whenever he was having problems. No matter what was happening in his life, putting on the cowl gave him an outlet. It gave him control. But what happens when Batman’s life is the one headed off the rails?
Issue #60 of Batman picks up with Batman on a mission to prove that Bane has been running the Arkham Asylum for months. Unfortunately, he’s now in the double-down stage of his investigation, after he lost the trust of Commissioner Gordon—who he then punched square in the jaw—in issue #59. Now, it’s Gordon’s turn.
Gordon isn’t dumb enough to punch Batman in the mouth. He’s always been depicted as being more calm and in control. Instead, he takes a shot at Batman’s character. After “borrowing” the cherished autographed baseball bat of a trusted GCPD officer, he heads to the roof to smash the bat-signal.
Gordon’s done this a variety of times in different mediums. It’s typically used to show that Gordon—the moral compass of a morally compromised city—has lost faith in the Batman. This time is no different, as Batman’s been spending his nights rounding up anyone he can find who’s been in Arkham in the past 6 months to beat a confession out of them. The biggest problem here, though, is that everyone has the same story. Bane spent his entire time in Arkham curled up in his cell. Not running the entire asylum and, by extension, the city.
Meanwhile, Alfred is watching over Penguin back at the batcave. While it may look like Penguin’s being held hostage, he feels he’s in one of the safest places in all of Gotham to get away from Bane. Unfortunately, the issue finishes by revealing a completely different mastermind behind all of this story’s fiasco. Drumroll please……
….THOMAS WAYNE. AS BATMAN!!!
How did this happen!?!? Perhaps this ties back to “The Button,” which was a shared story between issues 21 and 22 of Batman and The Flash, respectively. Given that that’s the last time we saw Thomas Wayne as Batman, it makes sense. If that’s the how, the why will surely reveal itself soon. Maybe even in the next issue. I have faith that King will stick the landing, because you don’t take a leap like this without knowing where you’re landing. You just don’t.
Some interesting pullouts from this issue include Alfred being willing to put the paws on Penguin, finding out that all this tine Penguin has been in deep mourning over, not a woman, but a penguin, and watching Jim Gordon basically waste away someone’s retirement plan in one swing because he’s upset.
Fun issue that should be re-read a few times and appears to be setting up some major story developments.
9.25 out of 10
Reading Batman? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.
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