Writer: Tom King / Artist: Jorge Fornes / DC Comics
With Batman #66, we see the welcome return of Tom King, the “Knightmares” arc, and the second most important character in this story this far. The story takes us back into the mind of Bruce Wayne as he tries to find his way back to consciousness.
This issue is specifically the fourth installment of this story arc, and that’s exactly as many as it took me to realize which narrative devices are being put into play here. At first, I thought it was just an interesting way to see what makes Batman tick, but what I’m finding is that this is his opportunity to turn a corner.
Ever since the heartbreaking conclusion of issue #50, Bruce has been a broken man. After years of playing cat and mouse—forgive the pun—Bruce and Selina Kyle had finally chosen to spend their days and nights together, only for the latter to make the decision that a marriage would be the end of Batman. And the end of Batman is a price the world couldn’t pay.
Issue #66 brings the unresolved issues Bruce has tied to this event right to the forefront in the form of the Question interrogating Selina about her past with Bruce, and the circumstances around her decision to not see the marriage through. This is where things get a little complicated, though. Because this conversation isn’t actually happening. Well, not on any physical plane we’re aware of. This is still in Bruce’s mind.
So when the Question shows frustration at Selina’s avoidance, it’s really Bruce’s frustration at, for once, not having all of the answers. On the other hand, when Selina uses her cunning to not answer any questions, it’s likely because Bruce doesn’t actually know what she would say. Her answers always fall back to the note that she left him, which is all that he knows.
This is the kind of mental gymnastics I love from King!
As far as the art goes, it’s always a pleasure to see old school Batman with the cowl of old and showing flashbacks of he and Catwoman’s early encounters is a perfect way to show it off some. And any artist that manages to draw the faceless Question and still evoke emotion gets an applause from me. So, kudos to Jorge Fornes.
Knightmares is heating up, and it’s been long enough that I’m fine seeing where this takes us before we follow-up issue #60. (Especially after the last two issues which were even further off the mark.)
8.8 out of 10
Reading Batman? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.