Writer: Tom King / Artist: Yanick Paquette / DC Comics
Without further adieu, Batman #69 brings us back to the main narrative of this run. It’s been an eight-issue break that’s included spin-offs and team-ups as we stepped away from the main story that left off with the surprising return of Thomas Wayne and the capture of Bruce.
The sentiments across some of the readership, myself included, is that many of the previous one-shots have been perfectly fine and often good reading material. But having these issues follow the mic drop that was the return of the believed-dead Thomas Wayne created an uphill battle.
But the day has arrived! We can pick up where we left off with some amazing Batman stories from Tom King, with art from Yanick Paquette.
This issue kicks off with another dream sequence, but a welcome one as it summarizes all of the rest. We see Bruce dancing with (dream) Selena and explaining everything that he’s gone through, along with his theories as to why.
The b-side of this issue catches us up with Thomas Wayne and Bane –- who, for some reason, is completely nude —- in a sparring session. Despite the nude distractions, this scene shows us a lot about these characters and where they currently stand. Thomas is still Bruce in every way, except for the ways that matter most, and Bane has returned to his origins of being somewhat unhinged and violent. Together, they make for a truly intimidating and terrifying duo.
By the end of the issue, the other proverbial shoe drops that we’ve been waiting for since issue #50. It’s truly a gut punch for anyone who was invested in the Bat-Cat storyline. The truth hurts!
In hindsight, I think I would recommend skipping from issue #60 to #69 on a first read through of this series. Then go back to #61-#68 afterwards as dessert. (But, again, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like all of them.)
Overall, this issue was a breath of fresh air as it felt like we were returning to the successful, captivating, and relevatory storytelling that brought us 69 issues into this story in the first place.
We’ve got about 30 issues left, which means we’re entering the 4th quarter. This is where championships are won. I believe King has what it takes to win a ring, but we’ll have to wait to see if it happens.
Reading Batman? Find BNP’s other reviews here.