Writer: Tom King / Artists: Mikel Janín & Jorge Fornes / DC Comics
As if making up for lost time, Batman #70 kicks it immediately into high gear as Batman awakens deep in the bowels of Arkham Asylum. After escaping from the mental prison he was placed in by Bane and Scarecrow, he’s got no choice but to fight his way through a collection of villains who await him at every turn.
I’d contest that there are few scarier sights than a pissed off Batman. And after having his mind toyed with and having to get well-acquainted with his demons, he has every reason to be pissed.
Fortunately, he has a line-up of punchable faces to let all of that anger out on including Solomon Grundy, Man-Bat, Two-Face, and more.
We haven’t had time to play with too many of Batman’s villains in King’s run. He’s made the decision to primarily focus on a handful and give us excellent stories and revelations versus exploring the deeper well of options. (Good choice.) So it’s always a treat to get these appearances and watch Batman interact with them. Chances are we’re all familiar with them anyway, so there’s no need for a reintroduction and devoting one page to Mr. Freeze is properly utilized here.
The ultimate payoff to the “Knightmare” comes when Batman comes across the man largely responsible, Scarecrow. Given that his entire superhero identity is rooted in what he once feared most, it takes a lot to scare Batman. His confrontation with Scarecrow is a testament to that as he gets his payback after being forced to live through some of the worst experiences his mind could throw at him.
By the end of the issue, it’s clear that #70 is a pivot point. It’s a close to the events of “Knightmare” and an entry point back into the main events of this war between Batman and Bane that’s been taking place from the earliest issues of this series.
Reading Batman? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.