Writer: Tom King/Artist: Mikel Janín/DC Comics
The answer to one of the biggest questions about the Batman series starts to reveal itself in issue #73 as Thomas Wayne travels through the desert with Bruce Wayne and a large casket in tow.
“The Fall and the Fallen,” the name of this story arc, refers to multiple characters. The most obvious of which is Bruce Wayne, who has fallen off of his gargoyle-shaped pedestal and come careening down.
But he’s not the only character who’s fallen, is he? No, on the contrary, presumably everyone he’s come across thus far has. Perhaps no further than his own father, who went from being a generous philanthropist to a gun-toting vigilante looking to avenge the death of his son in Crime Alley all of those years ago.
Issue #73 brings both of these individuals together — although only one of them is conscious. Thomas, in full costume, is carrying Bruce on the back of his horse as he makes his way to a destination soon to be revealed as the Lazarus Pit. The casket he’s dragging along holds no one other than Martha Wayne.
It’s revealed that Thomas is looking to restore the family he lost so long ago. And clearly by any means necessary as he worked with Bane to literally break his son so he could reshape him and he plans to fight however many assassins get in his way as he looks to revive his late wife.
As of late, much of this story has read like a fever dream with unreliable narration and timelines that jumped back and forth. While a lot of those were fun, it’s refreshing to get a straight narrative that hones in on a couple of key characters as this story prepares to come to a climax.
The balance between action and exposition throughout the issue and serves as a potential launchpad for the final conflict that will carry us through to the end. Especially since King has announced Catwoman will be returning — hopefully with Bruce’s sanity in her hands — in issue #75.
8.3 out of 10