Batman #69 – Review
To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t going to pick up Batman #69. The entire Knightmares story really seemed a little contrived to me, and I wasn’t sure if I really cared to read another case of a Batman foe messing with his mind. I opened it up and saw the artwork of Yahick Paquette. I loved his work on Wonder Woman: Earth One, so I gave it a try.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn
Variant Cover: Francesco Mattina
The Dark Knight is breaking through the bad dreams and coming out the other side. But is he ready for the culprit waiting through the veil of terror? And what lasting effects might this whole ordeal have on Bruce Wayne’s psyche? With artist Yanick Paquette (WONDER WOMAN: EARTH ONE) jumping on board to tackle the art, “Knightmares” comes to a shocking close. This will be the strangest issue yet—a no-holds-barred journey through Bat-man’s psyche via the inner workings of Arkham Asylum, setting up the next big chapter of Tom King’s epic BATMAN tale. Batman’s future starts now!
Before we get started with the review, let’s make it clear that from here on, there will be spoilers, because I simply cannot review this comic without giving away anything.
So this is more of the dreaming about the relationship with Catwoman. This one isn’t as fun as the bachelorette party, but the design skill of Yanick Paquette really reinforces the entire dream element. Tom King shows his chops in Batman deducing the motives of Thomas Wayne and Bane. He intercuts a sparring session gone wrong between the unlikely allies. He also reminds us of why Thomas Wayne is such a dangerous Batman.
Tom King’s stories seem to revolve around the concept of family. Vision had the character create his family and then wrestle with his obligations to his family opposed to his own responsibilities as an Avenger. Mister Miracle explores not only the inner mental despair of Scott Free, but the conflict that goes through his mind as he prepares to become a father. I’m becoming more and more inclined to believe that we’ll see Tom King give us a Batman married to Selina Kyle. The premise that he can’t be happy and Batman at the same time is something that he’ll defy, despite the ending of his dream. However, I don’t know if DC Editorial is willing to take that step with Batman.
Yanick Paquette has a style that works very well with this story. As I said, his knack for unconventional panel layouts works really well in the dream sequence. When he holds back in the scenes with Bane and Thomas, he uses a traditional base of a six panel grid. I’m a little perplexed of why Bane is sparring naked. It does give him this aura of being a monster. I enjoyed seeing Paquette’s renditions of Catwoman’s various looks throughout her comic book history. I would have loved to see the same attention paid to Batman’s appearance. The colors are keep consistent with the Bane/Thomas scenes, and they get more surreal in the dream scenes.
Overall, the comic is good, but it doesn’t serve as a finale. It’s a lead in to yet another stage of this story. That is part of what really grinds my gears with super-hero comics sometimes.
Final Rating: 8.0 (out of 10)