Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Batman #66 Review

Mind Games

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Jorge Fornes
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: March 6, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

After the Price crossover interlude, it is back to the Knightmares storyline and I can't say I am that excited.  This whole arc has felt disjointed since it started and taking a month off probably won't help.  However, if you can remember way back to January (I know it's hard for me too!), you may recall that I actually liked the ending to the last Knightmares issue.  Tom King finally lifted the veil a bit and kind of told us what was going on beyond the craziness on the page.  Batman alone and being forced to live out his darkest thoughts and fears with nobody coming to help him.  Pretty cool stuff.  So, does Tom King pick up from there and give us more to enjoy?  Let's find out...

Well, this is one of those reviews that will be more of a discussion than a review mostly because not a ton happens and depending on whether you are walking up or down the stairs, you may view this issue a lot differently than I do.  So, I will tell you what I thought and you can agree or disagree with me below in the comments.

The issue opens with The Question interrogating Selina about Batman...where they met, what happened with the wedding and such.  If you've been reading Tom King's Batman, you are not going to get much new information here.  "On the street", "On a boat"... if you are in the know, you are either smiling or frowning right now.  That's the thing, if you are a fan of Tom King you are getting a run where the writer not only wants to write the story for you but seems desperate for your approval and acceptance.  

It's like clockwork that when the run starts sliding down the critical slope, King comes back with some greatest hits to get the fans fired up again and Selina is the biggest greatest hit he has (except maybe Kiteman) and that's what all this feels like.  Instead of pushing the story forward, this issue is here to remind you why you like the run up until now.  The problem is if you haven't liked it, you are pretty much left out in the cold.

We do get The Question and that is cool.  It's also a clever twist to have Bruce using (or becoming?) Vic Sage to try to figure out what's going on in his mind.  The cleverness ends, though, when you view this with a widescreen lens.  If Vic is "of the mind", so is Selina and because of that, it falls flat.  Plus, there is no detective work or figuring anything out, it's The Question yelling at Selina and Selina repeating what we've already heard in past issues and what Tom King has said in interviews.  Of course, we know a little bit more than Bruce and that's what the cliffhanger alludes to, but again, this IS NOT Selina so it's just Batman figuring out that something is going on.  No shit Sherlock Batman!

Overall, this was just another placeholder issue trying to be bigger than it is and disguising its nothingness with a clever premise that falls apart with further inspection.  The art is good enough but seems to want to capture the Year One feel tone of the story and ends up being derivative rather than unique.  Maybe this will all get better after some magical reveal at the end of this Knightmares arc, but we'll have to wait and see about that.

Bits and Pieces:

The Knightmares arc continues with another issue that feels disjointed with what came before it and now seems like an excuse for Tom King to work with a bunch of his favorite artists.  It's cool to have friends, but I want a story and this clip show of the mind didn't do it for me at all.


1 comment:

  1. Felt like he was trying to take from the annual issue (the one where they grow old), which was fantastic. And if this was done outside of the dream world a few issues after the (non) wedding, it could habe really worked. But I thought the same exact thing you did - this is Bruce's idea of Selina, not actually her. Any answer she gives is just Batman actually giving the answer, right?