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Batman #68 review: Knightmares Part 6, “Solitude”

A night of fun before the Bat and Cat tie the knot. It’s deja vu all over again.

Tom King
Price: Check on Amazon

Bruce and Clark spend a quiet night at the manor in lieu of an actual bachelor party while Lois and Selina run amuck in the fortress of solitude. Waitaminute… what?

Reading this issue convinced me of two things. One. I’m glad Batman and Catwoman didn’t end up married. Two. I really wish that, even if it were only temporary, Batman and Catwoman actually married.

Should we feel cheated that after all that lead up, the excellent “Rooftops,” arc after arc of exploration into the impact on the bat-mythos, the oversized, packed to the gills “wedding” issue — after everything we ended up without a payoff?

Or should we be thankful that King is a good enough writer on a long enough timeline to keep everyone happy? To tell stories like Knightmares that pay service to alternate outcomes? The expectations of fans that weren’t met. Everybody wins right?

Almost.

There are some great, consistent, moments in this issue that continue to explore and elaborate on King’s now lengthy run on the title. Pitting Selina and Bruce’s relationship against Lois and Clark’s really works. King is great at this. Writing comedy between Bruce and Clark, not so much. Finding the fun and the touching moments in Selina and Lois’ friendship is another high note. Dragging out certain scenes for too long takes away some of the shine of King’s skill.

It’s an interesting element too, to include a lot of DC Universe trivia into the fun of the issue. Writers like King and Morrison show it CAN work to lean into the sillier aspect of comics if handled the right way.

Multiple artists should hurt the book too and the cover is something that you’ll have to excuse this issue of. But ultimately at least in the case of the artists, their talent is showcased and each of Amanda Conner, Dan Panosian, John Timms, and Mikel Janin are used extremely well and the book never feels like confused jam. The continuity of the story never once feels interrupted.

Please take a minute while reading this to appreciate the excellent color work of Jordie Bellaire, John Timms, and Paul Mounts. They’re given so much to do here and it’s clear they reveled in the alien accouterments of the fortress and the ancestry of Wayne Manor. They are instrumental in balancing the fun and depth in this issue.

When it comes down to it this won’t fall into the category of King’s best issue, but it does include some excellent character moments and imagery that really make up for any of the issue’s flaws. It was nice to revisit some of the better attributes of the pre-estranged BatCat relationship, but Knightmares really needs a strong payoff for readers to look back on this as more than a transitional arc.

Batman #68
Is it good?
Tom King's Batman run has a massive fan following and it’s clear that he’s a writer with a larger plan rife with interconnecting threads. Like his whole body of work, his best in this issue is brilliant and his worst is on par with Heroes in Crisis.
Some great character moments
Lois and Selina's friendship
Great art by ALL the artists involved
That final page
Some poor character moments
Some of the comedy falls flat
King's writing is paced for trades
7.5
Good
Comments

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