Once you’ve composed yourself after being completely enraged by the title of this comic (Batman is never lost, how dare they!) you’ll be reading a story of Batman’s subconscious. More or less. All kidding aside, this one-shot aims to show us what Batman is going through while the nightmares attack and take out the Justice League. Hurry up Batman, they need you!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Trapped in the Dark Multiverse, Batman must face his greatest fears!
Why does this matter?
This is written by DC Comics’ best writers, with Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson at the helm. Then you have artists Doug Mahnke, Yanick Paquette and Jorge Jimenez on art. If that doesn’t convince you, know that this issue delves into the psychosis of Batman and reveals compelling moments as he attempts to break free.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Never trust little girls in your dreams.
There’s a sense of hopelessness at work here that’s unnerving, especially when you see it happening to Batman. He’s a character who always has the answers, but he really is stuck as he clamors to escape a trap built for him. While the Justice League characters are dealing with their own nightmares, the creators of this issue seem to be suggesting Batman’s greatest nightmare is hopelessness. It’s conveyed in a strong way in this issue, though it can read in a chaotic way.
The art in this comic is very good throughout, though Paquette’s might be my favorite of the bunch. His ability to draw clothes and give them depth is unparalleled. His design of the Batman costume is quite cool too and he’s always good for a well-positioned panel to unnerve and draw your eye. This issue ends with two impressive double page layouts featuring Barbatos which convey his far reaching power, but also the fear he’s capable of instilling in Batman. You may not see the true nightmare Batman is going through on every page, but these capitalize on that and are truly frightening.
Dig that costume.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This comic is very good at conveying what Batman is going through right now, but doesn’t do a lot as far as where we go from here. It appears nothing has changed by the last page, which is somewhat frustrating and makes this read more of a check in than a story progressing chapter. There are slivers of information, however, which may prove important later, but the issue itself does feel like a false start.
Is It Good?
Get inside Batman’s head in this psychological nightmare that’s beautifully drawn and wickedly unnerving. Batman is in a sort of hell and this issue does well to check us in and see the scope and effort required to keep his mind at bay.