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Batman #70 review: The Fall and the Fallen Part 1

The “Fall and the Fallen” arc begins here.

Batman has awoken from his nightmares and the inmates of Arkham lay in wait. Too bad for them he hasn’t woken in the best of moods.

Say what you want about Tom King’s Batman run. There’s a lot to love. There’s a bit to loathe. But the man has been layering and stitching arc after arc together in a way that isn’t reminiscent of any other Bat-writer in recent times. Not with this level of foresight, anyway. This is coming from somebody who never wanted to see Snyder leave the book too, mind you.

There are instances throughout the run that make you question whether King actually gets the character. Batman #70 is not one.

This issue is what people usually mean when they say tour de force. The rogues gallery that is packed into this one-shot greatest hits swathes through Arkham. The decisive and creative ways with which Batman tackles each one is equally impressive.

It’s brilliant stuff.

The dialogue is salty as it comes because of the writing and through a combination of word and art you get a real sense of the fat lips and swollen eyes left in the wake of things.

The level of intensity is so tangible, but so balanced, that you question which side of this battle of wits between Bruce and Bane has more to fear… or more to lose.

Janin and Fornes have a field day with the atmospheric setting and jump at the chance to not only draw a Batman unleashed but feature the holy grail of drawing Batman: his rogues gallery.

As sadistic as it sounds this issue is a load of fun. It’s a thriller. It’s an action movie. It has elements of a lot of watershed moments in Batman’s long lineage of the stand out stories. Everything from Dark Knight to Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum. But none of it is a rip of, a cliché homage. It’s something familiar yet something unique.

As a Batman fan… isn’t that what we always want from our comics?

Batman #70 review: The Fall and the Fallen Part 1
Is it good?
Everything from plotting, pacing, art, and psychology steamrolls through this issue. As the new arc begins, detractors of the previous ‘Knightmares’ arc should get a lot of satisfaction as King switches gears and moves through a different kind of narrative. Some will call this typical Bat-god, some will draw comparisons with the way a man named Frank once wrote the character. Whichever side you fall on this is a brutal, behemoth of an issue.
That Kubert cover.
Action packed and sublimely paced.
The gloriously hard-bitten dialogue.
Jordie Bellaire's colors.
Not much too criticize here... Riddler's redesign still hasn't grown on me.

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