REVIEW – Batman #69 (2019)

Batman #69 - DC Comics

Written by Tom King

Art by Yanick Paquette

Colors by Nathan Fairbairn

Letters by Clayton Cowles

Sometimes even the sweetest of dreams can end up as nightmares.  When you carry the burden of being Batman, you'd think that would happen more often than not.  Last week we talked about Detective Comics, but this week the World's Greatest Detective has found himself inside a case that might be unusually tough to crack...his own mind.  Time to dance through the pages of Batman #69.


If you've been reading this current arc, you know that Batman has been stuck in a number of dreams or nightmares.  I won't spoil the circumstances, but each one comes with it's own significance.  We have seen different characters show up, but Selina seems to be the most frequent visitor.  So far we've seen Batman have to deal with some hard truths about himself, but this might be one of the toughest yet.  Catwoman makes another appearance, but this time it feels much more innocent.  For just a short time, all seems right with the world.  Everything that happened with The Wedding?  Water under the bridge!  Batman may have even found his way out of the vicious cycle that his mind has been going through.  It them becomes obvious that this is not the case, and there is another lesson to be learned here.  I don't want to spoil it, but they definitely danced around it for a while.  While all of this is going on, we see some sparring between Thomas Wayne and Bane.  It's still odd to watch my fingers type out those two names next to each other.  While we're made to believe that this partnership will be mutually beneficial, I just can't bring myself to believe it.  To me it's more a matter of how far they will both go to get what they want, and is that line to cross different for the both of them?  If there is any good news, it's that it seems like the nightmare may finally be over the the Caped Crusader.

Batman is one book that I can't imagine not reading at any point in my life.  He is the one character that I always find myself drawn to.  That is especially true of the work that Tom King has been doing.  It's difficult to have anyone really leave their mark on the cannon of a character like Batman, with such a rich history.  Tom King doesn't just write Batman, he peers into his soul and brings us along for the ride.  We don't just get great Batman stories to enjoy, we also get a deep dive inside the mind of the man that we have seldom seen over the last 80 years.  Sure there is some shock value, especially when pairing Bane with Thomas Wayne, but Tom always finds a way to bring it all together and have it make sense within the story.  I also love that we have had rotating artists as the nightmares progressed.  Having Yanick Paquette on board this week for such a visually important issue was a spot on choice.  Bringing this dance to life, there were so many beautiful panels and even stunning full page spreads.  The Catwoman art in this Batman book really is quite incredible.  I know that Tom has taken a lot of heat for some of the things that he has done and stories that he has told since writing this character.  I just hope he knows that there are a much larger faction of fans, myself included, that can't thank him enough for the approach he has taken to each and every issue, nevermind every arc.  I highly recommend this particular issue, especially if you were a fan of everything that happened with The Wedding.  This may be the end of the arc, but the story is clearly far from over.