BATMAN #66 / Writer: Tom King / Artist: Jorge Fornes / Letterer: Clayton Cowles / Colorist: Dave Stewart / Publisher: DC Comics / Published: March 6, 2019
After a four-part crossover with The Flash written with Joshua Williamson, Tom King (Mister Miracle) returns to the helm of Batman to continue his Nightmares storyline that started in issue 62. King is assisted by the talented Jorge Fornes (Amazing X-Men), whose art seems the perfect fit for a Batman comic. The story is the classic superhero setup of the mind being trapped in a machine that messes with the hero’s perception of reality, but in this case, we don’t know what put Batman here. We can’t trust any of the characters because they are just aspects of the machine and Batman’s subconscious.
Batman literally forms his fellow detective-inclined vigilante The Question, a.k.a. Vic Sage, to find a way out of this mental maelstrom through Catwoman. This scenario raises about the question readers have had on their minds since the results of the Batman wedding issue from July 2018. Why did Catwoman leave? Or more aptly, why would Catwoman think leaving Batman would make him stronger when it obviously weakened him? The answers might surprise you, but the real focus of this issue is The Question.
The Batman Aesthetic
Jorge Fornes’s Batman art keeps the expected gritty style and is brought to life by Dave Stewart’s color. Their strengths as a team are most noticeable during Question’s Batman monologue and when we see Batman across from some of his most iconic rogues like Mr. Freeze and Riddler. Their visual approach melds seamlessly with King’s script. In fact, out of the writer’s monologue ridden scenes, this one might be my absolute favorite. This issue features what is essentially a long way of giving the “I’m Batman” response that we see so often on social media, but with complete sincerity and no edge put into the stunning question asked to Catwoman at the end of the issue.
After this will hopefully come the answer to the questions readers have had during this arc. Who put Batman in this machine? Why? What is Catwoman’s response? Is any of this true or just Batman rationalizing the situation? I don’t know about you guys, but I’m curious to find out.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5