Batman #67 – Tom King, Writer; Lee Weeks, Jorge Fornes, Artist; Lovern Kindzierski, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: One of the most bizarre highlights of Tom King’s run on Batman was the Batman/Elmer Fudd Special, part of the DC/Looney Tunes crossover event. What could have easily been a one-joke concept turned out to be a fascinating noir dramedy that reinvented classic cartoon characters as detective archetypes. Now, as part of the strange “Knightmares” arc, King revisits that bizarre universe as Batman goes up against the one character no one could ever catch – the Road Runner. The issue opens with Batman and a mysteriously masked criminal who only speaks in “Beep Beep”s standing over a body (look at the shape of the body’s mask for an easter egg). The mostly silent story kicks off with an elaborate chase through Gotham’s roofs, alleys, and hallways. There’s very little context to this issue – we don’t know who the Road Runner is or why he killed someone, but he’s quickly proving to be one of Batman’s trickiest fans.
With so little dialogue until the last pages and little context to the plot, the artists have to carry most of the weight this issue. Fortunately, Lee Weeks and Jorge Fornes are more than up for the task. The perspective as Batman and the Road Runner soar through the city is wildly impressive. One stunning scene as they freefall through an apartment stairwell is the highlight in particular. It all leads to an arrival at Porky Pig’s famous bar, where Batman is pointed to the Road Runner’s latest whereabouts and the villain is finally unmasked. What Batman finds is once again a puzzle, reminding us that this isn’t a true sequel but a homage to one of Batman’s many bizarre adventures as filtered through his subconscious. I don’t think it’s quite on the level of the brilliant originals, but it’s more than worth a read for the stunning art and another piece of this increasingly complex puzzle as Batman’s journey through the dreamscape approaches its end.
Corrina: This is what they call a silent issue, for the most part, which means the art carries the story in a way that’s more noticeable than in issues with dialogue or narration. (Because, really, it’s comics and art carries the story all the time.) But the sparseness of the dialogue calls attention to yet another issue of this Batman run with brilliant art, as Weeks, Fornes, and colorist Kindzierski create a Gotham landscape for readers, one with sepia tones that tracks the desperate chase.
If you don’t get the Looney Tunes references, that’s okay. It still reads as an amazing one-off Gotham story. It’s not, exactly, I guess we’re in Batman’s nightmares as part of the assault on his senses. But the art makes this worth buying, even if you’re not reading the whole series.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.