Batman #70 – Tom King, Writer; Mikel Janin, Jorge Fornes, Artists; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: After six issues and a two-issue break for an event tie-in, Knightmares is over. Batman is out of the dream, and he is PISSED. Everyone was looking forward to seeing Batman vs. Batman in this story, but “The Fall and the Fallen” kicks off with a story that still leaves a lot of unanswered questions in exchange for a lot of spectacular action. The slick Mikel Janin and the gritty Jorge Fornes share art duties this issue, an awkward mix that shouldn’t work but does thanks to the episodic nature of the issue.
Batman wakes up in Arkham, and he’s going to work his way through the inmates until he gets to Bane. This reminds me a lot of the Gerads Batman/Catwoman spotlight issue that showed the two of them teaming up to take on dozens of Batman’s villains – but the mood here is distinctly less positive. Batman is a little crazed, having just woke up from multiple counts of his worst nightmares, and he’s ready to take it out on the people who have been tormenting him for years.
This issue gives King the opportunity to have some fun, boiling down Batman’s relationship with each of his villains down to a page or two. Riddler is waiting for him first and has a riddle – that Batman easily solves while dealing out a brief beating. Calendar Man has some bizarre musing about the passage of time. Mr. Freeze is ready to fire, but Batman appeals to his scientific mind and convinces him that it’ll just be easier to take one punch. Scarecrow fights back, but besides Bane, he’s the one who Batman’s gunning for the hardest. Even superstrong goons Amygdala and Solomon Grundy don’t have a chance, although I wonder why an immortal zombie is in Arkham.
Two-Face’s segment is probably my favorite, as Batman tries to get Harvey to send a message to Bane while being rudely interrupted by Two-Face. The final showdown with Bane is still coming, but this issue’s portrayal of Batman at his lowest and lashing out with rage makes for a compelling, action-packed read.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.