Live The Dark Knight’s Nightmares In Batman #62

by Tony Thornley

A man wakes up in a locked room, with no memory of how he got there. It’s a classic mystery story set up, and that’s made it an effective storytelling trope. It’s used to great effect here in Batman #62.

This issue reunites the Mister Miracle creative team of Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Clayton Cowles. It also gives clues as to the cliffhanger a couple issues back.

[**Minor spoilers ahead!]

Batman finds himself in a locked room, bound and with no memory of how he got there. As he confronts his captor, Professor Pyg, he realizes not all is what it seems. Memories seep into the confrontation, and Batman finds himself questioning the entirety of his reality.

I know one of the biggest criticisms of King’s Batman has been in Bruce Wayne’s dialogue and internal monologue (one I don’t share but can understand). Here though, the quirks of dialogue are used to great effect. Until the last three pages, the entirety of the lettering is in internal narration, and it shows a Batman who’s off his game, disoriented and trying desperately not to lose his life. It works extremely well here, especially thanks to Cowles’ work putting it on the page without obscuring the art.

Gerad’s work here is the opposite of the script, which makes it land even better. The issue is basically an issue-long brawl, with both characters gaining and losing the upper hand. It’s full of excellent fight choreography, but also uses the comics format to play with sight lines and layouts in a way that draws the eye and gives the fight a unique impact. Add Gerad’s color work, full of squirm inducing yellows and reds, and it really works.

It may not be the strongest of their collaborations, but King and Gerads really turn in excellent work here, and I can’t wait for their next collaboration.

Batman #62 is available now from DC Comics.

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