Batman often gets criticized for how unbeatable he can be. Sure, for some readers that’s the appeal, but an impossibly competent protagonist can be boring. The series last issue put that aspect of the title character on display. Was it just setting up the dominoes to bring them all tumbling down?
Tom King, Mikel Janin, Jorge Fornes, Jorge Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles push over the metaphorical dominoes for this issue.
Batman summons the entirety of the Bat-family, rallying them to defeat Bane. They storm Arkham, ready for a fight. However, what they actually find will shake the entire Bat-family to its core…
Last issue I suspected that Batman mowed through his Rogues simply to give him a win before things got worse. King actually did go there, but in a very cool and unexpected way. We follow two paths – Batman rallying his allies and the immediate aftermath – which leads to his isolation and the beginning of his fall. It goes right back to the overarching theme of King’s run- an examination of Batman as a human being- and in this case how his overconfidence could cause his downfall.
Janin and Fornes split the issue in a way that puts a lot of emphasis on King’s plot. Janin chronicles the build-up of Batman’s rallying cry, using his clean and dynamic style to build excitement. It makes the impact of the fact that Bane is ten steps ahead of him even more difficult to stomach. Fornes shows the Dark Knight at a low point, distraught at the revelations he had found in Arkham, leading to a confrontation between Bruce, his father and Bane that is just an emotional gut punch.
Things are crumbling for the Dark Knight. It’s time for the darkness to consume him.
Batman #71 is available now from DC Comics.