REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #63

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman #63

Batman has been going through a rough patch as of late. Selina left him at the altar, Nightwing was shot in the head, and now Bane rises back to power in the bowels of Arkham Asylum. In the previous issues, featuring Mitch Gerads’ art, Batman faced down Professor Pyg in a bizarre dream sequence, only for Pyg to be unmasked as Bruce’s youngest son, Damian Wayne. Gerads’ art in the previous issue was a good indicator that not all is as it would seem considering King and Gerads’ work on Mister Miracle, a book notorious for relying heavily on visual cues to show Scott Free’s broken psyche. Batman #63 continues that theme.

The issue stars John Constantine, the Hellblazer, as he follows Bruce through his dream and attempts to knock some sense into the Dark Knight before he and all of Gotham fall under this strange darkness. The issue is published by DC Comics and written by Tom King with art by Mikel Janin, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Clayton Cowles.

I have no idea what exactly happened in this issue. Traditionally, I take notes while writing these reviews and my notes consist of a series of vague questions followed by numerous question marks. However, this issue was very good. Similar to stories like Mister Miracle and even the movie Inception, this is a story that holds a lot of hidden clues that could easily be passed upon first viewing. More importantly, this issue tackles a common Batman theme of Bruce’s delusion and inability to properly grieve. In this comic, Bruce refuses to acknowledge he is in a dream until things begin going terribly wrong because, for a while, the dream ignored a lot of the trauma Bruce has recently faced, particularly with Selina. I have greatly missed Catwoman gracing the pages of King’s run so I was happy to see her again.

Despite loving the last issue, it was nice to see Janin’s art again. Janin draws a spectacular Catwoman who is always feminine and sexy but never sexualized to an unreasonable extreme. Additionally, Janin’s Bruce Wayne has a strong jawline and exudes the confidence and swagger Bruce should. Similarly, Bellaire excels at creating depth with color in what would otherwise be a comic with a very monotone color palette. Despite being black, both Batman and Catwoman’s costume are shaded with hues of dark blue and navy making the panels much more interesting while adding more dimension to Janin’s art.

In regards to the lettering, King can be a heavy-handed writer and the first few pages of this comic are a long monologue. Cowles with the help of Janin’s art is able to craft a page that doesn’t feel overpopulated or cluttered by dialogue boxes. With writers that tend to be wordy, I am always impressed at the creativity of letters to keep a page concise and clean, unless artistic vision requires otherwise.

Overall, Batman #63 dives deeper into Bruce’s psyche and further escalates the elusive conflict being set-up between him and Bane. If you enjoyed Mister Miracle or movies with mind-bending logic like Inception consider picking up the Knightmare arc of Batman, starting at Batman #61, that will conclude with Batman #69.

Batman #63 is available now in comic book stores everywhere.

Batman #63
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Batman #63 dives deeper into Bruce’s psyche and further escalates the elusive conflict being set-up between him and Bane. If you enjoyed Mister Miracle or movies with mind-bending logic like Inception consider picking up the Knightmare arc of Batman, starting at Batman #61, that will conclude with Batman #69.