REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #68 – Knightmares, Part 6 “Solitude”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #68 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, with art by Amanda Conner, as well as Dan Panosian, John Timms, and Mikel Janín, with colors by Pual Mounts, John Timms, and Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Clayton Cowles. The story continues the ongoing Knightmares arc of King’s Batman run where despite having Bane as the main villain we still haven’t seen him for nearly ten issues now. This issue was bizarre and continues yet another dream sequence. However, it does lead us closer to finding an answer with its final page.

Batman #68 takes readers through another one of Batman’s hallucinations. This issue is similar to the previous issue, where we saw Batman chasing a Joker through the streets of Gotham, and prior to that where we saw Constantine attempting to break Batman out of the hallucination of his life with Selina in Batman #63.

Here, the Dark Knight is once again dreaming of Selina. But this time, it’s her “Catchelorette Party,” as Selina and Lois enjoy a girl’s night out prior to the ill-fated wedding at the Fortress of Solitude. There, the two are drinking wine from other planets and exploring all that Superman’s secret hideout has to offer. Initially, Conner’s art was jarring, considering what I am used to with this book. However, considering the greater context of the issue, it makes sense.

The whimsy of the art masks a lot of the bizarreness that is in the dialogue. This is a dream sequence and it is clear that as much as Bruce is fighting, he isn’t particularly effective. Bruce spends his evening with Clark and as major disasters occur he brushes them off either admitting Dick or Kara will take care of them. This is something that is very uncharacteristic of the Dark Knight.

This issue dives a lot into the note Selina left Bruce when she didn’t show up to the wedding. In it, she addressed her concerns that if she loved him, he would give up being Batman, and Batman was more important. There is an on-going theme in DC Comics where a lot of their character that they are not allowed to be happy. This is particularly the case with Bruce Wayne.

In Batman #50, Selina specifically mentions in her list of reasons for leaving Bruce, that a happy Bruce Wayne cannot coexist with the emotionally driven Batman and the world needs Batman. This idea is brought up again here, with Bruce and Clark, albeit briefly. However, the hint of it being addressed again is important and means the story is finally moving.

The major issue I have had with this “Knightmare” arc is the pacing. I particularly did not like the last issue because I felt that it did not move the story forward at all. While I still worry the pacing is still moving far too slow, it does finally seem to be leaving bigger bread crumbs for readers to follow as opposed to meager scraps.

Overall, I am still not convinced on this arc and despite the amazing issue with Constantine, nothing has lived up to that since. That being said, I will continue to stick with the series because I like a lot of King’s work including, most of his issues on Batman. My hope is that the “Knightmare” arc finds a satisfying conclusion soon.

Batman #68 is available in comic book stores everywhere now

Batman #68
3.5

TL;DR

Overall, I am still not convinced on this arc and despite the amazing issue with Constantine, nothing has lived up to that since. That being said, I will continue to stick with the series because I like a lot of King’s work including, most of his issues on Batman. My hope is that the “Knightmare” arc finds a satisfying conclusion soon.