REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #72 – “The Fall and the Fallen” Part 3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #72 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, with art by Mikel Janin and Jorge Fornes, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Previously, Batman faced off with Bane, only to realize, after speaking to Batgirl and other members of the bat-family, that his memories are not what they seem. This issue attempts to connect more of the dots spread throughout Batman’s muddled memories and Bane’s overarching plan.

Batman #72 is filled to the brim with a long vague internal monologue that retells the entirety of King’s run by connecting previous events like red string on a conspiracy board. To be frank, the monologue is dull and there is so much of it littered on the page that it is extremely difficult to stay engaged with the book.

I’ve taken issue with previous issues of this series for attempting to build tension within its story arc only for the cliffhanger to consistently be a letdown. Sadly, the story never seems to move forward and readers have been watching Bruce fight Bane, mentally and physically, for nearly 15 issues now. While I am all for connected storylines, every dot that was connected here implied Bane has been playing a long game, but ultimately felt shoehorned, as if King had written himself into a corner and was scrambling to get out.

Additionally, the introduction of Thomas Wayne, Flashpoint Batman, has been teased for nearly three issues now but this is the first time we get to see him suited up and it is only for one panel – not a page, a single panel.

I am immensely conflicted about this Batman run. So much of King’s run is spectacular and showcases the style, humor, and wittiness of his writing. But this arc has failed to do any of that. It is instead a convoluted mess that is becoming more and more difficult to follow with each issue. Unfortunately, this arc has soured the entire taste of the 72-issue run in my mouth. It is hard to love any of King’s previous work on Batman when this arc and this issue takes real effort to wade through.

While I do not agree with the decision to take King off his initial 100 issue run and instead stop it at 85, I understand it. Initially, when King pitched his Batman book he called it a love story between Bruce and Selina. This book stopped being a love story four issues ago, instead, it is a strange standoff that will apparently never materialize between Bane and Batman.

I will say, Janin and Fornes’ art is fantastic. The two styles switch back and forth and are a visual aid to readers to understand where in the timeline of the entirety of this run the scene takes place. Fornes’ style is reminiscent of the original concept for the Dark Knight. It pays homage to older designs of the character while still be sleek and dynamic enough to not turn off modern audiences.

Additionally, Janin’s style is breathtaking with characters’ emotions at times telling more about a scene than any of the words on the page. Bellaire’s color complements both art styles and the consistent color palette throughout the book links everything together. I will say, the pages did feel incredibly cluttered with lettering but I can’t fault Cowles as the script had as many words as two comic books put together.

Overall, Batman #72 is another disappointing issue at the tail end of this run that just leaves the reader feeling exhausted as the story continues on with no satisfying conclusion in sight.

Batman #72 is available now in comic book stores everywhere.

Batman #72
2.5

TL;DR

Overall, Batman #72 is another disappointing issue at the tail end of this run that just leaves the reader feeling exhausted as the story continues on with no satisfying conclusion in sight.