What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? The events of BATMAN #60 give us the answer to that question. As of now, Batman is on a crusade to uncover the truth behind Bane’s reign over Gotham City. Seeing red and in the midst of a rampage, The Dark Knight has embarked on a relentless mission of interrogating criminals who may know of Bane’s motives. Meanwhile, Bane remains static.

He has put up the facade that he is in a catatonic state as a result of Batman’s violence, allowing himself to set things in motion covertly. No one sees Bane coming. No one believes he is capable of anything Batman claims him to be responsible for. All that anyone believes is that Batman has become a perilous, psychotic threat. Thus, Batman’s role as an unstoppable force seems to be meeting its demise.

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BATMAN #60 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Bat is Dead

The beginning of BATMAN #60 depicts Commissioner James Gordon’s morning routine. Everything seems ordinary to him until he assesses his investigation into Batman. Of course, this investigation is unorthodox for Gordon simply because he has always perceived Batman as an ally. Not anymore though. To Gordon, Batman has become the very enemy they used to bring to justice together.

Gordon tries to pick apart who he believes Batman has become. He learns of Batman’s confrontation with The Beast, a confrontation that resulted in The Beast obtaining a broken neck. Meanwhile, Batman embarks on his rampage throughout Gotham City, desperately searching for answers regarding Bane. His interrogations of a variety of criminals continuously result in the criminals getting seriously beaten, catching Gordon’s attention and disdain.

Ultimately, things reach a head when Gordon destroys the Bat-signal just as a familiar face enters the fray of it all. The Batman of the Flashpoint timeline, also known as Thomas Wayne, appears in the Batcave upon the end of the issue. His motives remain unknown.

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BATMAN #60 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Daddy’s Home

BATMAN #60 is a sensational issue. First, the juxtaposition between Commissioner Gordon and Batman’s narratives are tragic yet transfixing. It is tragic to see two former allies pitted against each other. Additionally, it is even more tragic to witness Gordon losing faith in Batman just as Batman loses faith in himself.

The conclusion of this issue also addresses an aspect of the story that many readers were questioning: Flashpoint Batman’s role. We saw him by Bane’s side upon the end of BATMAN #50, suggesting that he was working alongside the villain. Now, the story of Flashpoint Batman, in regards to his arc, has begun and I cannot wait to see how that unfolds.

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BATMAN #60 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN #60

At times, the juxtaposition between two starkly different forms of art can be jarring. However, in BATMAN #60, the pairing of Mikel Janín’s imagery with that of Jorge Fornes is absolutely seamless. Accompanied by Jordie Bellaire’s crimson hues, Fornes brings Batman’s rage to the surface. Together, Bellaire and Fornes isolate Batman’s state of mind, truly exemplifying his state of “seeing red.” We witness Batman’s sole focus on the criminals he is interrogating, resulting in an inability to see the world around him anymore.

Per usual, Janín shines at his work. My personal favorite sequence lies at the moment Commissioner Gordon destroys the Bat signal. We witness an exemplification of his own rage, directed towards Batman of course. Though it may be too simplistic to assess his emotions as solely rage. Bellaire’s orange hues suggest that his rage is also clouded by pain. He has lost faith in an ally and friend he trusted.

Thus, his emotions are wholly chaotic, depicted in the chaos resulting from the baseball bat crashing into the signal. Additionally, this moment reminded me of the iconic ending of the 2008 film, THE DARK KNIGHT. Since that is my all-time favorite movie, this sequence definitely resonated with me.

What Lies Beyond

It has been hard to witness the fall of Batman. As readers and because of the authority we have been given as readers, we are aware of the ins and outs of this story. Unfortunately, our protagonist does not. Because of that, we may find ourselves doubting what we know too. Is Bane truly in charge? Is he that good of an actor, or is it all a facade? It will be interesting to see how the series unfolds in this arc.

Ultimately, though, it will be interesting to see if The Dark Knight makes it out of this story in one piece.

BATMAN #60 by Tom King, Mikel Janín, Jorge Fornes, Jordie Bellaire, & Clayton Cowles
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Summary
BATMAN #60 succeeds in furthering the development of Bane's covert reign of terror over Gotham City as the issue features epic new revelations in the overarching story.
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