Writer Tom King’s latest arc in this BATMAN run has been quite distinct from his previous storylines. In this particular arc, the Dark Knight has gone missing, caught in limbo in the depths of his own subconscious. He has been lost in his dreams for some time, far from any hope of escape. In BATMAN #66, Batman’s journey through his own dreamscape continues. In this installment, though, Catwoman takes center stage.

King’s “Knightmares” arc has been divisive amongst critics and fans. Though BATMAN #66 brings a fresh nuance to the storyline through Selina Kyle’s perspective, the issue still shares the struggles of the arc’s previous issues as no new, distinctive revelations come to light.

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BATMAN #66 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Burning Question of BATMAN #66

The issue opens with an unexpected interrogation. The Question himself has put Selina Kyle in the hot seat, and he is seeking answers. He asks Selina about her history with Batman, which she recounts. She goes all the way back to the two’s first encounter, as depicted in BATMAN: YEAR ONE.

According to Selina, there was an instant attraction. However, it did take some time before the two truly began their romantic rapport.

Eventually, the Question inquires about the note Selina left Batman the morning their wedding was supposed to take place. She states that though her decision continues to sadden her, she believes her actions are justified. Ultimately, she affirms that Batman is incapable of being both happy and Batman. Consequently, on the day of the wedding, she felt as though it would be selfish to deprive the world of the hero it needed. So, she ended their relationship.

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BATMAN #66 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

That Fateful Note

Upon the conclusion of BATMAN #66, we come to discover that this interrogation is yet another nightmare. Within his own subconscious, Batman has instituted the Question to discover the reason for these nightmares as he simply does not understand why he has become so weak.

So, overall, BATMAN #66 does not bring any new developments to the plot of “Knightmares.” Because of that, this particular arc continues to feel static and yet another rehash of the events of BATMAN #50. With that being said, the introduction of Catwoman’s perspective is a refreshing one. Aside from her current solo series, we have not experienced her side of the aftermath of BATMAN #50. Now, we have obtained more visibility into that.

The structure of this issue, featuring an interrogation led by the Question, is eye-catching and actually immersive.

Therefore, if this issue stood alone, it would be quite satisfying. However, within the context of “Knightmares” one has to acknowledge the fact that the mystery of the arc is still looming over our heads without any significant progress.

Thus, this arc needs more plot and character development in order to feel worthwhile.

So, I hope upcoming issues will give us that much-needed substance.

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BATMAN #66 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN #66

The artwork of BATMAN #66 is incredibly fitting to the dreamscape setting. Jorge Fornes’ pencilling is absolutely gorgeous through each and every bold line. With this, the issue’s imagery is quite minimalist in design. Juxtaposed by Dave Stewart’s colors, there is a gorgeous balance between neutral tones and bold pops of color, beautifully exemplified in the sequence depicting Batman and Catwoman’s fight against Two-Face.

Additionally, the minimalist vibe of this issue emphasizes the overarching ambiguity of the arc. It also distinguishes this issue from previous ones as we descend deeper into this mystery.

We don’t know who or what has trapped Batman within his nightmares. As a result, we are joining Batman on his journey for answers, even if it has proven to be fruitless over and over again. The deeper he descends, the more he loses touch with his reality.

That transition is apparent within the art as it loses color and definition.

Thus, the artwork of BATMAN #66 is undoubtedly one of the issue’s best aspects. It perfectly captures the tone, setting, and dynamics of the installment. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how the artwork of future issues in “Knightmares” depict Batman’s continuous descent into the unknown.

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BATMAN #66 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

 What Lies Beyond

BATMAN #66 may not be a particularly strong issue. However, it is a captivating one. The surreal setting is undoubtedly intriguing, especially when it features the fascinating dynamic between the Question and Catwoman. For these reasons though, it is frustrating that no significant developments come from an issue as stylish as this.

The “Knightmares” arc is nearing its end. So, it is most vital that some sort of progression takes place in the next installment in order for the arc to truly make an impact.

BATMAN #66 by Tom King, Jorge Fones, Dave Stewart, & Clayton Cowles
BATMAN #66 resets the focus of the "Knightmares" arc, though it still falls short in establishing any new, significant developments.
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