The ambiguity of “Knightmares” has contributed to the overarching mystery of the arc in addition to serving as a point of frustration amongst many readers. The arc has been dragging on for quite some time now, with minimal developments in regard to its overarching purpose. However, BATMAN #69 begins to address the various gaps “Knightmares” has left in its wake. Despite this though, BATMAN #69 struggles to make up for the monotony of the arc in a cohesive manner. Ultimately, the issue hastens to tie up the loose ends.

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BATMAN #69 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

A Reunion to Die For

BATMAN #69 commences with Bruce and Selina engaging in a dance. Bruce proceeds to tell Selina about his recent nightmares and the conclusions he has come to. Having experienced the effects of various Scarecrow toxins, Bruce has surmised that Bane and Flashpoint Batman worked together to capture and inject him with the toxins.

Why?

Well, the two men may share differing reasons for their motivations, but, ultimately, the two wish for Bruce to stop being Batman. Now, since Bruce has had experience with these toxins, he has an idea of how to overcome them. Bruce deduces that he must acknowledge his greatest fear so that his body can physically react and excrete the toxins. Thus, in this dream, he asks Selina why she left him. She simply states that he doesn’t truly love her as he is incapable of doing so. Rather, he only loves The Bat.

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BATMAN #69 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Verdict For BATMAN #69

Sure, “Knightmares” has been an incredibly mixed bag of installments. Overall, the arc has left many readers scratching their heads, pondering a variety of questions. How exactly will this storyline impact upcoming issues in the series? How will this storyline impact Batman himself? Most importantly though, will Batman be able to move on from the events of BATMAN #50? The series has struggled to move on from that issue. So, it will be interesting to see if “Knightmares” will, in fact, be a conversion point from that installment.

Now, in the context of this specific issue, it is certainly gratifying to finally obtain some answers. It is also nice to finally see Flashpoint Batman and Bane return to the series and provide more insight into their respective roles in taking down Batman. However, the setting and pace of “Knightmares” has gotten taxing. Consequently, the reveal of this issue presents do not feel as rewarding as they could. Also, there is still little productive character development taking place in this issue. The sequences between Flashpoint Batman and Bane come across as superficial. Thus, I hope the upcoming installments dig into their partnership a bit more.

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BATMAN #69 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Losing My Mind in BATMAN #69

One aspect I have enjoyed about “Knightmares” has been the manner in which the arc’s various artists have played with the surrealist nature of the story. This issue truly showcases that aspect. Artist Yanick Paquette does a beautiful job in layering Batman’s interactions with Catwoman. This method of overlaying various depictions of Batman and Catwoman throughout their comic book history definitely contributes to the dream setting of this arc in addition to the gravity of their relationship.

With this, colorist Nathan Fairbairn exhibits a beautiful array of colors. The juxtaposition he instills between warm and cool tones is simply gorgeous. I particularly enjoy his coloring in space-like backgrounds as it deepens the cope of the issue. Now, the true artistic stand-out of BATMAN #69’s lies in the letterer Clayton Cowles. The presence of song lyrics throughout the issue is subtle, yet their presence is always felt thanks to Cowles’ brilliant execution. As a result, the collaborative effort of the artists working on BATMAN #69 proved to be the issue’s overarching highlights.

What Lies Beyond

“Knightmares” is nearing its end. The journey to its end has undoubtedly felt like a long one. Though I may be skeptical, I fervently hope this arc catalyzes significant aftershocks throughout the upcoming installments of the series. However, I do hope that moving forward, the series will move forward from the breakup between The Bat and The Cat.

BATMAN #69 by Tom King, Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn, & Clayton Cowles
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
BATMAN #69 maintains some gorgeous artwork and some new revelations in regards to Flashpoint Batman's presence. However, the issue still falls short as it continues to drag on the "Knightmares" arc.
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