It’s a question that Batman has been grappling with since Batman #50, and Batman #66 finally asks Selina Kyle. But does he get an answer?
Tom King, Jorge Fornes, Dave Stewart, and Clayton Cowles confront the latest of the “Knightmares” featuring two special guest stars.
[*Mild spoilers ahead!]
The Question sits down across a table from Selina Kyle. The two talk of her history with the Bat, her relationship with him, and her feelings for him. And finally, the detective asks Selina the question Batman has wanted to know for over a year–why?
King really plays to the emotional strength of the bond between Batman and Catwoman in this story. The Question is explicitly a stand-in for Bruce Wayne, but King still writes him in character, a detached observer in Batman’s mind. It really shows Bruce’s pain, and allows him to grapple with it in an interesting way.
He also shows how important Selina and Bruce’s relationship is to him. Selina is also a manifestation of Bruce’s dreaming mind, and she remains calm, cool and distant the entire time. Even with that though, their love still comes through, even as Bruce is trying to rationalizing her leaving.
Fornes and Stewart’s work is just fantastic. I had hardly heard of Fornes before his work on Batman Secret Files last year, but since then he’s proved himself as an incredibly capable storyteller. He’s able to portray the emotions of the characters with just a tweak of their body language or facial expression, and turns quiet moments into tense exchanges. Stewart keeps the colors subdued to let the line art sing, but adds splash of bright colors for emphasis.
I was a bit skeptical of the premise of Knightmares when the arc began, but each issue has been better than the previous. This may be the best arc of King’s run so far.
Batman #66 is available now from DC Comics.