It’s fascinating how a silent issue can bring out the best in an ongoing story. It’s a tool that’s lead to wonderful gags, stunning revelations, and series redefining panels. In Batman #67 it does something very different.
Tom King, Lee Weeks, Jorge Fornes, Lovern Kindzierski, and Clayton Cowles share the next chapter in Batman’s nightmares.
The Dark Knight pursues a masked murderer through Gotham. The chase becomes increasingly violent, with both Batman and the masked killer taking multiple hard hits, and causing property damage. This all leads up to the shocking reveal of the killer’s identity… and his motive.
The silent nature of the issue gives the opportunity to strip Batman down to his simplest form. King’s script puts his lead’s determination on the page in the purest form of show don’t tell. Adding it to the theme of the arc, this is a case where the nightmare is a nightmare because it could, and probably has happened, especially due to the last page twist.
There’s no way to discuss this issue fully without the final page twist of the Joker under the mask. The reveal of Batman’s worst enemy under the mask- as well as his motive- reframes the entire story. The Joker could strike at any time, without reason, without logic, just for a dumb yet horrifying joke. It’s Batman’s worst nightmare, and it’s oh so real for the character.
Weeks and Fornes both handle the action so well. The chase has a great sense of motion, with flowing lines leading the reader across the page, as well as impact. Each hit feels real, with both characters carrying the cumulative effects through the issue, something very few superhero artists show in their work.
Sometimes our worst nightmares are the terrible real things that happen to us. Even if you’re Batman.
Batman #67 is available now from DC Comics.