Writer: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janin and Jorge Fornes
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: May 1st, 2019

Are you interested in seeing Batman being Batman? Do you want to see why he has the nickname the Dark Knight? Then look no further than this latest issue of Batman! The Knightmares have passed and now comes the Fall.

Batman has finally awakened from his series of Knightmares to find the Riddler before him, with a riddle of course. Only Batman is not in the mood for riddles, fun, or games. He proceeds to take down the majority of his rogues one after the other. Nothing stops him as he sends his message to Bane the only way he knows how: through violence and fear. Speaking of fear, Scarecrow’s toxin doesn’t work on him anymore! Not even the brute strength of Solomon Grundy and Amygdala can prevent him from leaving the Asylum. This epic issue ends with a threat given to Two-Face for Bane: Batman has survived everything thrown at him. He may be tired, but he’s coming back. cue dramatic music

King’s gift at prose and story cannot be understated. To bookend this great story with excerpts from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” by William Blake and Dante’s Inferno…it’s just masterful. The story flows from villain to villain at a natural pace and nothing feels forced. King’s use of dialogue shouldn’t be underestimated either. As I read Batman’s one-sided conversation with Bane, I felt like I was watching an episode of Batman: The Animated Series and heard everything in Kevin Conroy’s voice.

As much as I love getting 22 or so pages of Janin’s work, I am happy that he was paired with Jorge Fornes for this issue. The grit that Fornes uses definitely suits the ending of the book. The raw emotion that both Batman and Two-Face have is portrayed perfectly in Fornes’ pencil strokes. I also get similarities between his work and David Mazzucchelli’s pencils in Year One, which is never a bad thing to be compared to. Janin continues to deliver great art and is the perfect compliment to the story that King is telling. The panel where Batman rips himself from the nightmare machine is fantastic. Definitely one of my favorites these past few issues. I am 100% honest when I say that Mikel Janin has jumped into my Top 10 of Batman artists.

If you haven’t been reading King’s Batman, what are you waiting for? Go out and pick up the trades today! Tom King has woven a great web of emotion, romance, intrigue, and heartbreak that has hooked many readers, including myself. The epic levels of hype are delivered month after month and issue after issue. Tom King…never leave us.

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