[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers!]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Travis Moore
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Clayton Cowles
A moment back in time is made, as we’re taken back to the night of the Wayne’s murder! As we go back to that tragic night, a subtle difference is made–Batman is here! Can Batman track down the murderer of Bruce Wayne’s parents? And just where exactly is Bruce?
Tom King throws your mind in for a loop immediately when you open the pages of Batman #61. From the very beginning of the book, we’re taken back to the tragic night when the Wayne’s are murdered. From here we see Bruce Wayne in the interview room being questioned until Gordon shows up to in an attempt to comfort the boy. Everything at this point seems like everything you would expect from the Batman history, except the fact that Gordon meets Batman on the rooftops of the police station to tell him about the death of the Wayne’s! I must admit I was thrown off by Batman’s appearance, and it left my mind wondering where exactly King was going with this story. Later we find Batman actually meeting a young Bruce Wayne at Wayne Manor! As Alfred is preparing Bruce’s meal, we find Bruce attempting to describe the gunman to Batman. As Batman encourages Bruce to think as hard as he can–he finally gives Batman a description. At this point justice is served as Batman brings the murderer of Thomas and Martha Wayne to jail.
I have no complaints about this issue. It gives off a “twilight zone” type of feel as you read the book and I enjoyed it. Things get more complex however in our story when it’s revealed that its the troubled child Matthew who is reliving these events in his mind, thinking that he’s Bruce Wayne the entire time! For those that might not remember, Matthew was a very troubled child from issues ago. This kid murdered his parents, apparently in an attempt to have a life such as Bruce Wayne! Now in prison, the man he murdered is revealed to be his very own cellmate! I must admit, I totally forgot about Matthew until this issue–and I’m glad he’s back! Apparently he’s being transferred to Arkham Asylum–but Matthew doesn’t mind, as he’s seen smiling at the end of the issue as he overhears the news.
Overall Batman #61 is a good read! It gives you more insight into the night Bruce’s parents were murdered but it also shows us what could’ve happened if a young Bruce Wayne would’ve went another route in his life. Matthew in my opinion represents what Bruce Wayne could’ve became if he would’ve murdered his parents own killer instead of growing up to pursue justice. However I’d like to know if Matthew’s transfer to Arkham apart of a bigger scheme by Bane perhaps? We know that he runs the Asylum, and he’s been acting against Batman for months in secret there. Is this just another part in the overall plan? Looking forward to the next issue!