[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers!]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: Clayton Cowles
As Batman’s mind continues to be tortured, the culprits finally reveal themselves–Bane, and another Batman, Thomas Wayne! As the two men train against in hand to hand combat, Bruce struggles to get free! Can Batman break free of his mental prison and stop his own and father and greatest adversary? Or will Batman be forever trapped in a world of his own insanity?
I was glad to see that Batman is finally breaking free of the hold that these mind altering drugs are having on him. Using Catwoman as a guide throughout in this issue, we find out that Catwoman seems to be the focus point of Batman’s consciousness. As Batman puts the pieces together using Catwoman’s help, in the real world two men are making plans of their own. Bane and Thomas Wayne–who was Batman in Flashpoint, are having a training session amongst themselves. Obviously Bane is the bigger, stronger opponent, however Thomas proves himself to be the superior, constantly taking Bane down again and again. Bane soon builds in frustration and the training spirals out of control, with Thomas Wayne pulling out a gun to subdue Bane finally. Bane remarks that Thomas Wayne isn’t like Bruce–he has no honor. Thomas is quick to reply he doesn’t cheat–he wins.
Tom King gave me nothing to complain about in this issue. This issue is strictly about Batman breaking free from the confines of his own mind so the action was minimal. However the references to the previous books were plenty, and it shows how Batman is slowly breaking free of Bane’s grasp. I wonder plenty of things going forward once Batman gets free and one of the main things is his relationship with Catwoman moving forward. A startling revelation is made in this book regarding the couple, and it seems to be Bruce’s key to being set free, however once he returns to the real world I really think his relationship with Selina will change for the worse. Another unknown element is Bruce’s father–Thomas Wayne. I wonder just what his stake is exactly in all of this? He seems hell-bent on beating Bruce for some reason, and I hope King reveals it to us soon enough.
Overall Batman #69 is a good read and I can’t wait to read the next issue! The most action packed scene is the sparring match between Thomas and Bane, but King makes a great effort not to give us any clues as to the endgame of these two villains. I really hope that Thomas perhaps at the last-minute betrays Bane in an effort to save his own son, but judging by his actions so far I seriously doubt it. We’ll see how the next issue plays out!!