Writer: Tom King
Artist: Travis Moore
Okay, this is it. Batman finally knows about Bane’s control over Arkham Asylum. He is pushed to the edge, injuring villains all over Gotham. Gordon’s had enough. The Bat-Signal is destroyed. And who is waiting for Batman at home but his Flashpoint Father, Thomas Wayne. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of King’s Batman, this is it. All of the pieces are finally starting to come together. So naturally, this issue is the confrontation between Bruce and Thomas right? Wrong.
Before I even dive into this issue, I think it’s important to talk about the placement of this issue. I don’t understand why King decided to put an arc (and also a Batman/Flash crossover) in the middle of this story. The last issue ended on such a high note but this issue really kills all of the previous momentum. It feels like whenever King starts to delve into the main plot, he has to pad it out with a few filler issues. I feel like a lot of King’s stories are just there to pad his run out to 100 issues. This doesn’t feel like a 100-issue story, it feels like a 25-issue story played out over 100 issues.
The story here overall is kind of underwhelming. This issue picks up the plot from Batman #38 of the kid named Matthew who murdered his parents to become more like Bruce Wayne. This delusional child kills several criminals because he thinks they are Joe Chill.
Matthew’s character, unfortunately, doesn’t bring much new to the table. He feels like a Hush-lite character whose motive is less believable. And don’t even get me started on the Thomas and Martha scars Matthew has on his face. This character feels more like an Elseworlds version of Bruce which makes this story even more jarring.
The format of this story is actually somewhat interesting. Because we get the story from Matthew’s perspective, he appears to be Bruce Wayne as a child until the end of the issue. You can definitely tell something is off though as this child version of Bruce exists at the same time the Batman does.
I think this issue is representative of King’s problems on Batman. I feel like King’s Batman more than any other book at DC really feels hindered by the bi-weekly release schedule. This issue is very decompressed with very little dialogue. I think King really likes to let his artists shine and do a lot of the storytelling, but I feel that he goes a little overboard.
Overall, this issue is in a weird place. Instead of picking up where the previous issue left off, Batman #61 seems like filler. It doesn’t help that this new character feels like a rehash of other Gotham villains.
Batman (2016-) #61
Overall, this issue is in a weird place. Instead of picking up where the previous issue left off, Batman #61 seems like filler. It doesn't help that this new character feels like a rehash of other Gotham villains.