Review: BATMAN #66 Sees Bruce Still Trapped in a Nightmare

FIRST IMPRESSION

BATMAN #66 has some interesting ideas, but doesn't raise any questions we haven't seen discussed before in connection to Batman. It's enjoyable, but isn't really an essential, unless you're picking up every single issue.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
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With the Batman/Flash crossover event The Price concluded, Batman #66 returns to the Knightmares story arc, dragging Bruce back into an endless string of bad dreams.

Selina and The Question sit down to try and re-litigate the wedding’s last-minute cancellation. Along the way, Selina recounts episodes in her courtship with Batman, and delves into the idea of whether or not Batman can ever find peace and happiness.

The Writing

As with other chapters in the current story, Batman #66 takes place in Bruce’s mind. He’s tortured by a question he can’t—or doesn’t want to—answer: why did Selina break it off?

The issue is an enjoyable retrospective on the gradual development of between Batman and Catwoman’s relationship. Around the halfway point, it pivots to commenting on Batman’s character; specifically, what about him makes it hard to maintain a connection like he had with Selina. By the book’s end, though, something The Question asks makes it seem like she may have second thoughts.

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Batman #66 is a good chapter on its own. However, we’re not any closer to uncovering the plot of the story arc, and readers can’t really blamed for feeling that the story’s dragging a little. If you missed it, you would be unlikely to miss much of the broader narrative.

The Artwork

Artist Jorge Fornés contributes art for this issue, and does a great job capturing the tone of the work. Pages of conversation between Catwoman and The Question are divided primarily into grids, but with variation to the pattern. He matches the beats of the writing, rather than trying to force the writing to conform to the visual motif.

Fornés embraces a sparse, spacey, and minimal look for the conversation, as though it’s happening in a void. He breaks up Batman #66 with action-filled flashbacks, though, keeping it from getting boring. It’s in these moments that his skill really shines through; you can clearly read emotion in characters’ expressions, and get a feel for tone in a panel’s composition. It’s the mark of a skilled artist.

Dave Stwart opts for a high-contrast look in the conversation pages, giving it a sterile, clinical look to match the line work. In flashbacks, though, the colors are perfectly-toned to the emotional pitch of the situation.

Final Thoughts

Batman #66 is a good exploration of Selina’s feelings, and of Bruce’s character. However, it’s not a necessity if you’re just trying to keep up with the narrative.

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David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.