Can The Bat finally free himself from The Scarecrow's Fear Toxin? And why is his Alternate-Reality Dad teaming up with Bane? More importantly: why is Bane insisting on being naked while fighting that old guy?
This issue was interesting on a number of levels. The layout of the dreamscape pages, Bruce and Selina, The Bat and The Cat, waltzing their way through their shared, multiversal history, while dancing ever closer to the bleak, black centre of Bruce’s greatest fear — and secret truth — was astonishingly well-constructed. This extended scene was repeatedly interrupted (and juxtaposed) by pages, set in the comic’s ‘real world’, which featured a fight between Bane and Thomas Wayne. The fight is meant to be a game. It really isn’t.
I loved the idea that Bruce had to circle this freeing truth (this terrible fear) indirectly. It was too big for him to approach head on. He has been spiraling into this brutal revelation since the first episode when Damien appeared, garbed in the foul tags of Pyg. The pattern of a gyre, this shrinking orbit, has been visible in the layout of the art from the beginning of this arc. And now we’ve reached the centre — and found the exit.
I won’t spoil the surprise for any of you. But believe me. It’s a doozy.
Aside from the extremely precise layout of the pages, the art is gorgeous. Almost every incarnation of Batman and Catwoman makes an appearance. From a strictly aesthetic perspective, it is a lovely piece of work.
The fluid waltz of the dream sequence is effectively contrasted by the firmly rendered, blocky panels which portray the fight sequence between Bane and Thomas Wayne. The colors are sunlit, and the surfaces (from floor to skin to gunmetal) are drawn to all be assuredly ‘real’, and most definitely hard. The characters are equally well-drawn, and their motivations are implied, but nonetheless clear.
It will be very interesting to see what happens when the three lead dancers collide in the next issue.
Review by Bethany W Pope
The circuitous narrative spooled out over the last several issues comes to fruition, here, when Batman finally finds the key to freeing himself from the labyrinth of fear. The art is stellar, as is the narrative. This is one to pick up.
Batman #69: Dance Me to the End of Love
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 8.5/108.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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