Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Yanick Paquette
Colored by Nathan Fairbairn
As Batman dances his way through his biggest fears in an attempt to escape his nightmares, we learn Thomas Wayne’s motivation for working with Bane to break the Bat. We also witness a power struggle between Batman and Bane in this latest issue of Batman #69, Knightmares finale ”the Last Dance”
In this latest dream we see Batman and Catwoman dancing their way through several periods and eras of their life together, and as the two dance Batman tries to find out exactly what fear toxin of Scarecrow’s he’s currently under the effects of so he can work on a way out. As the story progresses Batman learns that he needs to give his body a dose of adrenaline by forcing his dreams towards his greatest fear, but the question quickly becomes whether or not Bruce is willing to accept this truth and conquer his greatest fear.
This part of the issue plays out quite nicely. As the two dance they briefly go over the previous dreams and even reference “The Button” story arc from earlier in the Rebirth run of Batman. I found this really cool as it seems Tom King’s story is finally starting to connect all the dots as we build closer to Bane’s assault on Gotham and the war that is to come. The artwork in this section of the issue was very refreshing and fun to see all the different eras of Batman and Catwoman mix and merge together as they dance across the beautifully drawn pages of the story. A song is also featured in these sections of the book that has actually appeared in a previous issue from this Batman Rebirth run. I found that to be pretty interesting because it’s small details like that show just how well planned out Tom King’s Rebirth run has been as it’s now all coming together with things like this song.
The second section of this issue focuses on the working relationship between Bane and Thomas Wayne, and it finally answers the question of why Thomas Wayne of the Flashpoint timeline would work with Bane to break Batman. That answer was actually right in front of us since the ending of “The Button” where Thomas Wayne Batman tells his son to stop being Batman and to instead find love and build a Family. Again this small clue left at the end of “The Button” highlights the forward thinking King has had in this series.
We also see that where Thomas Wayne wants to break Bruce’s will to be Batman out of love for his son, Bane wants to break the Bat in every possible way as to put an end to Batman and show the world the dominant force that is Bane. This clash of reasons will surely breakout into some form of confrontation down the road as their pairing seems to already be causing the two to fight as we see in this issue. The artwork in this section are pure action scenes, and while they are drawn and colored to perfection, I personally think maybe Bane could of worn some clothes instead of him opting to wrestle Thomas with Bane in his birthday suit. I thought this was an odd art choice, but I guess it makes sense in the moment.
Ultimately I felt like this was the strongest issue of Batman during this Knightmare story arc, and I was happy to finally learn and confirm Thomas Wayne Batman’s motivations and why he’s here. I think this issue low key does a great job at showing us that even when Bruce is trapped in his dreams facing his greatest fears, his mind is always at work trying to figure out the case because he is the world’s greatest detective.
I give Batman #69 a 9 out of 10, I had to take a point away for naked Bane.