Tom King’s Batman has hit just about every aspect of the Dark Knight’s character. We got the hyper-competent badass planner in “I am Suicide” and the brawler in “I am Bane.” We saw the sprawling breadth and surprising depth of his Rogues Gallery demonstrated multiple times with moving stories about Kite Man and Poison Ivy or action yarns like “The War of Jokes & Riddles.”
Batman has been firmly planted within the greater DC Universe multiple times with the failed wedding to Catwoman and its lead up. And we’ve had a sneaky ton of Bruce Wayne, from him eating a cheeseburger with a knife and fork he brought from home with the Robins early in the book to 12 Angry Batmen or “The Origin of Bruce Wayne.” That cheeseburger thing is an underrated high point for this comic, by the way. I haven’t laughed that hard at a Batman comic ever, I think.
Anyway, the aspect that I’ve been wanting to see more of at this point in the run is his detective ability, and starting with this preview of Batman #66, it looks like we’re getting an interesting take on it. Batman is trapped in his head reliving horrible memories and experiences and he can’t figure his way out. So it looks like in the preview, he creates a psychic The Question to help him break free. I love this.
Victor Sage was created by Steve Ditko in the 1960s. He was one of the Charlton Comics characters who were eventually co-opted and pastiched by Alan Moore for Watchmen. And if you don’t know him from there, you probably know him as the conspiracy theorist who hung out with Huntress, Black Canary, and Green Arrow in Justice League Unlimited and was voiced by Jeffrey Combs at his raspy craziest. Either way, he wasn’t always meant to be an asocial crank. The original Question was brutal, but also a tremendously skilled detective, and I think it’s absolutely brilliant that Batman’s psychic inner detective would take the form of Vic Sage.
Here’s what DC has to say about the issue.
BATMAN #66 written by TOM KING art and cover by JORGE FORNES variant cover by EVAN “DOC” SHANER The “Knightmares” storyline continues! Something—or someone—is forcing Batman to live through some of his darkest fears, amplifying the Dark Knight’s anxieties and reimagining some of his worst traumas. Now that Batman has become aware of the nature of these delusions, he must find a way to break through and find out the source of this disruption. So who does he turn to for answers? Why, the Question, of course! But is Vic Sage just another figment of the Caped Crusaders imagination?
And we haven’t even talked about the Jorge Fornes art yet, which has a really strong Darwyn Cooke vibe to it. This is good stuff, check it out.
PS: if this turns out to be a riff on the main plot theory from Mister Miracle where Scott was trapped in the Omega Sanction and trying to find his way out, I will be very impressed.
Batman #66 hits stores on Wednesday.