Batman is about to face his strangest nemesis yet: his father from an alternate timeline where Bruce died and Thomas Wayne wears the cape and cowl. Bruce’s dad isn’t the hero you’d expect him to be in Tom King and Mikel Janin’s new story, “The Fall and the Fallen.” Thomas has aligned himself with Bane, the secret mastermind of King’s planned 100-issue run on Batman, and he wants to break the Bat once and for all by going after his mind.
Since issue #60, Batman has been trapped in a dream state, a psychological assault in the shape of his greatest fears, from Damian becoming a butcher like Professor Pyg to an endless nightmare that ends with Catwoman breaking Bruce’s heart over and over again. That arc, titled “Knightmares,” runs through issue #69 and features all kinds of great stuff, including the return of Vic Sage’s The Question to Gotham City (seriously, issues #66-67 are so good), but it’s been anything but fun for Bruce.
How Batman will escape this attack on his psyche — we assume he’s strapped into some kind of wicked machine — is anyone’s guess, and we know even less about what state he’ll be in when he does. “The Fall and the Fallen” should give us some long-awaited answers.
Bruce and Thomas’ meeting was first teased in a cliffhanger ending at the end of issue #59, as the villainous Batman appeared from the shadows in the final page, a wicked look on his face. We can glean from the synopses for Batman #70-71 that Thomas wants to convince Bruce to hang up the cape and cowl once and for all, which is a callback to Thomas’ last appearance in Batman.
Readers of the Batman/Flash crossover “The Button” will remember that Thomas’ final message to Bruce before his timeline was erased from existence (by Watchmen‘s Dr. Manhattan, no less, but that’s a whole other story) was that he shouldn’t let his Batman persona engulf the rest of his life. Thomas wished for his son to learn to live without Batman and enjoy what time he had left with his loved ones. This event, as well as his brush with death in Batman #1, pushed Bruce to finally declare his love for Selina Kyle and propose to her.
Yes, it’s been a long ride for Bruce since DC Comics‘ 2016 Rebirth relaunch. He’s no longer engaged to Selina, who left him waiting at the altar, and now his father is working with his archnemesis. Can things get any worse? Have you read King’s stuff? Of course they can.
Here are the solicitations for Batman #70 and #71:
written by TOM KINGart and cover by MIKEL JANINvariant cover by LEINIL YU
“The Fall and the Fallen” begins! This is the one you’ve been waiting for! Now that Batman has escaped the “Knightmares,” he’s starting to see the forces rallying against him—and that his father from another universe has joined the other side. The Caped Crusader finally digs into the mystery of how Thomas Wayne, a.k.a. the Flashpoint Batman, escaped the collapse of his dimension and ended up in this part of the Multiverse. Get all the answers in this new five-part story paving the way for the next big BATMAN event!
ON SALE 05.01.19$3.99 US | 32 PAGESFC | RATED T
written by TOM KINGart and cover by MIKEL JANINvariant cover by FRANK CHO
“The Fall and the Fallen” continues! Will it be father and son working together, or tearing each other apart? When it comes to the Waynes, expect a little of both. In the quest to get Bruce Wayne to hang up the cape and cowl, Thomas Wayne is going to have to use a little tough love. Only, not all the muscle behind it will be his own.
ON SALE 05.15.19$3.99 US | 32 PAGESFC | RATED T
And check out these very cool covers from Janin: