[World of Bats] Batman By Tom King -- Knightmares / Fall & The Fallen

Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

For the next two weeks we’ll be continuing our look at the Tom King run on Batman, going through two of his arcs leading up to his grand finale. First, we’ll be looking at issues #61-63, 66-69 “Knightmares,” with art by Travis G Moore, Mitch Gerads, Mikal Janin, Jorge Fornes, Lee Weeks, Dan Panosian, Amanda Conner, and Yanick Paquette. Then, we’ll look at issues #70-74, “Fall & The Fallen,” with art by Janin.

And you know what? For reasons that surely won’t factor into the finale of this run, let’s also look at Batman Annual #3, written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Otto Schmidt.

The Batman has never been more alone – after losing his love, his first son, and being isolated from the rest of his family, he is forced into the inner workings of his mind. Can Batman survive the battle against his mental demons? And if so, can he survive what comes from the other side?


Batman Annual #3

Batman #61
Batman #62
Batman #63
Batman #66
Batman #67
Batman #68
Batman #69

Batman #70
Batman #71
Batman #72
Batman #73
Batman #74

Reading will run from 2024-04-13T05:00:00Z2024-04-26T05:00:00Z, but if you’re trapped in a maze of your own mind – who hasn’t been there? – you can always come back later!

Looking forward to discussing these issues with you all! :batparrot:

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I’ve read this Annual before, I don’t know if it was prior reading that we did or if I did it on my own. I love it. Both times it made my eyes well up and formed a lump in my throat. The way it focuses on Alfred’s side of things is just so beautiful.

As for the rest of the reading, Knightmares is interesting in that we get to see so Catwoman’s many looks from over the years and I liked the appearances from Constantine and The Question. For me, the highlight is the bachelor/bachelorette party; it’s just so funny seeing the contrast between the two parties.

For The Fall and the Fallen, I feel like King is really trying something with the callback to the Russian fairy tale and the interactions between Thomas and Bruce. Maybe I’m a little dense, but I’m not sure I fully get what he’s going for? I see the contrast between Bruce and Thomas and I understand driving home the point of Bruce’s stubborn optimism. Maybe I’m tripping over how Thomas got there in the first place and why he seems to be helping Bane


The Annual is lovely – highlights what makes Alfred and his dynamics with Bruce et al great. It was also nice to see Leslie Thompkins again, we don’t get her that often nowadays. :slight_smile:

Knightmares was such an interesting arc because from what I understand it was just thrown out last minute because DC couldn’t get a steady artist to do those issues. So King just asked his artists who or what they would want to draw and figured something out. I know it was controversial when it came out – people have a thing against dream sequences in scenes, let alone having five-ish issues worth of them. But with what happened in mind and being able to binge it now, I think it’s an interesting read.

I also really liked the Question issue, because I feel like it best, heh, questioned the whole supposition of “can Batman be happy and still be Batman” that caused this wedding falling apart and the crap that happened after.

(Fun fact: King has talked about how he had to fight to get Jorge Fornes to get work at DC because they felt that his art looked too much like David Mazzucchelli. King says that he asked them “In what world is looking like David Mazzucchilli EVER a bad thing?”)

I’m still reading Fall and the Fallen so I can’t fully explain the fairy tale part yet, but I will say I find it funny that back in the 90s, Bane broke Batman by unleashing all his worst enemies and then taking him on when he’s exhausted and bleeding, and now his method of breaking Batman can be summed up by “Gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss.” :rofl:


I didn’t know that about Knightmares. I feel like King and the others did an admirable job considering the circumstances

The Question issue is a good one, too. I reject the idea that Batman can’t be happy and still be Batman, so I was glad to see them poke at that thought

I would question Bane’s plan, but it does appear to be working :laughing:

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Yeah, I don’t know if I have anything on the tale in particular. My thinking while reading it was that the fairy tale is a reference to Gotham’s ugly nature, with Bruce wanting it read over and over being his war on crime and Thomas wanting to take it away because he feels it’s not healthy. But I’m not sure if there’s a significance to that story. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was made up for this story, honestly. :sweat_smile:

Oh, and a note about Fall and the Fallen that I didn’t notice until now – one arc that I had mixed feelings of before this point was The Gift, because I didn’t buy Booster Gold thinking that trying to change time that way would be in any way a good idea. But in these issues Thomas says that one of the rogues (I think Riddler?) hacked into Skeet’s programming and had it manipulate Booster into doing it. I mean…Batman’s rogues are crazy smart, but I don’t think any of them are “hacking 25th century tech” smart, and I would like to think that Booster wouldn’t just listen to Skeets if he’s saying weird stuff like that, but…I guess an effort was made.