Batman meets Catwoman in his dream and figures out what is happening to him while speaking with her. She asks him what his biggest fear is for it is what will set him free. Can Batman admit his biggest fear to himself?
This story arc has been long but an exploration of how Batman’s mind works which explains how he can escape death traps. Only a mind as focused as Batman’s could create almost real representation of the people close to him. Tom King has been careful to slowly increase Batman’s ability to perceive what is happening to him and how to get out of the trap.
It is interesting to see how Batman as an escape artist compares against Mister Miracle whose stories King wrote very recently. Mister Miracle quickly figured out that he was also trapped but I would argue that he used more physicality when he was escaping. His mind was not trying to deduct clues and work around the way Batman’s mind has been in this story. Except for the last trap he was in Mister Miracle rarely must use his mind as opposed to his senses and his body to escape. Batman in this storyline has been totally cerebral.
Tom King shows a lot of biases towards the classic Alan Moore story “For the Man who Has Everything” by reusing the same plot device in two series. While he can write differently about this theme in both Batman and Mister Miracle, King indulges in what Neil Gaiman famously warned about when writing Sandman and popular series. It is easy to tell the same story repeatedly. Writers should avoid doing so.
Yanick Paquette is a competent artist and I always loved his version of Dick Grayson as Batman. I was afraid that he would overpower and change the story because his style is different from that of the other artists that have shaped King’s Batman epic. However, Paquette tries to stay in the same line as that of the other cartoonists. His Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle look very familiar. That’s good. Now, what I dislike is his version of Batman. It worked for Nightwing but it does not appeal to me here.