Batman No. 67 review: Silent Knight


While still dealing with the effects of being poisoned, Batman continues to explore the deepest depths of his psyche, while chasing a murder through the street of Gotham City.

Batman No. 67: ‘Knightmares, Part 5’

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Lee Weeks/Jorge Fornes

First, were this review should obviously start is with its art. This was beautiful to look at and is a gorgeous piece of art. Co-artists Lee Weeks and Jorge Fornes, did an exceptional job with Batman No. 67 in carrying the story, since this issue lied squarely on how well the art told the story. Weeks and Fornes did a great job laying a path for the reader to find and made it an extra fun read with how well they were able to implement their color palette into the story. The palette was very reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series with those dark setting and backgrounds, which added a layer of noir storytelling.

Speaking of noir, we had another glimpse at the retro Batman that we have seen a couple of time snow now, namely in Batman No 53 and the issue last week, and has been one of the best drawn Batman in King’s run this far. He is very simplistic, removing most of the gadgets, and strips him down to a cloth Batsuit, which lines up with what King likes to do with his characters.

Credit to DC comics and artists Lee Weeks/Jorge Fornes

The reason this issue hung in the balance with the art is that Batman No. 66 is a silent issue. No words, no dialogue, except for a couple of stutters from a bartender at the end, the entire issue is silent. So if the art had been anything less than stellar, this issue would have not worked as well as it did. Besides, what we can assume was an outline by King, Weeks and Fornes took this story and made it their own.

While the issue did not have any dialogue, the use of onomatopoeias and sound effects really makes you feel as though you are falling through the glass ceiling with Batman or running through the sewers of Gotham City. This story wouldn’t have worked as well as if it would have had quippy, back and forth dialogue between Batman and the murderer. Glad that King was able to recognize that and let Weeks and Fornes work their magic.

Silent issues, when done well, are some of the most interesting and intriguing comic books to “read,” and this issue did it so incredibly well that it’ll stand out as one of the most intriguing King/Weeks/Fornes books in this run. Also, that cover!

Tom King’s decision to make this a silent issue was wise. While we are dealing with superheroes and supervillains, it makes too much sense that there wouldn’t be any dialogue during a chase. You’d exert too much energy. But besides the realistic aspect of it, on a deeper and contextual level, because Batman is still under this drug-induced stupor, he is still exploring his inner psyche. He is always on a perpetual chase to stop crime, chasing his parent’s memory of trying to stop his arch nemesis, Batman is at a standstill.

Which by the way, the murder turns out to be, surprisingly and at the same time not so surprisingly, the Joker!  This is the first time we have seen the Joker in King’s run, which is amazing. The Joker can be overused at times and used as a crutch by some writers, so it’s been a breath of fresh air that King has explored the vast Batman universe, which deepens Batman’s rogues gallery.

Credit to DC comics and artists Lee Weeks/Jorge Fornes

There are a couple of quibbles with this issue. First of all. If you’re going to do a silent issue idea, King should have completely sold out and done the entire issue as a silent issue. There was a handful of panels towards the end of the issue that had the Porky Pig analog bartender who points Batman toward the direction of the murderer. It almost takes you completely out of the story, since it is so out of sync and does stick out like a sore thumb.

(Side note: The continuous use of Looney Toons by King is amazing.)

Secondly, these last five issues of Batman have become very divisive. Comic Book Twitter will undoubtedly push back, and be split over this issue. Those who are unhappy will claim “filler” and be unhappy with the route King and DC are taking with their flagship book. There is no doubt the double monthly shipping of issues has become a problem for writers and their output. There isn’t necessarily a problem with issues like these, as long as they are unique and well done.

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While “Knightmares, Part 5” is not as deep, storywise, like its predecessor issue, the choices King, Weeks and Fornes make in this issue are much more compelling and artistic which will make this the stand out issue of this story arc thus far.