Spoilers for this week's Batman #60 below.
If you've been following Tom King's Batman run then you know that since being left at the altar by Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Batman has been going through some seriously dark times. While the Caped Crusader has always had a darker turn than most heroes in the DC universe, having his heart broken has only pushed the vigilante even further into the depths. In the ten issues since the wedding that wasn't, Batman has been increasingly more violent, grimmer, and more determined than ever to punch his way to -- well, that's not exactly clear.
What is clear, though, is that amidst Batman punching everyone (including Commissioner Gordon) in the face a mystery has begun to unfold. After Penguin confessed that Bane hired him to kill Alfred despite Bane having convinced everyone that he's weak, unwell, and possibly even out of his mind, Batman spent #60 going on a violent spree trying to get any of the criminals recently released from Arkham to admit what readers have been privy to for ten issues: Bane is running the show and has big, terrible plans for bringing Batman down.
This week, the next step in that plan was revealed in the form of the arrival of Thomas Wayne, the Batman of the Flashpoint timeline.
If for some reason you're unfamiliar with Flashpoint Batman or the entire Flashpoint event, here's a brief primer. In 2011, DC Comics ran Flashpoint, an event that centered around Barry Allen/The Flash racing back in time to save his mother's life. The result was a horrific alternative timeline in which instead of Bruce Wayne losing his parents as a child the way DC fans have come to know Batman's mythos, it's the Waynes who lose their son. In this new timeline, Thomas becomes Batman instead and while it was believed that Flashpoint Batman disappeared after Barry fixed things (creating the New 52 timeline in the process), the Batman and Flash Rebirth crossover "The Button" the father and son Batman figures coming face to face with Thomas giving Bruce one piece of advice: stop being Batman and focus on being a dad.
That clearly didn't happen, and Thomas hasn't just disappeared, either. He was spotted around Bane in that shocking panel in Batman #50 but now that he's revealed himself to his "son" it opens up a lot of questions. The way Batman #60 ends, with Flashpoint Batman standing ominously over Batman as he tends to a potentially injured Alfred it seems like whatever is next is going to have major implications for the rest of King's run. King himself took to Twitter earlier this week to break down his plans for the remainder of his epic tale and notes that nine issues of Batman will be the "Knightmares" arc, described as an "epic arc scraping at the soul of Batman."
As if Batman could get any darker.2comments
What did you think of Flashpoint Batman's return? Let us know in the comments.
Batman #60 is available now.