When Tom King’s Batman run hit the issues reprinted in the 10th volume, a number of fans were…not happy. It’s not hard to understand why. The previous storyline ended with Alfred barely conscious in the Batcave as the Flashpoint Batman, Thomas Wayne, is seen coming up behind Bruce Wayne. It’s an effective cliffhanger, coming as it does when Batman is at his wits’ end, sure that Bane is somehow behind many of his problems but not being able to prove it to anyone but his own suspicious mind and being completely heartbroken that Catwoman skipped their wedding day.
As such, the storyline called Knightmares couldn’t have possibly made too many people too happy.
It’s really not hard to see why as the storyline has Batman, well, dreaming. Mostly bad dreams, many featuring Catwoman as Batman seems to be coming to grips with the fact that Selina Kyle left him at the altar (or, more accurately, the rooftop). It isn’t the real Cat he keeps seeing, but that doesn’t stop him from repeatedly asking why and being frustrated as she won’t (or, given what’s happening, can’t) answer that question.
As it is, the storyline is a trip through Batman’s subconscious as he dreams a variety of dreams, some of which make less sense than others. Now, there is a reason for all this, and it does tie back to the Bane arc, but it isn’t apparent at first. I can imagine how frustrating that might be for people who were reading this series as monthly installments. I’m reading it all at once and I still thought it was a bit long. Sure, seeing the setting for the Batman/Elmer Fudd special appear again in a Roadrunner parody was…nice?…and I personally thought the Catwoman/Lois Lane bachelorette party in the Fortress of Solitude was rather fun, particularly as it showed Bruce and Clark simultaneously having a very dull evening in Wayne Manor.
But this is still Batman’s mind, and he isn’t completely unaware of what’s happening to him. Interesting also how Bruce’s own mind tries to tell him with its own avatars telling Bruce the truth he may or may not want to admit to, namely in the form of Superman, the Question, and John Constantine.
So, really, a weird story that went on too long. I already have the next one in my unread trade stack, so I hope King righted the ship so to speak from here.
7.5 out of 10 Unmasked Pygs.