Writer Tom King
Pencils Tony S. Daniels
Inks Tony S. Daniels & Danny Miki
Colors Tomeu Morey
Letters Clayton Cowles
Cover Daniels & Morey
Variant Cover Francesco Mattina
Assoc Editor Brittany Holzherr
Editor James S. Rich
While fighting a new mummy based villain and his henchmen, Batman and Nightwing are precisely where we had left them in #54. With Dick making serious efforts to cheer up his oldest friend, he proposes a contest. Jump off the building they are currently on and whoever shoots off their grapnel first, loses. Meanwhile, a mysterious one-armed man has arrived in Gotham. No time for fun though, as their contest is cut short by the bat signal. GCPD was called because someone in a diner had left a note on a napkin saying “Who fears the Joker?” Being the anniversary of the war between Joker and The Riddler it was worth looking into. Dick begins to joke about the next new villain when our one-armed man shoots him in the head, concluding the issue.
We get what I would call one of the more literal and aggressive approaches to the “one-armed man” trope. Batman is on the hunt for his, and he is not playing around. Shaking down every criminal and assassin he knows to look for a lead as to who could’ve done this. From dropping an excessive amount of ninjas to allowing himself to be locked into an Apokolyptan death trap, there’s no length Bruce will not go to find the man responsible. The beast has been unleashed, Bruce finding a new drive in this investigation and taking out all the negativity of the wedding and Mr. Freeze case along with him. Whoever could have done this, has made a very large mistake. One that I’m not sure how Bruce is gonna handle when he faces the culprit.
As tragic as the whole thing is, I’m excited to see Batman out here being vengeance and the knight. King does a very nice job of showing us where exactly Bruce is at his best, unhinged. With the shooting of someone who may be argued as close to Bruce as Alfred, Batman has come out his shell so to speak and really pulled out all the stop in this issue. Lending credibility to what Selina said during the wedding issue. Bruce is able to take the pain of his life and forced into this mental engine that keeps Batman chugging along better than he was when things weren’t so stressful for him both outside and inside the cowl.