Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Travis Moore
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain
Sometimes when reading through a story you think you know what’s going on. You have it all figured out and then suddenly out of left field you’re thrown a curveball that forces you to rethink and reread everything you thought you knew about that issue. Batman #61 is one of those types of stories, and I feel like that’s what writer Tom King was going for in this issue, and boy did I fall for it hook line and sinker, and boy do I love that he actually fooled me.
While reading through Batman #61 it seems like your reading a tragic retelling of the death of Martha and Thomas Wayne, and the effects it has on young Bruce Wayne. Only this time Batman is also there, but how could that be? So then you keep reading and wondering what sort of elseworld tale you might be witnessing here, and just then right before the end you start to remember and put the pieces all together. Batman #61 is actually about a boy named Matthew who became so obsessed with Bruce Wayne that he decided to become him, even going as far as to kill his own parents to recreate the trauma that fuels Bruce’s life.
We first saw Matthew aka Master Bruce in Batman #38 where learned the origin of “Bruce Wayne” and now in this issue we again see that story from a different angle and at different parts we hadn’t seen in the previous book. I personally think this was a bold story choice for Tom King to write, especially after the cliffhanger we are still left on from the end of Batman #60 where we saw Batman being attacked from what appears to be Flashpoint Thomas Wayne Batman. I feel like many people are going to be fooled or confused by this book at first glance just as I was, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe this book will help make us all better detectives by making us seeing the clues that were clearly left all throughout the book, so with that I say thank you Mr King.
The art team of Artist Travis Moore and Colorist Tamra Bonvillain really did an amazing job all throughout this issue, featuring characters that felt brought to life with their range of expressions and the fluid motion of attacks during the action packed panels. The bright vivid colors did a great job at making things pop out, and they also contrasted quite well against the dark and shadowy details. My favorite piece of art has to be the final page where we see Matthew staring at us with his cold heartless and emotionless eyes, and the scars on his face that he carved into himself during the events of Batman #38. If you ask me, that is truly the face of a psychopath, and it looked awesome.
Overall I enjoyed this issue and thought it was a good sequel story to Batman #38. Although it was very randomly placed in the timeline, and I think that if you, like me, didn’t read the preview of this issue before reading this then you’ll probably be confused at first, but after you realize what’s going on, it gets and feels a lot better. Definitely a book I feel deserves a second read, even if only to better understand and appreciate what’s actually happening.
I give Batman #61 a 7 out of 10