Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Mikel Janin
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
On the surface, Batman #63 is a book filled with happiness. We get to see both Batman and Bruce Wayne happy and smiling, living their best lives together with the woman he loves, Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, but we quickly realize that things aren’t truly as they appear to be. None of this is actually happening, this is all just a dream, and it gets even sadder for our boy Batman. The events of this issue are actually a fear toxin induced nightmare that seems to be designed to give Bruce what he truly wants only to take it away in an attempt to drive Batman insane and break the Bat.
Within this dream of lies we go back to the ending pages of Batman #50 the wedding issue, only this time Selina shows up and everything works out. Until a familiar face starts popping his head into things, John Constantine the Hellblazer, John tries to tell Batman several times that this isn’t real, and that all good dreams will come to end, but ask yourself this, if you were given everything you ever wanted, would you want to give it all away either?
This issue does a great job at showing us what that happy life together for Bruce and Selina would be like, and I really enjoyed the couples conversations and just how well and cute they are together, both as themselves and as their alter egos fighting crime. I feel like Writer Tom King understands relationships well and thus he does a great job at crafting stories dealing with these kinds of connections, and that skill of his is definitely put to good work here in this chapter.
The story does also have a darker side to it as well. John Constantine all throughout the issue tries in his own unique Constantine way to convince Batman that what he’s living is a dream, none of this is real, and in fact it’s really a nightmare meant to torture Batman. During Bruce’s interactions with John and the way he talks to him, you can sense that Bruce knows this but doesn’t want to accept it. There’s a deep pain on display here and it’s sad to see happen, but it’s this kind of pain that I feel will do a good job at motivating Batman further down the road.
The artwork in this issue is done by Artist Mikel Janin, who has worked on several issues of Batman during the Rebirth Tom King run including the wedding issue, and he truly does an amazing job again here. I love the way Janin draws both Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne, their smiles, their bodies, their emotions. They are all done so well that it really brings their relationship to life and seeing Bruce happy gives me something to smile about. One of my favorite pieces of art in this issue is Janin’s Batmobile as he has chosen to recreate one of the original version of the iconic car which features Batman’s face mounted on the front of the car. There’s just something about seeing that classic car that gives me warm fuzzy feelings, plus much like the rest of the book Janin’s execution has knocked it out of the park once again.
Overall I think this issue does a good job at showing us several “what if they had got married” moments and while that does make me feel both happy and sad, I’m glad we got to explore this even if only for one chapter. I liked John Constantine’s involvement in the story as I feel him and Batman just work really well together. One of my favorite parts of this issue was the very real and emotionally raw moment where Bruce cracks and tells John exactly how he truly sees the Hellblazer. I feel like this was a much needed chapter that doesn’t necessarily push the story forward, but it does a great job at showing us what the villains of Gotham are willing to do to break the Bat. I can’t wait to see how that surprise ending turns out and to see how Batman deals with this going forward.
I give Batman #63 a 7 out of 10