The Dark Knight Rises and Hell Follows
The nightmares are over, and the Dark Knight is ready to escape his imprisonment in Arkham. The question is, are the villains helping Bane prepared for what they’ve unleashed? It’s been proven that messing with Batman’s head only results in him targeting you even harder, and this situation is no exception. Batman is back on his feet, and may God help anyone in his way.
As Maxie Zeus recites “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, Batman has flashes of each nightmare he endured before waking up and tearing himself out of the machine Bane had him hooked to. When he awakens, he finds Riddler blocking the exit, reciting a riddle. Batman grabs Nygma by the face and slams his knee directly into Riddler’s nose. He runs into Calendar Man next, who simply lays down out of Batman’s way. As the Dark Knight tears through his rogues, including Killer Croc, Mad Hatter, Zsasz, Flamingo, Black Spider and Firefly, he calls out to Bane. “Is this your marvelous plan, Bane? After all these years of me humiliating you? Of me exposing you a soft, feeble-minded lamb? Of me, time and time again, breaking you?! You answer…with bad dreams!...You challenge me with…nightmares?...I’m Batman. I am the nightmare.”
The next villain Batman encounters is Mr. Freeze. He tells Victor that he doesn’t understand why he keeps trying to fight Batman when it’s easier to just give up and take his beating, at which point Batman knocks him out. Soon after, Scarecrow tries to attack, but this severely backfires. Batman traps him in his own gas and tells him, “Your formula. They pumped it into me. I owe you for he insight you gave me. I owe you for all the fun.” We don’t see what Batman does to Crane, but we do know that Scarecrow lets out a scream that can be heard from outside the asylum. Next, Amygdala and Solomon Grundy step up. Despite the battle tearing the section of Arkham they were in apart, both monsters fall, and Batman crawls out of the rubble laughing. The next person he encounters is Two-Face. He repeatedly beats Dent and then asks him to deliver a message to Bane. “Tell him, I wish, today, we could have…talked. I’d love to talk. But I just woke up, and I’m a little tired. So I’m going home. My home. In my city. But tomorrow…Tomorrow, I’m coming back. With my army. And then, you tell him, Harvey. Tell Bane. Tomorrow. We’ll talk plenty.” As Batman walks past Zeus and towards the exit, Zeus proclaims as Batman opens the doors, “All hope abandon, ye who enter here!”
I absolutely love seeing Batman written as a monster. Seeing him tear through everyone in Arkham Asylum was so satisfying after the Knightmares arc. When this clash with Bane comes to a head, it may end up being the most brutal fight we’ve seen Batman in. After all the things Bane has done to torture Batman since the series began, it’s about time Batman got a measure of revenge. Now that issue 70 is done, we’re one step closer to the showdown between Batman and Bane. However, while Batman got this victory, I remember it being advertised that something horrible was going to happen in issue 75. Tom King’s arc has been nothing if not in depth. Now that the Knightmare arc is over, I’m beyond ready to see where this goes next. But according to Batman, it’s time to go to war.