Tom King has been given something that not many Batman writers have: a chance to write over 100 issues of Bruce Wayne/The Dark Knight. Throughout his roughly three years on the title, King has knocked it out of the park on pretty much every story he's written, whether in arc form or standalone (see Batman Elmer Fudd Special ).
With DC Rebirth's biweekly format, readers don't have to dig back in their minds to remember what happened last issue. However, King strategically makes each point in his story arcs connect to the larger story, so that what happened in issue #1 may be important to what happens in issue #48. That said, after issue #69 wrapped up the "Knightmares" arc, we're now in the thick of Bane's conquest to "break the Bat", with past stories, characters, and themes culminating for the ultimate showdown.
Welcome to "The Fall and the Fallen: Part I."
King's writing, as usual, is fast paced, short, and mesmerizing. Were it not for Janin and Fores' art, coupled with Bellaire's beautiful coloring, I'd breeze through this at the pace of a novel. "Knightmares" saw Batman prisoner to his own worst fears, trapped by clever Bane and, weirdly but interestingly, Thomas Wayne. At the conclusion of Batman #69, Bruce has broken free physically, but the question remains: has he mentally? In true King fashion, that question burns hot but is left unanswered.
Janin's art is masterful as usual, painting a gritty and dark bat-verse. Fornes hasn't been given his chance to shine as much as Janin, but in this issue he surely does. Bellaire's colors are beautiful and more than complementary. She is on par with my favorite colorist, Tatjiana Wood.
King hasn't missed a beat in 70 issues. Here's to another thirty-plus issues of action, wit, emotion, and the Caped Crusader.