Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #63
DC Comics (August, 1994)“Knights End” part 10: “Climax” WRITER: Denny O’Neil PENCILER: Barry Kitson INKER: Scott Hanna COLORING: Digital Chameleon LETTERER: Willie Schubert ASSISTANT EDITOR: Chuck Kim ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Jim Spivey EDITOR: Archie Goodwin
I really need to get my comic collection updated. Issues taking place before this in the Knight’s End storyline (and possibly Knightfall and Knightquest, which formed the story of how Bane broke Batman’s back, how he took time to recover and the poorly chose replacement, the former Azrael Jean-Paul Valley. We met him back in the Showcase ’93 review. Also, I bought this as a back issue or it may have come in a collection set, so I don’t know where the signature comes from.
As for the story, Jean-Paul has lost his mind, obsessed with his take on Batman. Bruce has retaken the cowl, and now he must rescue the mantle. It means forcing Jean-Paul out of his Batman armor without a fight. That’s not easy considering Valley’s state of mind, but eventually, with a little help from the sun, Bruce manages to reach Jean-Paul, convincing him to find his own identity. As for Bruce, he must return to the Batcave. For now, he kind of wants to take in the sun.
What they got right: Bruce isn’t fully Batman yet but needs to get Jean-Paul out of the identity before he destroys Batman’s name and all the Dark Knight stands for. The conclusion to this storyline (which we’ll revisit once I reorganize my collection and get caught up on what we’ve passed, although the collection is incomplete) is satisfying, and brings hope of a less obsessive Batman out of Bruce…although that won’t last long thanks to the attitude towards Batman that permeated the 90s and sadly continues now. Also, the last time I read a Bruce Wayne Batman comic during these reviews he had those stupid shoulder spike things on his cape that looked stupid. Thankfully that’s gone here.
What they got wrong: I thought Bruce would get madder when Jean-Paul broke Thomas Wayne’s portrait the same way Bane broke Batman’s back and Jean-Paul later did Bane. I’m glad he caught himself but a sign of anger might have been prudent. Unless I missed something in that close-up of his eyes.
Recommendation: The whole Knightfall/Quest/End saga was a good event back when they still had those things, and this was a good end. Pick this issue up and look into the whole saga.