- Written by Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
- Art by Yanick Paquette
- Colours by Nathan Fairbairn
- Cover by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn
It is time. Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his true past as Batman. Now he must descend into the cave and face what he once was. Can he truly leave behind a life free from the pain and anguish of the Bat? Can he plunge once more into the madness and purpose that once consumed him? In this special, thrilling issue, watch as the fate of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, is decided once and for all.
Pickup your copy of ‘Batman’ #49 at Comixology now!
As the synopsis states… it is time. After almost a full year of living on the sidelines of his own series Bruce Wayne is ready to reclaim the mantle that has made him famous, but not before having some very heavy, emotionally charged dialogue with Alfred.
This issue is very focused on the moments leading up to Bruce regaining his lost memories rather than focussing on him putting the costume of Batman on for the first time since his ‘death’ in the caves with Joker back in #40.
Baring that in mind the cover is perhaps a little misleading unless you look at it psychologically. Batman looms very heavy over this issue, #49 is not a rip-roaring and colourful romp to the finish line of this story. It’s ruled by Alfred and his emotions which is best summed up by the line ‘… you’re asking me to play the part of Chill. To pull the trigger‘.
This is, in fact, a rebirth (much like DC comics is entering as a whole) for Batman and Bruce Wayne. There are snippets of the old Bruce: the determination; the sheer mindedness, the disregard for his own happiness. But there’s also a calculated decision that for Gotham to survive the true Batman must return.
There’s no doubting that Alfred is the star of #49. His emotional outbursts are intense throughout. Some have argued that Alfred acts out of character in wanting Bruce to stay happy and not to return to his old life but my interpretation is more from a place of fatherly love. If you look at Alfred as the man who raised Bruce then it’s easy to see where his desperation to keep him safe comes from.
For me this was an emotionally intense experience and one that I relish getting from my comics.
The small character cameos in the fake memories that Bruce’s brain invents show some interesting ‘what if’ moments in his career as Batman. The continual degradation of the memories from the white suited Batman down to the eventual true Batman emphasise Bruce’s journey back to the man he needs to be and back in to the darkness.
There’s so much emotion going on within the story that it’s easy to not even notice the lack of artwork from Scott Snyder’s long time collaborate Greg Capullo. The artwork here by Paquette and Fairbairn is a good alternative. It doesn’t overpower the story and instead enhances the emotion, it’s a very dark issue throughout but very well contrasted by some of the memories that Bruce’s brain tries to throw out to keep the real Batman from resurfacing.
The memories are the most visually striking moments within #49. The white suited Batman is perhaps the most prominent with his ginormous cave within Wayne Tower. It’s a interesting glimpse in to a potential Elseworlds story that I would be intrigued to see more of.
However you look at it with #49 Bruce is back at Batman and it’s just a matter of time before he reclaims the ‘Batman’ book for his own!