The end of “Knightmares” has finally come with the truth behind all of this finally coming to light. An innovation on Scarecrow’s fear toxin has driven Bruce into his own mind, to face his own fears, and only his greatest fear can save him: the truth about himself. Maybe Batman truly isn’t capable of that type of love. The type that drives a relationship forward, allowing two people to give themselves to one another completely. It’s horribly tragic, but maybe it’s true. On top of that, Thomas Wayne really is there, working with Bane and claiming himself the true Batman, but how did he even get there? Still more questions remain.
I’m not sure what it is, but the mysteries in this book have me eating out of the palm of their hands. Naomi’s past is so interesting, even though we know next to nothing. Now, we know that Dee and her Father are warring aliens who decided to just have normal lives on Earth, and we know that there is certainly something different about Naomi herself. The mysterious black box, and what almost looked like a White Lantern logo? It couldn’t have been, given the small differences, but it is certainly inspired by that.
And the award for best retcon of all time goes to Scott Snyder and Justice League. With an effortless flick of his pen, Snyder has merged the entire history of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the Anti-Monitor, as well as his motivations and history into the modern age. We now know the true history of Perpetua and her children, and the life they cursed themselves to in order to stop her machinations. That was storytelling at its most masterful.
As expected, even after being eaten by his own Frost Giant Father, Loki still cannot die. Even being digested, quite grotesquely, I might add, in the gullet of Laufey, he just subconsciously will not give up despite his pleas otherwise. Knowing that Loki is indirectly responsible for the creation of the horrible Malekith that started the War of the Realms was quite the revelation. Now, we get to see what Loki does with that information.
That was a jam-packed issue that was full of everything you could possibly ask for. Insane action, revelations and character development galore, and even more insane action. Jane Foster is the All-Mother of Asgard, as Freyja leaves for Jotunheim to find Thor, and Odin falls into the Odinsleep to heal his wounds before leaving for Svartalfehim to destroy the Black Bifrost. This is absolutely fantastic, and easily the best even Marvel has had in some time.
It’s interesting to see the front-row seat that Punisher of all people has taken in this massive war. The anti-hero with the fewest powers taking on these otherworldly creatures of unspeakable horror is impressive, and that’s most likely why that choice was made. With that being said, the usual amount of gore and blood was at play here, and it was jarring in all the right ways given how Thor books usually can be.
This is how you know Marvel is taking the War of the Realms seriously, with these small tie-in stories that show just how many heroes are actually involved in this event. The Daredevil story was obviously the stand-out here, and I’m actually excited to see how the Man Without Fear got a hold of the sword of Heimdall, giving him god-like powers. The Wolverine and Punisher story was also pretty fantastic, but one has to wonder where all of the Avengers are?