SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Batman #60 by Tom King, Mike Janín, Jorge Fornes, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist, and that’s exactly what Bane has done with his takeover of Arkham Asylum right under Batman’s nose. It’s been so successful for the villain that after the reveal of Bane’s masterplan at the end of Batman #50, he disappeared from the comic as we watched Batman deal with being left at the altar by Catwoman and seeing Nightwing shot in the head and left amnesiac by KGBeast.
Even now, with The Penguin working alongside Batman to uncover Bane’s true plot, the villain has everyone else fooled into thinking he’s a broken shell of his former self rotting away in an Arkham cell after his defeat at the hands of Batman. In this week’s issue, Batman runs through his entire rogues gallery of C-List villains to find someone willing to turn on Bane and prove what Penguin is saying is true -- but he should be more concerned about the threat he never saw coming, as the biggest unanswered question from Batman #50 makes its presence known in the Batcave.
Batman #60 is split into three separate narratives taking place at the same time; as Alfred watches over The Penguin in The Batcave and Jim Gordon becomes increasingly frustrated with Batman’s hunt to prove something Gordon doesn’t believe is true, The Dark Knight is on the streets roughing up anyone he can get his hands on to spill the beans about Bane. More brutal than ever following the attack on Nightwing, Batman shows no mercy to the likes of Maxie Zeus, Firefly, Signalman and even the fan-favorite Kite-Man in his search for the truth about Bane, but no-one will budge on their story. According to them, Bane spends all day in his cell in Arkham Asylum, tucked in a corner, sobbing.
However, while Batman is out beating several shades out of his least threatening villains, a new threat emerges in the heart of the Batcave. With the Penguin blindfolded, he can’t see the person who has come for him. He’s told that Bane expected Penguin to go straight to Batman, and that the villain is pleased by Oswald Cobblepot’s betrayal. When Penguin exclaims that Batman will be back to stop his would-be attacker, he’s cryptically told that Batman is already here. Everything makes sense when Batman returns to the Batcave to find the lights off and Alfred beaten and bloody on the floor. Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler tries to warn Batman of the threat that still lurks in the Batcave, as Thomas Wayne, the Batman of the Flashpoint timeline, emerges from the shadows.