“Dream of the Bat anthologizes Josh Simmons’ and Patrick Keck’s unlicensed take on the Bat mythos, which began as a 2007 standalone by Simmons (Keck would join him later) but has taken on new life in the past five years, just as this exact archetype of public figure has taken up a particular space in American culture. The story itself more-or-less tracks Batman’s psychological deterioration as the Earth dies around him, but also, like, with a staggering amount of penis and shit. It could very easily come off as a novelty, if it not for the obvious care put in at every turn and the constant indicators that close reading will be rewarded.
On the surface it might seem as if Dream of the Bat simply plays the usual Bat-crit satirical hits that have been in heavy rotation since the ’80s. His fascist tendencies, monomania, sexual tension with the Joker (which McCulloch also goes in-depth on), and refusal to ever actually heal from the death of his parents all get major airtime. But, for one thing, Simmons and Keck manage to take many of these to surprising and unsettling heights. For another, the sense is that everything happening on the fringes is equally important. It’s not so much about the Batman as it is about the absurdity of one massive ego raging against the decaying universe.” TCJ