Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Batman: The Dark Knight #10 Review

By Dan Horn
June 27, 2012 - 18:59

The first volume of Batman: The Dark Knight was unbearably awful and harried by long and unjustified publication delays. A reasonable person would have come to the conclusion that the formula which series writer/artist David Finch was going for was flawed to the very core. However, DC attempted to draw out that same formula for nine more months past the New 52 reboot, again to disastrous results. Perhaps too little, too late, DC has finally brought novelist and comic book writer Gregg Hurwitz on board with issue 10 to clean up a mess left by Finch and volume two's part-time co-writer Paul Jenkins.

Hurwitz crafts an eery, hard-boiled script about missing children resurfacing with deep and irreconcilable emotional scars. As Batman attempts to track down the perpetrator of these crimes against Gotham's children, he finds himself ineffectually juggling relationships with his girlfriend Natalya and his son Damien. Hurwitz does a brilliant job of characterizing Bruce Wayne, Natalya, and Damien, and really creates some poignancy in their interactions (it's worth noting the dimensionality of Natalya as a Bruce Wayne love interest, instead of the obligatory cypher). Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon is hunting the at-large kidnapper as well, though that criminal might be closer to Gordon than he thinks.

I'm happy to announce that this is truly and upgrade for this series. Finch and Friend are back at the artistic reins and taking their cues from a legitimate script instead of a mess of ideas that never quite coalesced. Hurwitz's opening chapter to his arc falls prey to pacing issues and several confusing miscues between the script and illustrations, but Hurwitz's writing really elevates the issue as a whole above some dismal artwork. The interiors of this book are suitably inky and grimey in that Finch/Friend chiaroscuro way with Oback's palette adding some much needed brightness to certain scenes while deepening the seediness of others. My personal preference in art has dictated a certain aversion to Finch's on-the-nose lack of imagination, but his attention to detail is not to be questioned. The splash page that rings in the opening credits illustrates the artist's dynamism and fluidity, but other panels illuminate a straight-forward, by-the-textbook approach to anatomy and setting. This definitely detracts from the hallucination sequence in Dark Knight #10, being both unintentionally understated and cliche.

Overall, this is a promising start to a new page in The Dark Knight series. There are many months of messy plot developments (if they can actually be considered part of any comprehensible plot) to clean up, so I can't say that I was expecting perfection from this issue. Hurwitz has an uphill battle ahead of him, but he's certainly improving the credibility of The Dark Knight comic book already. I hope to see some new artistic teams come on board with future arcs. That would truly make this a worthwhile book.

Rating: 6.5 /10

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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