Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Batman: The Dark Knight #11 Review

By Dan Horn
July 26, 2012 - 16:06

With his second issue of Batman: The Dark Knight, crime novelist and comic book scribe Gregg Hurwitz deepens the dynamic relationship between Bruce Wayne and his love interest Natalya while also fleshing out the updated origin of the sinister Scarecrow. It's another quick read, but succeeds nominally in all areas that are covered. Hurwitz really excels at creating dimensional relationships for the titular hero. Natalya, while not yet integral to the plot, feels palpable and human, which is something that is really remarkable considering the vacuous and expendable girlfriends Bruce has courted in years past. The series continues to improve upon the mediocrity to which it had succumbed when it was helmed by current artist David Finch, but there are still several concerns hamstringing the title.

Whereas Capullo and Snyder's Batman, Tomasi and Gleason's Batman and Robin, and Burnham and Morrison's Batman Incorporated all have their defined distinctions from one another, Batman: The Dark Knight only manages to feel like Batman Lite. Really, a large part of this problem may be attributed to David Finch's artwork. While in some regards Finch is incredibly talented, his panels struggle for footing in a franchise populated by the idiosyncratic geniuses of Greg Capullo and Chris Burnham. There's no unique spectacle to Finch's covers or interiors, but rather a workman-like attention to rendering musculature and shadow.

He does seem to be catching some sort of stride with this issue, however. Perhaps this change in atmosphere has something to do with Finch inking his own artwork in place of Richard Friend's collaborative efforts, but there is a grittier quality to this issue. Also, Finch has thankfully disposed of the thick blood jelly dripping from the Scarecrow's lips that appeared in the previous issue. The more subdued sanguinary effect here, a sort of bloody staining of the stitches through the villain's lips, is much more unsettling and culpable, but it's still a silly aesthetic, one that screams "EXTREME" in a horribly 90's sort of way.

The other contributing factor to the overarching conundrum for this title is a comic book catch-22 of sorts. Gregg Hurwitz has been called in to atone for the egregious first months of The Dark Knight series, but at the same time the writer is careful not to step on Finch's toes. Now, I'm not saying Hurwitz should outright disrespect or disregard Finch's previous work, but The Dark Knight is a comic series that needs drastic and immediate changes to thrive, not the half-measures we see here.

As it stands, Hurwitz's Batman: The Dark Knight #10 and 11 offer a vast improvement over the book's previous installments, but it has yet to distinguish itself from a field of superior Batman books.

Rating: 7 /10

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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