By Leroy Douresseaux
October 4, 2011 - 10:39
|Batman: The Dark Knight #1 cover image|
Batman: The Dark Knight is the fourth Batman comic book series to come from “The New 52,” DC Comics re-launch of its superhero comic book line. As I read it, this book features a Batman that is older, smarter, more powerful, and certainly more dangerous. I would say that he is 30-something, maybe even late 30’s. He acts and sounds like a police officer, and in the opening scenes, Batman is a very self-assured superhero.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 opens with Bruce Wayne attending one of those social gatherings that involve charity and very rich and successful men, like Wayne, making speeches. All is not clean and neat, as Bruce has to entertain a sleazy Senator and fend off an aggressive officer from Gotham City Police Department Internal Affairs. The beautiful Jaina Hudson makes the night interesting, however. Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose at Arkham Asylum, and Two-Face seems to be the focal point.
THE LOWDOWN: Setting the initial action and conflict of a first issue at a high society party doesn’t seem like a smart move on the part of co-plotters David Finch and Paul Jenkins, who wrote the script. That would be true if Finch and Jenkins weren’t setting up what seems like a more dangerous Gotham; don’t turn your back, Bruce, to anyone – unless you’re ready to take on the knife. Add Arkham sequences, and Batman: The Dark Knight will need a Batman who is a seriously dark knight. The storytelling is not as polished as it is in the new Detective Comics and new Batman and Robin, but it could get there.
The art by the team of Finch, Richard Friend (inks), and Alex Sinclair (colors) is quite good. By now, Finch’s pencils no longer really resemble the pencil art of Marc Silverstri, Brandon Peterson, Jim Lee, or whoever may have influenced him – not really. Some of the faces Finch draws quite frankly look bizarre, and in one case, what looks like an ugly top lip is really a mustache. Still, there are moments of brilliance: the two-page spreads on pages 2 and 3 and on 12 and 13 (of the story) and also the final page, which has an EC Comics quality.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers who want The Dark Knight will want Batman: The Dark Knight.