Batman: The Dark Knight #3 Review
By Dan Horn
July 14, 2011 - 09:49
Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): David Finch
Penciller(s): David Finch
Inker(s): Scott Williams and Richard Friend
Colourist(s): Alex Sinclair with Pete Pantazis
Letterer(s): Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist(s): Finch, Williams, and Sinclair; variant by Andy Clarke and Tomeu Morey
Batman's been tied to a chair with a bunch of explosives! Oh, no! Well, it's a novel idea at least, right? Hmmm...
Anyway, I'd have been perfectly content to have seen David Finch not finish this story at all. The fact that someone has even let him try to wrap this up after The Dark Knight series has been all but entirely forgotten is pretty ridiculous. "In Golden Dawn" might be one of the worst Batman stories you'll ever read, and I don't think that's an exaggeration. There's very little impetus here, and no emotional tether to the story for the reader, no real characters or anything that's not contrived from a B-action flick. Batman doesn't do any real detective work; he just sort of menaces people, or saunters headlong into traps and then finds some impossible way of freeing himself in the end. And, oh, look: the bad guys left behind all the clues I would need once I've freed myself from certain death. Plot progression doesn't build professionally; it just sort of happens, pieces of it falling all around you like the smoldering debris of a creative demolition with no real bearing on the other thin slices of the story. And let me tell you about the character designs: Killer Croc looks like a wrinkly, green blob with some sharp teeth sticking out of a hole in its face, and Penguin? I'm not too sure what the hell he's supposed to look like exactly, other than awful anyway.
To me this epitomizes the true crux at the heart of DC's readership woes. People desperately wanted a grimmer Batman book, Batman: The Dark Knight #1 being the best-selling issue of its month is testament to that fact. Yet, this book has been nothing short of juvenile, the inverse of its posited aim. Aren't there any editors over at DC that can say, "Hey, you're a brilliant artist when you apply yourself, so maybe you shouldn't give that up. And, oh, by the way, your story is terrible, so it's not getting greenlit." The image in my mind is the editors scrambling around trying to appease their talent, stroke their already massive egos, in any way they possibly can: "You've got a rudimentary idea for a Batman story? Golden Dawn featuring Dawn Golden, you say? That's brilliant! You're sooooooo clever! Let's make it the launching pad for an entire new series!"
Not a single delay from this series has been warranted by the lackluster panels, the goofy character designs, or the grade-school level scripting. Instituting retroactive Batman continuity by way of the unfortunately named Dawn Golden directly preceding a massive retcon? That's just the flavorless, Vaseline icing on this dry, stale, crumbling cake. Batman: The Dark Knight #3 is just as vanilla as any of Tony Daniel's work on Batman, but incomprehensibly uninteresting and twice as much of a waste of time.
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