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Review: The New 52 – Batman: The Dark Knight #1


With release issues, a short run and a weak story, the first volume of The Dark Knight failed to deliver the kind of Batman story that the series promised from the start.  A lot of the Batman history was kept intact with the reboot and so far there have been few details revealed.

So as writer Paul Jenkins begins the new volume of The Dark Knight, we are thrown into a pretty explosive first issue.  Even though I was disappointed with the direction the first volume took toward its end, I wanted to give this title another chance.  To me, Batman is like pizza, even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

This first issue starts off with Bruce Wayne being confronted by Lieutenant Forbes from GCPD Internal Affairs at a charity event.  Forbes is suspicious of Bruce’s and Wayne Enterprise’s support of Batman and Batman Incorporated.  He suspects he is getting help from within the GCPD.  Bruce tries to dismiss Forbes with his usual playboy swagger, but has to be rescued by a beautiful young woman, Jaina Hudson.  Jaina is the daughter of an old acquaintance of Bruce’s.  The two share a flirtatious conversation that appears to be leading somewhere, but, as usual, duty calls.  Bruce slips out of the event to help with an urgent matter at Arkham Asylum.

As Batman arrives at Arkham, sixty five men are trapped inside while several violent inmates, including Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and Two-Face, wreak havoc.  Batman leads the Arkham security officers into the asylum to rescue the trapped men and find Two-Face.  As they fight their way deeper into Arkham they discover a young woman dressed in a bunny costume.  She quickly slips away but Batman is close behind.  He then suddenly finds Two-Face, but not the Two-Face he was expecting.

“Fear is a cannibal.  A goblin.  An unruly tyrant armed with a bludgeon of doubt.  But you are the Batman.  You are never afraid.  Fear lives around every corner.  So do you.  It lives in every dark shadow.  Hides in every decision.  That’s where you have the upper hand Batman.  You know where fear is.  But it never knows when you’re coming.”

The Nerd’s thoughts:  Great writing, great artwork by David Finch and Richard Friend highlight this debut issue.  My biggest problem with it was it’s just too damn short, which is the mark of any good story: to leave the reader wanting more.  It may not have been the best Batman comic I’ve ever read, but I will certainly be buying the next issue.  The Dark Knight #1 can be listed towards the top of this month’s great new releases.

Batman’s inner monologue about combating fear has been panned by several other reviewers as being silly and unnecessary.  I found it quite enjoyable and typical of Batman’s personality.  I do agree with the opinion it may have been unnecessary in this book due to the nature of the overall story.  It doesn’t ruin the book at all and it offers an interesting narrative as the story progresses.

With the month of new releases at an end, I am left with emptiness inside me.  Although I am eager to get my hands on the new issues of my favorites from this month, there isn’t anything quite like the debut of a new title.  I am going to miss the excitement with next week’s releases that I got from this entire month of new titles.

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Comments (1)

I thought that the first issue of The Dark Knight was good. It had a good set up. There are many possibilities presented. Many stories could branch off of this. That guy Forbes is definitely going to show up through out this series. And what's going on with Two-Face? This is the first Batman comic I've ever bought and I'm hooked.

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