Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: "Batman: The Dark Knight #1"

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by David Finch (writer and artist), Scott Williams (inks)

Bruce Wayne has been missing until recently, so David Finch's number goal is to re-establish Batman, Bruce Wayne and reset the stage in Gotham for the Cape Crusader. The first issue is rather simple: someone from Bruce Wayne's childhood is missing so there's a crime to be solved. The new character, Dawn Golden, is palatable, but runs the risk of landing comparisons to Hush (a childhood friend who in turn became another Bat-villain.)

In fact, the dark, gritty feel of the art reminds the reader of the "Hush" storyline as the Finch drawn Batman seems like be inspired by the Jim Lee incarnation. Please don't misintepret my comparisoin: Finch's quality of art lives up to the hype with his detailed panels and sharp lines - all designed to explode off of the page.

The trail leads to Killer Croc, who has been injecting Venom to boost his strength. Finch's version of Croc is simply amazing: a monster reminiscent of the human at birth. While there's another villain who gets a redesign, it's best to leave that spoiler for a later date.

DC is handling the Batman mythology well, especially for fans of the Christopher Nolan film series. Finch's art is still his strength, so if you want a Grant Morrison story, please read "Batman Inc". "The Dark Knight" is rather simple: there has been a kidnapping and Batman will systematically battle through the rogue gallery of Bat villains to find the culprit.

For that reason, to see Finch's interpretation of the Batman universe even if it's in a relatively safe storyline, makes this a recommended read and follow-up in issue #2.

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