Comic Book Review: Batman the Dark Knight #1 – Golden Dawn, Part One

Cover Art for Batman The Dark Knight #1

Story, Pencils, and Cover Art: David Finch
Inks: Scott Williams
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Dave Sharpe

In a Nutshell

And so Batman the Dark Knight begins! In addition, this is also the opening issue by David Finch as writer and artist for the newest ongoing title about Gotham City’s Dark Knight. In this first issue, a new character from Bruce Wayne’s childhood days is introduced. Her name is Dawn Golden. She’s the daughter of a Wayne family friend and Bruce – still engrossed with all things that fascinate young boys – did not like her that much.

Fast forward to the present, Dawn Golden has disappeared and Batman is following a lead into who’s behind such unfortunate event. Much to the Dark Knight’s surprise, an old enemy appears and it is a good bet that this ‘fowl’ one masterminded Ms. Golden’s abduction.

What's Cool

  • Ever wanna see Bruce losing his cool after getting bullied….by a girl? Well, it’s in this issue.
  • The art is just plain awesome, reminds me why I’m a David Finch fan. I think my eyes are melting.
  • I love the dark tones, it’s very Batman-ish. If you love the art in Batman: Hush, you’ll surely love David Finch’s work here.
  • Batman the Dark Knight #1 has the most detestable rendering of Killer Croc in recent comicbook memory. I love it!

What's Crap

  • While I’m fascinated with the artwork on Killer Croc, I can’t say the same thing for Penguin. Sure, Penguin here looks sooo evil, but I find the drawing a bit too messy, if not overly cartoonish.
  • After Batman Incorporated, the Dark Knight’s equipment has also become globalized in a manner of speaking which, according to Alfred, means each part of Batman’s toys are now tagged using international codes, so how come some low-level henchman was able to crack the Batmobile codes and take it down offline?

The Bottom Line

Frankly, Batman the Dark Knight #1 is a great issue. And with David Finch on the helm, I think comicbook fans can expect another celebrated title from DC Comics, both in terms of story and artwork. I just hope that Dawn Golden does not become another girlfriend-turned-villain who gets to stab Bruce Wayne in the heart. Now, aside from Scott Snyder’s Batman Detective, I’ll also look forward to every issue of Batman the Dark Knight. Keep it up David Finch.

Comic Book Review: Detective Comics #872 – The Black Mirror, Part 2

Cover Art for Batman Detective Comics #872

Story: Scott Snyder
Art and Cover: Jock
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

In a Nutshell

In the main storyline of Detective Comics #872, Batman (Dick Grayson) finally infiltrates the creepy organization known as the Mirror House. This secret society auctions off illegal materials and possessions that were once owned by Gotham’s most notorious criminals. At first glance, the group’s activities would seem harmless, but just imagine what would happen if the deadly weapons once used by hideous villains fall into the wrong hands, just like in the previous issue.

In the back-up story, Commissioner Gordon suffers a bigger headache as his murderous son James is back in town.

What's Cool

  • Batman gets to use the Smart Mask, a high tech disguise developed by Lucius Fox allowing the wearer to impersonate just about anyone. Think Cobra’s Zartan minus the painful injections. This is one of the newest enhancements in the Batman Incorporated arsenal.
  • The words by Etienne Guiborg aka The Dealer. His belief that evil is humanity’s divine spark is just so… biting. If you like stories where the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted, then this issue is definitely a must-read.
  • Scott Snyder’s style of interweaving real-life history into his stories never ceases to amaze me, just like in American Vampire. This time around, a notorious 17th century priest named Etienne Guiborg graces the pages of Snyder’s Detective Comics #872.
  • Excellent colors in this issue, the mood in each panel truly matches that of a hard-boiled detective story.

What's Crap

  • Aw c’mon, this is a Scott Snyder story. I’m a big fan of the guy from American Vampire. You can’t possibly expect me to have any cruel commentaries and I’ve already mentioned that I’m impressed with the artwork. Plus, it’s Batman we’re talking here. ‘Nuff said.

The Bottom Line

This one’s a very dark issue, both in the narrative and graphical aspects. That makes it a perfect addition to the Dark Knight mythos. How often do you see Batman setting a trap and falling into that same trap in one sitting? Clever twist, isn’t it? I wonder how Dick Grayson will get out of this tight spot. If you are a Batman fan and you still do not have a copy of Detective Comics #872, I suggest you go to your favorite comics shop and grab one now. You’ll thank me for it.

Comic Book Review – Detective Comics #871: The Black Mirror, Part 1

A whole new chapter opens in Detective Comics series. A horrible string of murders again besets Gotham City and the GCPD is far from solving the crimes. As a matter of fact, there are indications that some members of the police force are involved in these bloody killings. It must be pointed out that the murders occur after the much awaited return of Bruce Wayne and the start of Batman Incorporated, where Dick Grayson has been designated by Bruce Wayne as the ‘official’ Batman to watch over Gotham.

Cover Art for Batman Detective Comics #871

So, needless to say, Dick Grayson’s knack for detective work will be put to the test. Will he come close—or even surpass—Bruce Wayne’s detective skills? Better yet, will Dick be able to fill in Bruce’s shoes as the city’s Dark Knight? Well, it remains to be seen. But if there is anything that can be said about these brutalities, it’s that Dick will have to face one of the oldest evils lurking in Gotham City.

Rising comics star Scott Snyder and celebrated artist Jock has finally teamed up for the ongoing Detective Comics series. And if that’s any indication, this long-running serial from DC Comics will surely break the state of affairs in the Batman mythos. Snyder is known for his dynamic storytelling style, particularly in American Vampire series from Vertigo Comics. Jock, on the other hand, is admired for his dark, unrealistic but gorgeous artwork in The Losers.

In the co-feature story entitled Skeleton Cases, also written by Snyder, a vile mystery stares Commissioner Jim Gordon in the face. It all started out in the Gotham City Aviary and may soon lead into the police commissioner’s personal life. Color and art for the second story is by Francesco Francavilla.