If you're looking for nothing new, Batman: The Dark Knight will heavily supply you with overused ideas that everyone has seen before in a Batman comic. This issue starts the series off to an okay note, but is easily overshadowed by the awesomeness that is Batman #1. The only thing this issue does manage to do better at times is the great artwork from David Finch, who manages to draw beautiful women and Arkham's deadly inmates well.Writer Paul Jenkins begins Batman: The Dark Knight with Bruce Wayne making a speech about how we cannot let fear affect us. Bruce then gets into a heated argument with internal affairs officer Forbes. Their dispute is quickly broken up by the beautiful (and undoubtedly newest addition to Bruce's long list of love interests) Jai Hudson. But Bruce's time with her is cut short when he has to rush to Arkham and stop the inmates from escaping, which includes a very changed Two-Face.Wayne's speech at the beginning of the issue made me automatically flash back to the countless other speeches he had made before – particularly from the now "old" run of Batman and Robin when he announces he is financing Batman. His speech in this issue fails to reach his usual level of intrigue. Bruce's speeches have become very overused by this point and I felt the unmistakable feeling of déjà vu, having just read Batman #1. The speech is fairly short though and is inter-cut well with interesting new characters. Forbes brings up the fact that Bruce is financing Batman, and it is nice to see that plot element being utilized again, since it has not yet reached it's "overused" quota. The character of Forbes himself, however, feels very much like the stock cop character that hates the millionaire. He needs better characterization in future issues in order to really matter to the reader. He has some great potential for the future, but it will all depend on how Jenkins decides to approach his character.Jai Hudson is another interesting new character, but her personality will not be the major reason she captivates readers. Finch draws her beautifully, with a half page spread of her in a sexy white dress. She reaches, if not surpasses, the same levels of sexuality that Catwoman had in Catwoman #1.The rest of the story is decent compared to the boring opening, but the ending is bittersweet. Two-Face shows up and there is some anticipation for the next issue to see how Batman will handle him, but Two-Face's new body leaves me feeling disappointed. His only line also fails to intimidate or even make sense, like the weak narrative in which he kept talking about fear. And, since the comparison between the two is inevitable, the Two-Face ending cannot compare to the ending panel of Batman #1.Batman: The Dark Knight #1 has good artwork, but Finch's designs sometimes have weird physical problems. His final panel with Two-Face is over-rippling with muscles and, after a great panel with Arkham's villains and some blood-shed, the disorder among the cops and inmates makes the panels feel too cluttered and disorienting. This may have been an attempt to express a chaotic atmosphere, but it went by so quickly that it wasted the opportunity and just felt pointless.Batman: The Dark Knight #1 might be pretty to look at, but it rehashes many old elements. This is obviously easy to do with so much Batman out there, but most of the things reused are fairly recent and can be enjoyed more elsewhere. Two-Face on massive steroids is also a questionable choice that will have longtime fans of the character upset. The only really enjoyable part of the issue that will have some coming back for more is Jai Hudson, who is both interesting and great eye candy to add to the Batman mythos.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.