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I can not take this issue seriously. Finally, after numerous cameos, artwork focused only on beauty and a needlessly complex storyline, this issue reaches the epitome of punch-lines… and I can’t wait to read more!
To save a friend and stop a deadly drug from infecting the entire city, Batman must race against the clock and go up against a slew of his deadliest, drug-induced-super-powered enemies. But he does have the help of another super-powered ally.
This decent series adds another familiar face to this issue: Wonder Woman. Wasn’t this supposed to be a Batman book? These constant cameos have become a regularity in the Batman: The Dark Knight series. But rarely do they take away Batman’s time to shine in his own book, and have been a pleasant card this series plays as it tries to be a fan-pleaser to distract from the several quirks this series has.
Paul Jenkins and David Finch’s story is honestly my favorite of all the Batman series because it is a great excuse to showcase every Batman villain, a great ability for the series to have since it’s main purpose as a New 52 title is to attract new readers. What better way than to show some classic villains? One in particular who has been in a lousy title redeems himself somewhat when he enters the scene with a great battle with Batman which leads to a great two-page spread.
The problem is the melodramatic, 90s-esque narration from Batman that is for some reason in the 2nd person, which makes no sense. Also, for an entire page he thinks about how everything could go wrong to each of the people he loves, which had me playing the world’s smallest violin by the end of it. It is still a dramatic moment, but seems too “emo” for the Dark Knight.
This issue also references quickly an event from Detective Comics, which may have some readers scratching their heads for a minute. This happens during a scene with Gordon, who is upset with Bruce Wayne: a scene that shows Gordon reaching his final straw. This feels like something that truthfully characterizes Gordon’s character, a feat previous issues of The Dark Knight have failed to accomplish.
There are some things in this comic that are unintentionally hysterical. At one point, as a midnight snack, Alfred brings Bruce Wayne – the Dark Knight – some mint-chocolate chip ice cream. I know even Bats gets hungry, but this was a little much. The rest of Alfred’s dialogue was pretty good, however, as he sported his usual sophisticated tongue combined with some good humor.
The line-work from David Finch and Richard Friend is beautiful, and the combination of colors is great. The devastating backdrop behind Wonder Woman reminds readers how drop-dead gorgeous she can be, but it is funny seeing her looking forlornly toward the reader when she is speaking on an intercom with Batman about some urgent issues (yes, act like your posing on a Vogue cover while being surrounded by an inferno…). Artist David Finch has beautiful artwork, but this is the most obvious and funny moment when he ignores the context in order to draw something pretty. Though not everything is given the beauty treatment. Alfred’s face in one panel is mangled with wrinkles.
Reading over this review, with many jokes about the “emo” Batman eating ice cream, you would think I despised this comic. The truth is, I loved it. It is my favorite Batman title. I love the story, the corny and great jokes, and the odd art hiccups as much as the beautiful moments. It’s just a fun series with a serious story that can easily transmogrified by the reader into a series of jokes. Looking at it critically, Batman: The Dark Knight is the weakest of all the Batman titles. But I would not have it any other way as my guilty pleasure.