Authors: David Finch / Paul Jenkins / Joe Harris | Illustrators: David Finch / Ed Benes / Richard Friend | Page Count: 208
“The only one in any shape to talk is Two-Face but he hasn't said anything coherent since he conveniently started bleeding out of his eyeballs.”
It's been two years since we started this blog, meaning it's long overdue time we had some Batman on it. The New 52 seems like a good place to start because I hadn't read it before and just finally got around to it.
DC cancelled its entire line of monthly superhero comics and then started them over from issue one. It gave creators an opportunity to trim the roster, to have Batman do his thing alone, reliant solely on his skills and his experience in the field. It gave writers an opportunity to re-evaluate their approach and offer a perfect jumping-on point for new readers. Instead, they did exactly what they did before: they introduced the extended Bat-Family earlier than was necessary and further messed things up with an excess of villains. Why relaunch at all?
The inmates have broken out of Arkham Asylum. Again. Someone better resign over this shit because it's all too frequent. There's something unusual about each of them this time, so Batman digs for clues and chases a white rabbit down a hole of self-analysis that threatened to become something interesting in the second half but ended up being over all too quickly.
The dialogue offers an occasional flurry of style over substance but mostly it's standard comic book stuff. I'm not so naïve that I believe every issue can be a classic, but you'd expect a relaunch to pull out something special, not rely on a tired old plot with unrealistic dialogue. Alfred tries to help out by being sarcastic but he lacks any of the charm he ought to have.
Artwork is suitably dark and moody and much too good for the bland story that is supposed to underpin it. The two-page spreads are great.
The book collects together Batman: The Dark Knight issues 1-9.
2½ slow starts out of 5