REVIEW: Batman: The Dark Knight #2

Posted by under *mixed, Comics |

After a four month delay since David Finch’s Batman: The Dark Knight #1 shipped, issue #2 is now in stores. We were both impressed with the debut of the series that sees Finch as both writer and artist, but after getting our hands on the follow-up it seems the bloom may be off the rose.

PTB: Seeing this book on the shelf took me by surprise. I normally look at the schedule each week, but I really thought I had no reason to look for this title any time soon.

KevinMLD: At this point I’m not even sure why DC is publishing this book. Finch’s exclusive deal has been completely wasted on covers. It was announced two summers ago and DC’s published three issues of comics that he actually pencilled plus an additional eight pages of a fourth. There’s no way this is a good deal for DC.

: I’m a big fan of his cover art, but I don’t think that’s all DC had in mind when they signed him. Obviously there’s The Dark Knight #1 and #2, and the 8-page story you referred to is from Batman #700. What’s the third book he’s done for DC?

KevinMLD: He pencilled a one-shot that Grant Morrison wrote prior to the relaunch of all of the Batman books in November. It was called something like Batman: The Return.

PTB: Given this book’s absence. I have to admit I really don’t recall much of what’s going on in the story. Bruce’s childhood-friend-turned-bad girl-socialite is missing and the entire Gotham City Police Department has made finding her their top priority.

KevinMLD: Plus I think Croc (who apparently now uses the drug Venom) basically raped her or sold her to someone else who would rape her or something equally horrific.

PTB: Yeah, I’m not sure I’m even comfortable with that being a plot point in this book. I know Batman fought Croc in issue #1, but did we know he was working for the Penguin?

KevinMLD: Not directly. Though Penguin did appear in issue #1 looking very much like the Joker.

PTB: Penguin looked better this time around (i.e. less like the Joker) but I’m still not crazy about this design for the character. He just doesn’t look enough like a human being.

KevinMLD: I disagree that he looked any better though I guess he does look less like the Joker. I hate his weird mohawk and monster-esque design. I think the Penguin as monster concept has its origins in the Batman Returns movie and is a terrible way to go with the character.

PTB: Penguin’s monocle pulled a disappearing act only to return in place a few pages later. That is minor, but was Croc wearing that orange prison jumpsuit last time around?

KevinMLD: Nope. Croc wore jeans and a trench coat last issue, but I think he was arrested and broke out in between issues.

PTB: It looked to me like the breakout happened while he was being taken in. I didn’t know they put you in the jumpsuit en route.

KevinMLD: I didn’t catch when the breakout actually happened so I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Does Batman’s chest emblem light up now? Sure looks that way on the title page to me.

PTB: It really does look like it’s emitting some kind of light.

I thought we were being misdirected regarding the Penguin having kidnapped Dawn. We don’t have absolute confirmation that this is the case since we didn’t see what was on the TV screen that Penguin shows Batman, but it’s a little disappointingly straightforward if he is behind all this.

KevinMLD: I sure hope it somehow ties into the monster thing that’s running around or Finch is wasting pages.

PTB: I kind of think we’re seeing another friend of Bruce’s turned into a new villain.

KevinMLD: Could be. That’s just the new Batman villain origin. It all goes in cycles. It used to be they would all experience some sort of physical deformity, now they’re all Bruce’s childhood friends or ex-girlfriends.

PTB: At one point, Batvillains were all created by falling into a vat filled with something, at least that was the movie take on things. Even Catwoman fell into a vat of cats.

Speaking of new villains, you mentioned the monster thing that’s attacking the homeless. What exactly is he supposed to be? Is this someone new?

KevinMLD: As far as I can tell. It’s probably Dawn Golden.

PTB: Wow, I hope not. The design reminds me of the Hobgoblin.

KevinMLD: What we’ve seen of his design reminds me of some Marvel character I never knew the name of. Sleepwalker?

PTB: I can see that. The story is decent enough. I hate that the schedule essentially requires a reread to get things straight.

KevinMLD: I feel like NOTHING happened in this entire issue. Seriously, what story progress happened in this issue that was worth waiting four months for?

PTB: The artwork is beautiful though as you’d expect from Finch. I just worry that it won’t be enough to hold my interest if another four months passes before issue #3. I really don’t need it to be monthly (Avengers: The Children’s Crusade is every two months and I really enjoy it). I think it’s just the unmet solicitation dates and the not knowing when it will ship that bothers me.

KevinMLD: Ha. You have the worst luck with the DC titles you pick up. It seems like you always jump on the wrong books. Like reading Blackest Night and Brightest Day, while the story you wanted to read played out in Green Lantern. You should be reading Batman Incorporated or Detective, not this pretty mess.

PTB: I honestly can’t argue with that. While the trade of this book will look fantastic, I’m still undecided about the story. Issue #2 lost a lot of the luster of #1, but it’s still a decent book and a solid Batman story. I know we don’t agree on that point though.

KevinMLD: Honestly, I don’t care that much about how nice it looks. It needs to deliver on the story and this issue just didn’t. It’s a bunch of scenes with nothing really tying them together. As pleasantly surprised as I was by issue #1, I’m equally disappointed by issue #2. At least the Demon showed up at the end. I have weird nostalgia for the Demon based on reading some of his ’70s appearances at a very young age.

Dear DC,

Please team Finch up with a writer and give us a book worth reading that ships on a decent schedule.



P.S. If you sign Greg Capullo, please don’t let him write in addition to draw a Batman book.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Join the Discussion