We’ve all heard the age-old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but in most cases a silent comic book is so quickly flipped through it’s tough to warrant a purchase. This silent two parter finishes up in issue #27: is it good?
Batman: The Dark Knight #27 (DC Comics)
Writer Gregg Hurwitz wraps up a human trafficking story in which immigrants are brought to Gotham City to work in Christmas sweat shops. In the process a mother and daughter are separated and Batman gets himself captured. Yes captured… by a bunch of skull masked goons no less, who are working for the Penguin. This issue picks up where the last left off with Batman in a cage, but with all the information he needs to reunite mother and daughter.
I’m a little perplexed with the cover by Chris Burnham. The female Batman is rescuing bears no resemblance to the woman he’s trying to save inside the comic and the bad guys look nothing like they do inside either. I guess he didn’t get the full memo? Either way, I had to check the cover a couple of times to ensure I was reading the right book.
Overall this is a pretty quick read, with not much in the way of writing to speak of. The story is rather simplistic, probably because lack of words forces it to be easy to understand, which doesn’t help its cause for a purchase. There’s no question Batman will succeed and the bad guys will get away and the ending is far and away the most cliched holiday comic ending you’ll ever see.
Brutal! Couldn’t that kill the dude? He basically slit his wrists with that one
What saves it is the art by Alberto Ponticelli. The man knows how to create dramatic tension, which is made more evident with there being no words on a single page. When Batman kicks ass you feel it and you see the fear on their faces. He uses shadows nicely to enhance the dramatic moments. The final showdown with Penguin does falter though. In this scene his henchmen are running past him to take out Batman all to be sent flailing backwards. Ponticelli doesn’t draw a background in this sequence which creates a lack of depth that hinders clarity.
Sad Batman is so sad.
Is It Good?
It’s good…enough. It’s nothing to blow your socks off; there have been better silent comics before it, and it’s a quick read. Still, there’s an emotional resonance that makes the read worth a look.