Who is the Arkham Knight? We thought we’d get the full picture last issue, but that wasn’t so. The cliffhanger suggested we’d get more info and boy does this issue deliver on that. Get the full origin of Astrid Arkham here!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The face behind the mask is revealed! Who’s taken up the mantle of the Arkham Knight? What’s their endgame? And what’s the shocking secret that Batman never knew about a part of his life he’d taken for granted?
Why does this matter?
Peter J. Tomasi and Brad Walker are introducing a new, exciting kind of villain in this story arc. It’s not a rehash of the video game, but instead, an all-new villain tied to Arkham Asylum. Get hype.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a strong issue if you like origin stories. Arkham Knight’s full origin is revealed across nine pages, revealing interesting details in how she connects to Arkham Asylum. Tomasi and Walker do a good job establishing the next major conflict between Arkham Knight and Batman too, setting up one hell of a battle. If you’re at all interested in this new comics-canon Arkham Knight, don’t pass on this issue. Overall I’m happy with the origin as it brings in a villain who could possibly be redeemed but also has good reason to be bad. She’s essentially a twist on Batman’s origin, which adds an interesting wrinkle to be explored later. That’s if she makes it out of this story alive.
The art continues to be exceptional. The thicker inking helps create dynamic faces and darkness in every figure. There’s an interesting artistic angle to this issue too, in the way we learn about Arkham Knight’s past via a scroll. It’s neat how Walker has the images jump off the scroll. Obviously, it’s not as sharp as what he’s done here, but it makes you imagine her ability. I might be in the minority but I really dig how Walker and color artist Nathan Fairbairn is doing Batman’s eyes. They are white with a hint of his pupils visible. It makes him look haunting in some shots.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Part of me wishes the origin was revealed over a few issues and maybe via some keen detective work by Batman — this is Detective Comics, after all. Instead, it’s sort of dumped on us in a convenient record Arkham Knight left behind. As you’re reading the issue it may not occur to you, but it sticks out as way too convenient and even rushed.
Is it good?
I’m all in with Arkham Knight as we finally get the full story on the character.