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Is It Good? Batman: The Dark Knight #16 Review

Among all the Batman titles at DC comics, a serious subject has begun to emerge: what role does Batman: The Dark Knight serve? Since its inception it has featured impressive art, but severe cases of poor writing. Stories either go on with no end or don’t seem to have much point. I’m still trying to forget the mess they made out of Bane a few months ago. With those thoughts in mind, time to put this issue under the Is It Good? microscope.

Batman: The Dark Knight (2011-) #16 (DC Comics)

I can’t help but think the quality of these books has something to do with the artists, who haven’t had much writing experience, writing the majority of this series. Now David Finch has been the mastermind behind most of these books, but considering the artists are writing the stories maybe DC Comics wants books that look great but may not necessarily read well. At the very least we’re going to get some epic drawings since these artists are probably thinking up cool things to draw first and good stories second. Here’s to Gregg Hurwitz bringing the story expertise here.

Is it smart to fly straight out of Wayne Manor like that?

This issue is a new story arc that opens with Batman stopping some kidnappers. To be more precise there’s a kidnapping raid of Chinatown sweatshop workers Batman aims to stop. Seriously you can’t make this stuff up…unless you’re an artist! Considering we’re talking about the Mad Hatter though, maybe kidnapping makes sense. Some sort of Alice in Wonderland twisted fantasy or something.

I think I’ve seen this is a movie somewhere. Anyone know which movie?

Damn it’s good to be a Batman…I mean gangsta!

About half of the book is an intense and wonderfully drawn action sequence. The book then completely changes gears as Batman gives some girlfriend named Natalya an excuse why he’s late. She suspects something’s up with his constant scratches and bruises. Really what they say is incredibly pointless, but it’s how it’s depicted that blew me away. As she plays piano and speaks to Bruce we see the panels have been organized like piano keys. It’s an incredibly pretty sequence, even if the verbiage isn’t the most profound.

Note the piano keys.

After an odd and seemingly pointless page of dialogue between the Pengiun and Batman we finally get a glimpse at the New 52 Mad Hatter. Considering the New 52 Riddler has been ameliorated to the point that he’s a genius who can get out of any trap in seconds you’d hope for Mad Hatter to be something new and improved as well. The jury is still out on this new version, although at the very least he’s not a bumbling buffoon as he has been in years past.

The henchmen still add a sense of goofiness but…

He certainly looks freaky. Judging by his temper and insane appearance I’m guessing he’s a much more unhinged and at the very least supposed to be a more frightening villain.

Um…your eyeball it’s…uh…

If you’re coming into this looking for sweet, sweet action you’ve come to the right place. The action is fluid and concise; it’s easy to discern and hits the right notes. Another particular strong suit is the technology. All the gadgets and tech look realistic and interesting.


Final Score: 4

  • Mad Hatter seems formidable…for once
  • Incredibly well drawn tech
  • Nearly everything is pointless until the final two pages
  • Odd moments that don’t seem to fit

I’d like to think this is an interesting chapter as it introduces a new look and feel to the Mad Hatter, but the issue seems to wander for no apparent reason. The opening action sequence feels disconnected from the main plot and the odd Batman/damsel and Batman/Penguin moments are out of place.

Is It Good?

No. Check back next month when the story actually might begin.


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