Arkham Knight is no longer just a video game, but a bonafide Batman villain. Is he pure evil, or does he think he’s doing good work? In this second issue, Peter J. Tomasi and Brad Walker explore the very mysterious character — not by words so much as actions.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Batman’s first battle with the Arkham Knight was as brutal as they come…but things are about to get worse, as one of his most important allies jumps into the fray, and ends up in far over their head!
Why does this matter?
This is the first big arc after the milestone 1,000th issue, so it’s a tale you know that will catch readers to piggyback on the paramount issue. It’s also incredibly well drawn by Walker, with inks by Andrew Hennessy and colors by Nathan Fairbairn. Seriously, crack this open and I dare you not to buy it.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue picks up where the last one left off with Batman very much in trouble, bested by Arkham Knight and his goons. As the story pushes forward interesting clues emerge, thanks to somewhat obscure hints from the Arkham Knight. You’re going to be dying to know who he is and when the final cliffhanger drops you might just scream. This character is clearly somehow connected to Batman, but how? Is it Jason Todd? Can’t be, right? Only time will tell, but Tomasi has crafted a mystery you can’t put down.
You also can’t put this down due to the exciting action and well-drawn pages. The layout design is quite nice with perfectly timed full-page splashes, great double page layouts, and great attention to detail. The detailing in Arkham Knight’s costume, for instance, is quite a sight to see, making you linger on the various pieces of armor that make up his suit. Finer detail is also great like a moment where Bruce’s bandaged wound pops open, spouting blood as Alfred attempts to patch him up. The inking is above and beyond fantastic, giving everything a slick look and a darker undertone. Color meanwhile sparkles when it needs to, like in Arkham Knight’s eyes. I also like how burly Batman is with his shirt off. The dude is a tank and you can see it in his fighting and when he’s being patched up.
Robin fans are going to get a kick out of this issue too as he is featured quite a bit. Well, Damian of course, who takes the mission on his own shoulders. An underwater scene is rendered very well and his arrogance plays into how things finish.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Is it crazy that I think the big reveal hinted at might be coming too soon? We’ve only been given a smattering of clues and it might be that we get the full picture next issue. The mystery is very well done so far and I’d love for it to continue.
Pacing wise, the first nine pages are devoted to the action scene we left off with the last issue. It’s well done, but it does feel like filler since you can gauge how it’ll play out.
Is it good?
A great second issue in the arc that lays out interesting clues and looks gorgeous doing it.