cover image Batman: The Dark Knight: Golden Dawn

Batman: The Dark Knight: Golden Dawn

David Finch, Jason Fabok, and various. DC, $24.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3215-3

It takes quite a bit of crust to title your new comic series after the most famous and significant Batman story of the modern era. It leads to comparisons that can’t help being unfavorable, since Finch is no Frank Miller. His Top Cow art background is on full display, with overworked scratchy lines and blank-faced females with artistically draped stray locks of hair. In this case, it’s Dawn Golden, an old flame of Bruce Wayne’s (and proto-pixie dream girl; she’s not a character, just a plot device) who’s now a socialite gone missing. In seeking her, Batman encounters Killer Croc, the Penguin, and the Demon Etrigan. Individual panels are well drawn, but the story, also written by Finch, consists of disjointed fragments and requires a good deal of input from the reader to make sense. Its only purpose is to fetishize violence, and its conclusion is remarkably antiheroic. This volume collects the five issues released before the line-wide DC reboot restarted the series, which means various plot threads are left hanging. Also included is the story written by Grant Morrison, “The Return,” which similarly sets up premises never realized and characters that no longer exist in these versions. (Jan.)