cover image Batman: The Dark Knight, Vol. 1: Knight Terrors

Batman: The Dark Knight, Vol. 1: Knight Terrors

David Finch, Paul Jenkins, Judd Winick, Joe Harris, and Ed Benes. DC, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3543-7

This Batman tale is supposedly all about the danger of both fear and the absence of fear. After a massive prison break from Arkham Asylum, Batman finds himself fighting many of his old foes, all amped up with additional powers. Batman fights to save Gotham, and himself, from these new threats, while trying to uncover the mystery of what is controlling them. While the fear element laces through all the stories, it’s not enough of a driving force for the book, and Batman lumbers around from villain to villain and conflict to conflict rather aimlessly. There are some traditionally exciting superhero cliffhangers that would be effective, except in all cases but one the cliffhanger is disassembled moments later as nothing more than a ruse. In fact, the only cliffhanger of merit in the entire book goes nowhere as the character in question disappears and is never seen again. The book is overwritten and fussily drawn, with colors that are far too dark and storytelling that is frequently difficult to follow. While characters in costume are generally well-done, out-of-costume characters like Bruce Wayne and Alfred are inconsistent and ill-defined. (Oct.)