cover image Batman: Nightwalker (the Graphic Novel)

Batman: Nightwalker (the Graphic Novel)

Marie Lu, adapted by Stuart Moore, illus. by Chris Wildgoose. DC Ink, $16.99 paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-4012-8004-8

This satisfactory adaptation of Lu’s eponymous novel by Eisner Award-winner Moore (Captain Ginger) presents the moral dilemmas of a young Bruce Wayne battling crime without the aid of his bat-themed costume and gadgetry. Just as Bruce turns 18 and inherits his fortune, a new gang, the “Nightwalkers,” begins to kill and steal from Gotham’s wealthiest citizens. When Bruce’s interference in a police chase ends in a car crash, he is charged with several crimes and sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum. This rather inappropriate placement allows Lu and Moore to depict Bruce on the receiving end of objectification by the inmates, and sets up a meeting between him and Madeleine Wallace, a beautiful 18-year-old Nightwalker inmate. After a breakout from Arkham, Bruce dons a prototype armor suit to take down the baddies, adding more action sequences to the story’s early focus on interpersonal relationships. The art by Wildgoose (Batgirl) shows expressive, sharply featured characters in neon yellow-accented grayscale. While some may wonder where the batarangs and Batmobile are, readers should enjoy watching the proto-hero learn what is required to fight crime. Ages 13–17. (Oct.)