One of the latest offerings to the UK by Titan Books is Batman Dark Knight. This single issue collects stories from various Batman books and compiles them into a bang for your buck single purchase.
This edition is comprised of three issues: Detective Comics #21, The Dark Knight #20 and a lead in story from the Arkham City spin off series Arkham Unhinged. The stories are by no means related, but they offer great stories in their own right, giving the reader a wealth of Batman adventures and art to enjoy. Although the stories were released a while back in America, they are still worth the read.
This issue of Arkham Unhinged features none other than Catwoman as she and Batman come into conflict with both Two Face and Hugo Strange’s military tact henchmen. This is an action packed issue that is brought to life by some clean and detailed art that is accompanied by stunning colouring. The character leap across panels with ease as the art complements their athleticism. Backgrounds tend to be dark but Mike Miller did not skimp on the detail.
The Dark Knight #20 is titled, “Down, Down, Down” and it offers an entirely different read, one that is focused on the psychological more than the physical! Szymon Kudranski gives us softer less sharp art that is shrouded in shadow and hue. Indefinite and elongated character shapes lend to the fear and paranoia that the Mad Hatter brings to Gotham. You can feel the Mad Hatter’s madness across each page as the imagery and writing works so well together.
The final issue on offer is John Layman’s “Shadows and Ghosts” story that takes place in the pages of Detective Comics #21. This is definitely the richest of the three issues on offer as Batman deals with a new enemy that happens to be an old friend. A friend that became a lover, a friend that died years ago whilst Bruce trained with the League of Assassin’s, but the ghost is back from the shadows in the form of Penumbra. The story also features the new supporting cast and Bat fans, Harper and Cullen Row as Harper attempts to prove her worth to the Dark Knight, and her skills just might pay off, with her life!
These three issues, for the price of one, are definitely a great deal. This collection shows the variety of Batman stories that DC has on offer. One thing remains constant across all three issues and that is the fact that Batman is becoming the backbone of DC as each issue never seizes to impress the reader with great writing accompanied by astounding illustrations.