Review: Batman The Knight #1

by Carl Bryan
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Review: Batman The Knight #1

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico

Colors:   Ivan Plascencia

Letters: Pat Brosseau

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan


“I thought Haley would be more sensible” – Dick Grayson

Batman The Knight #1 – The origin of Batman and his never-ending fight against crime in Gotham City is modern mythology, but what of the story in between?
How did an angry, damaged young man grow into the most accomplished detective and crime-fighter the world has ever known? How did the Dark Knight…begin?
Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil) and acclaimed artist Carmine Di Giandomenico (The Flash) will take Bruce Wayne on a fraught journey, making allies and enemies, on his training to become Batman in this definitive new series!


Chip Zdarksky visits the early years of Bruce’s troubled youth where he is beginning his journey towards being Batman.  This glimpse has him settling scores with bullies with a vengeance (fisticuffs, poison ivy in towels, and locking him in a boilerroom).

Zdarksky verbally paints a very very troubled Bruce Wayne who is extremely allegiant to Gotham City to the point that he has blinders on about who he is and what methods he will use.  An academic machine courtesy of a very disciplined but arguably frustrated Alfred, Bruce has no time for exams but is clearly one of the brightest around.

Given that we see the coldness of Bruce in his adult years, it is clear that Zdarksky is taking the route of setting us up for a truly real even vengeful Bruce who is going to use his wealth, his intelligence, and arguably his lack of empathy for anything that stands in his way of protecting Gotham.

Zdarsky picks the perfect “villain” for Bruce – Dr. Hugo Strange.  No comic foils here with the Bam, Boom Pow of lighter years ago.  No spoilers here, but Bruce recognizes a villain when he sees one!

Carmine Di Giandomenico captures the darkness in Zdarksky’s script.  Rain scenes, dark libraries, and intense therapy sessions.  Hugo Strange’s glasses with a nefarious grin… Great stuff!  The stress of expressions on Alfred’s face… I miss Alfred in the current timeline.


How many glimpses into this do we need as educated Batman readers?  How many times do we go down this road?  What is different?  Time will tell with this series as there are overtones of Chip Zdarsky’s work in Daredevil that we do see within these pages…boxing aside and graveyard shots, but a different female presence in Bruce’s life that is “concerned” about his actions.

Sure there are stories to tell, but given the timelines, the scattered array of things in the Bat Universe due to The Joker War, Scarecrow’s impact on Gotham, Future State, etc.  Given that DC is going to “off” the majority of the JLA, is this retread necessary?


Alfred was always seen as the cool presence in Bruce’s life, but like any parent, he is as frustrated as we all would be at this “striking out” that Bruce is doing.  Private school aside as the child “villains” in bullying deserve it.  But the lense of today is different.  We know that Gotham is bad.  We know that Bruce is hurting.  How many times can we visit this?

Maybe a lot… the art, the cover art, the script is very solid.  And personally, I love it when Batman, even at this young age, sticks it to Dr. Hugo Strange!  Invest in any and all Batman #1 issues, but have specific lenses on when you read it!


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