BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #1 review

Batman: Last Knight on Earth cover art by Greg Capullo

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 is available now where all good comics are sold!

Synopsis

Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane.
And…he was never Batman.

So begins this sprawling tale of the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC landscape featuring a massive cast of familiar faces from the DC Universe. As he tries to piece together the mystery of his past, he must unravel the cause of this terrible future and track down the unspeakable force that destroyed the world as he knew it…

From the powerhouse creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the team that reinvented Batman from the emotional depths of “Court of Owls” to the bombastic power of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, DC Black Label is proud to present the bimonthly, three-issue miniseries BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH.

This could be the last Batman story ever told…

Review

The team of writer SCott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo is absolute gold. From Court of the Owls, to Endgame, to Zero Year and everything in between has, in my book, been an excellent read.

With Last Knight On Earth the dynamic (creative) duo are looking to tell one more epic tale for The Dark Knight.

Given the artwork and the synopsis I was a little surprised by the books opening scenes. There is some excellent setup in the “present day” ahead of what goes on in the asylum and subsequently the desert.

Framing the story in the present day certainly helps make a narrative connection with the character we know and love. As mind-bending as it would be to have started the story in the asylum it certainly cushions the blow a little.

I would like to see more of the investigation in to the chalk marks. It was a striking image to see it all come together and is certainly one of Snyder’s more zany ideas.

Perhaps more importantly, it gives us a moment for Batman to be the Worlds Greatest Detective. Snyder has certainly played to that side of Bruce’s character much more in recent years and it’s an aspect he writes really well.

His writing, paired with Capullo’s visuals make the book much more disorientating when Bruce wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Although its arguably the most predictable chapter in the story the visuals really help to elevate it and make it more interesting.

Seeing various elements of the Bat-mythology translated in to the Arkham world turned out to be one of my favourite moments in the story. Particularly given how Alfred and the team explained away Bruce’s various hallucinations from the world of Batman.

Synergy is able to inject a healthy of dose intrigue to proceedings. Following the chalk outline, he leaves us scratching our heads once more when Bruce escapes from Arkham. The reveal of older Alfred and the subsequent time lapse whilst he was in a coma were absolutely tragic when all was revealed.

More than anything Snyder is able to write the relationship between Bruce and Alfred in a way which really resonates with me as a reader. These scenes almost feel like a goodbye between the characters as Bruce ventures off in to the unknown.

Of course at this stage everything does Mad Max style crazy. We need Joker’s head in a jar, a mohawk wearing Wonder Woman and plenty more surprises.

I’m very glad this series if publishing via Black Label as it has truly taken the reign off and allowed Synder to push the boundaries of the character. In doing so he’s able to allow Capullo to draw Batman is ways he has never been able to before.

I very rarely find anything critical to say about his work and this book is no different. The present day sequences have just the right murkiness for Gotham, the Arkham Asylum scenes are suitably bright and sterile and finally the desert and subsequent scenes really ramp up the dystopian future aesthetic they are aiming for.

All-in-all an excellent opening gambit for Batman: Last Knight on Earth.

Verdict

Batman: Last Knight on Earth is yet another example of Snyder and Capullo working together at their best. Possibly more metal than Dark Knights Metal it takes The Dark Knight to all new territory.

It’s bleak and unforgiving but earnest and at times even heartwarming (Alfred we’re looking at you).

9/10

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 is written by Scott Snyder with pencils by Greg Capullo, inks by Jonathan Glapion and colours by FCO Plascencia.

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 cover art by Greg Capullo

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About Neil Vagg 3165 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG