BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #2 review

Batman: Last Knight On Earth (DC Comics)

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2 is available now where all good comics are sold!

Synopsis

The world has been destroyed, and Batman is on a quest to find out who’s responsible. But when villains from his past begin to complicate things for the Dark Knight, he finds an unlikely ally in a place known as “the Plains of Solitude.”

Review

How do you top one of the single best issues released by DC Comics this year? By following it up with an even bigger, yet more personal, issue which really brings home just how much this story means to The Dark Knight.

Reading Batman: Last Knight On Earth #2 I had to remind myself this is only a three issue mini-series. The scope of what Scott Snyder has crafted is huge, possibly even bigger than what we’re seeing him craft in Justice League.

Whilst issue #1 (reviewed here) gave us a glimpse of the Mad Max style future of the DC Universe. But in doing so it also jumped between present day scenes and an alternate world in which Bruce was locked up in Arkham Asylum. In setting the scene it looked very much inwards towards its central figure.

Issue #2 does a 180 degree turn and, whilst keeping Batman at its core, instead looks entirely outwards to the rest of the DCU.

The list of cameos in this issue is hugely impressive. When artist Greg Capullo says that Snyder threw everything at him he is not underestimating the situation.

There are glimpses of a number of Supermen, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, a roster of Speedsters, Bane, Scarecrow, Swamp Thing and more. The rest would be far too spoiler-y to tell you!

But what is most important is the context in which all of these characters appear. This isn’t a series which throws characters at the reader for the sake of cameo value. As we’ve come to expect from Snyder and Capullo, everyone is perfectly placed to serve the story and to serve The Dark Knight.

Barry Allen, Bart Allen and Jay Garrick make a particularly impressive cameo as part of a Speed Force storm. As Batman and Joker make their way through the sprawling, post-apocalyptic desert they are set upon by a huge, red tornado. As the severed head of Joker explains it’s a Speed Force storm and we soon see the faces of the all the Speedsters caught within it.

Similarly impressive is the scene in which a bearded Clark carries an exhausted Bruce in a Bodyguard style moment which is packed with emotion. Of course there’s more to this scene than meets the eye but exactly what we’ve come to expect from Snyder.

As the issue weaves through its story there’s plenty of twist and turns to the journey. It’s safe to say that nothing is quite what it seems even in the appearances of classic characters like Lex Luthor, who has a lot to explain about how the world came to be in the state we find it in.

This issue also introduced us to the mystery of Omega, the villain of the piece. He (or she) has an incredibly foreboding appearance akin to first seeing Arkham Knight in the video game of the same name. We know very little about this character so far but he’s connected to Bruce somehow and we fear just who is behind the mask.

Most importantly Omega is not just another throwaway villain. His (or her!) appearance reminds us that there’s still a purpose to the story beyond all of the crazy imagery. This is still a Batman story and there’s still a villain to defeat at the end of the day.

The final pages bring us back to Gotham, but this is Omega’s Gotham and not the city we remember. Just when I thought I understood some of where the story was going Snyder pulls the rug out from underneath us one more time in a moment which really ties Last Knight On Earth in to the rest of Snyder’s epic tales of The Dark Knight.

It’s a clever move tying the story up in to the stories which came before it. Despite being a Black Label series this is still the culmination of everything Snyder and Capullo have been working on and there’s no doubt that final issue will be nothing short of explosive.

Verdict

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2 is an excellent follow-up issue. Filled with twists, turns and impressive cameos its Mad Max style vision for the future of the DCU is undeniably compelling to read.

9/10

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2 is written by Scott Snyder with pencils by Greg Capullo, inks by Jonathan Glapion and colours by FCO Plascencia.

Batman: Last Knight On Earth #2 cover art by Greg Capullo

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About Neil Vagg 4087 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