I love Batman. I really do. He is DC’s most popular character. But, like Marvel too often does with Wolverine, this issue just seemed like an attempt from DC to cash in by sticking Batman into yet another series. The caped crusader already stars in ‘Detective Comics’, ‘Batman and Robin’ and his own ‘Batman’ title. In the past, the ‘Dark Knight’ series was used as a home for Batman’s darker tales. After the grim finale of the last issue of ‘Detective Comics’, that no longer holds true. Instead, what we get with ‘Batman: The Dark Knight’ #1 is a very generic Batman yarn that I could have easily skipped and not lost any sleep.

[Warning: bat-spoilers below.]

Writer David Finch doesn’t do much this issue to expand on what’s already been done in other bat-books. It opens on Batman rushing to a meeting where, as his alter ego Bruce Wayne, he gives a speech that recounts yet again his desire to rebuild some of the more run-down areas of Gotham City. At the after-party, we’re introduced to a few other Gotham socialites who serve to do nothing more than vow to support Wayne’s rebuilding initiative. A detective from Gotham P.D. internal affairs crashes the party to tell Wayne that he’s onto his funding of Batman, Inc., but before that really goes anywhere, Bruce is rescued by Jaina Hudson who looks to be one of Bruce’s possible love interests in this series. As is often the case with these events, Bruce excuses himself early to attend to a disturbance as the Batman.

The disturbance this time is yet another breakout at Arkham Asylum. The scenes here are cool enough in that they reveal some new looks for many of Batman’s rogues gallery including a highly-updated Two-Face, and a look at some new faces joining the ranks of Gotham’s super-criminals. Other than that, not much really happens at Arkham. Batman arrives on the scene and, for reasons unexplained, immediately rushes to Two-Face’s cell. As the issue ends, we get a look at the updated Two-Face and I sincerely hope this is a temporary change for the character because, if not, this is terrible!

It wasn’t that this issue was particularly bad it’s just that, after the greatness of the other Batman titles, this was just a by-the-numbers story that offered no real surprises or excitement. It didn’t help that the accompanying art, which was also handled by the writer David Finch, was off in so many places. The faces of many of the men looked wide and distorted. I’d say that I hope this title gets better but, honestly, I hope that DC just drops it. There’s already enough Batman in the new DC Universe.

Written by DAVID FINCH