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Review: Batman: Arkham Knight Chapter #2


arkham 2The Joker died at the conclusion of Arkham City but if you thought that meant that the clown prince of crime was done wreaking havoc on Batman and Gotham City you were sadly mistaken.

 

In Batman: Arkham Knight #2 the Joker’s body has gone missing and it appears that he has set up one last obstacle for Batman. I’m not sure if I’m in love with the Joker being such an active part of this storyline. Rocksteady Studios made the bold decision to kill the Joker at the end of Arkham City and it was an absolute game changer. It was stunning. And while I agree that the death of the Joker should be addressed in some way, I think that writer Peter Tomasi has really missed an opportunity to explore the more psychological effects that the death of the Joker would have on the city of Gotham as well Bruce.

 

Speaking of Bruce, he has decided to take Alfred’s advice from the first issue and become a more active figure in helping Gotham as Bruce Wayne instead of patrolling the streets and has devised a plan to help build Gotham a future. The scene culminates with Bruce standing in a boardroom with a giant diorama Gotham City in front of him. It’s a scene that we have seen what feels like 100 times, 90 of them since the launch of the New 52, and it’s always the same, Bruce talks about his ambitious plan to rebuild Gotham and then we never hear about that plan again. Tomasi is a good writer and for him to rely on such a familiar trope is disappointing.

 

Elsewhere Penguin, is looking to make a power move to establish him as a major underworld heavy in a post Arkham City Gotham. This inevitably will lead to some sort of plan with Jonathan Crane, who hasn’t been seen since the conclusion of the Arkham Asylum video game. I’m pretty curious to see how Peter Tomasi introduces the Scarecrow but my confidence in the series has been pretty shaken after only two issues. This issue specifically suffers from some truly terrible dialogue that seems sort of abnormal for a comic penned by Peter Tomasi. And Viktor Bogdanovic’s art is doing the job but it is still wildly inconsistent teetering between some great panels to some flat out ugly looking art.

 

Ultimately this issue is just ok. The positive thing is that the next issue seems like it will be a major upswing in terms of momentum and will really get the plot of this series moving.

 

Stray Observations

  • Nice to see Mr. Hammer and Captain Sickle reunited
  • Tweedledum and Tweedledee make their first appearance in the Arkhamverse since being teased as a Riddler trophy in Arkham Asylum.
  • Tomasi’s dialogue may have been inconsistent in the issue but he continues to nail the interactions between Bruce and Alfred.

 

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