After many delays, the second issue of The Dark Knight by David Finch has finally been released. Opening where we left off, Batman is interrogating Penguin, despite the presence of goons behind him, holding the military grade weaponry. When Penguin refuses to answer any questions, Batman makes short work of the henchmen and gives chase to the fleeing bird.
Mid-chase we cut to a news anchor detailing the breakout of Killer Croc, where Gordon is on the phone to Harvey Bullock at GCPD. He's given two pieces of information that will no doubt be important as this arc. 1. Mayor Hardy is having Internal Affairs look into Commissioner Gordon and 2. Forbes, the rookie from the previous issue, has been put on the Dawn Golden case.
Back in the pursuit of Penguin, Batman catches him and begins savagely beating him, demanding answers the Penguin isn't willing to give up. Alfred listens to the cowl mic in horror. Killer Croc, taken into custody in the first issue but shown as broken out two pages earlier, shows up and grabs Batman, smashing him headfirst into a wall and knocking him out.
Meanwhile, in the alley where the security-less Batmobile is parked, a street thug happens upon the car and drives it away, revealing the thug to be a young girl. Killer Croc and Penguin emerge with an unconscious Batman.
We move to revisit the indigents from the first issue, still talking about their missing friends. They all believe something is hunting them, and a panel of a creature lurking on a fence watching them proves they're not wrong. What they're being hunted for, we're still not let in on.
A scene with Jason Blood turning into Etrigan the Demon, because there are signs neither of them can ignore. What importance this will play has also yet to be revealed.
Batman awakens from his stupor tied to a support beam in a spacious room, a TV in front of him and bombs strapped to him. As he struggles to get his bearings, he remembers the pendant he found at Penguin's establishment. He realizes he can physically feel it gone, and the rage it seemed to bring from within him. Immediately, he's struck in the face by Killer Croc and the TV is turned on. From a sick-bed, Penguin taunts him and agrees to show him Dawn Golden. Though we don't see where she is, Penguin says he doesn't know how long she'll be able to stand the heat.
We end the issue with one of the indigents fleeing from the monsters before it finally catches him. Again, we're left with the teasing "To Be Continued…"
This issue was a solid issue, but definitely not worth nearly three months of delays. David Finch has given us some solid story work, with clues being laid down nearly every page. I do find myself wanting to know what happened to Dawn Golden and why her pendant caused such an overreaction in Bruce as he savagely beat Penguin. The introduction of Jason Blood/Etrigan will no doubt provide some of the much needed answers.
As I said last issue, the art is simply stunning. I applaud the coloring choices by Scott Williams, as they serve to highlight the Finch drawings. The standout panel, in my opinion, is a tie between Gordon as he talks on the phone with Bullock, and Bruce awakening in his prison. I sincerely hope I don't end up having to wait three more months for the next issue, but I'll wait if the art turns out like this.
Batman: The Dark Knight #:
Reviewed by Melinda