Review: Batman: One Dark Knight #1

Batman: One Dark Knight #1

Batman: One Dark Knight #1 is a story we’ve seen many times before. A prisoner transport is attacked and then the prisoner and a guard must make their way through hostile territory. That aspect is nothing new but the presentation is so damn good it makes this debut stand out. E.M.P. is being moved from Arkham to Blackgate during a day when tension in Gotham feels like it’s growing and the gangs are restless. Batman is forced to escort the villain to his permanent facility after an attack on the original convoy. But, to add to the difficulty, E.M.P.’s powers have gone off plunging Gotham into darkness and frying electronics.

Jock handles the art and story for Batman: One Dark Knight #1, and the series as a whole, and delivers a debut that’s full of tension. And that’s a lot of what makes this familiar formula stand out. We know what’s going to happen but the way the story unfolds is done at a pacing and in such a style that it builds to that big moment.

But, there’s tension elsewhere that Jock builds that not just adds to the overall feel of the comic but also depth to the characters. While E.M.P. is on the move, a clash between the head of Gotham’s correctional facilities and Jim Gordon play out. There’s a disagreement in how Gotham’s more eccentric villains should be handled and where they should be held. It’s a small detail that adds so much to the story. It creates a debate for the reader to have as far as how these villains should be handled. It makes the comic far more than action and explosions.

The art by Jock is fantastic as expected. Clem Robins handles the lettering adding a lot to the story and tension as electronics fizzle out. But, it’s Jock’s art that helps complete the story. I keep using the word “tension” and it’s hard to describe what the art brings in any other way. It perfectly nails down the mood with art that’s not flashy but so nice to look at. This isn’t about splash pages, it’s about carefully focused panels and pages that slowly build to that moment when everything explodes.

Batman: One Dark Knight #1 is a solid start. The story is familiar but it executes it in such a way that it still stands out. It’s quality at every level.

Story: Jock Art: Jock Letterer: Clem Robins
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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