New 52 – Batman: The Dark Knight #9 review

This is a pretty mediocre issue with a very misleading cover that in the end made it feel worse than it is.

Tim Drake plays no role here whatsoever. He’s in it for one. Single. Panel. Judd Winick doesn’t even give him a line to say and although Finch did a phenomenal job drawing Drake on the cover, his depiction in the single panel within is pretty pathetic. Instead of being the first New 52 adventure of Tim Drake in Gotham, this is yet another forgettable Talon back story. It’s as if no one knows what to do with Tim Drake in the New 52 outside of “Teen Titans”. He might as well not even be considered part of the Bat-Family. What was he doing on the Night of the Owls, anyway?

Not only did I find it to be a boring issue, but the events of “Batman: The Dark Knight” go against what happened in “Batman” #9 and basically the whole Court of Owls/Night of Owls tale in general. Guest writer Judd Winick totally contradicts Snyder’s “Batman” series and throws a wrench in the Night of the Owls crossover. Not only does the Talon from “Batman” #9’s conclusion get back up to fight after a bullet to the head (and here it was I thought we were using zombie rules here and destroying the brain would be enough) but he shows Batman fighting this same Talon YEARS AGO. The whole point of Snyder’s story was that Batman didn’t believe the Owls existed and he was horrified to find out something this big and threatening could be lurking in Gotham all along. Having Batman completely forget about the Talon he whooped a few years back makes Batman’s breakdown in Snyder’s series look ridiculous. And sure, an argument could be made that Batman could have believed the Talon was just another random costumed freak who got away all those years ago and forgotten about it but that implies two things that aren’t true about Batman: Does Batman forget? No. Does Batman let random costumed freaks elude him? No. The last one seems especially unlikely since this issue goes on and on about how slow and sloppy this Talon was getting in his final years of activity.

Judd Winick also wrote Catwoman #9 and that issue ended with a Talon ,who was eager to regain his honor and find his 5 sacred blades, getting shot in the head by Penguin. A sentimental Catwoman wrapped his body and left it on the G.C.P.D. roof WITH the 5 blades returned so does that mean that not only will that Talon wake up on top of the G.C.P.D. any minute now, but that he’ll be waking up with 5 extra knives to use as well? This is just stupid.

Here’s how I score comics on this site: if it gets a 1/10 that doesn’t necessarily mean that I opened the book and found 6 blank pages and a used syringe, it means that I don’t think it would be worth your money. At all. If it gets like a 5/10 then you’ll want to flip through it at your local comic shop before you buy it. Any notch above 5/10 increases the likelihood of the comic being worth your consideration and hard earned dollar.

“Batman: The Dark Knight” #9 is not worth buying.

  • Even the art was a bit of a letdown this month and that’s a real shame because usually Finch has one or two pages that are definitely worth a gander but this time it’s pretty forgettable and even inconsistent at times. Between two pages, the unmasked Talon goes from being horribly burned and bald in one panel to having hair and being horribly burned in another and then in a final two panels he’s almost entirely smooth skinned and bald once more.
  • The cover’s false advertising is also quite the slap in the face to everybody, especially Tim Drake fans. One panel? Seriously? He gets more face time in “Red Hood & the Outlaws” and he’s not even on the cover. It’s not like I haven’t seen incorrect solicits or covers that haven’t matched content before, “Detective Comics” #2 had Batman flying a rocket ship on the cover for cryin’ out loud. But this is advertising a fan favorite character who plays no role in the issue at all and that’s unforgivable.
  • The Talon’s back story screws up a key element of Snyder’s “Batman” series and his resurrection after being shot in the head destroys the tone of “Batman” #9’s finale as well. Having the Talon get back up diminishes the value of Lincoln March’s final act and upsets the tone of that scene entirely.
  • It throws one of the Talon’s weaknesses out the window. By Judd Winick writing that this Talon can rejuvenate from a gunshot to the head, it implies that the Talon Nightwing put and eskrima stick into should rise again and the Talon Catwoman left on a roof should be waking back up, too.
  • There is no ending. Just as something new and exciting happens the book is over. ¬†Seriously, the next page is the last page of the book. You get zero closure and there will likely never be an ending. I think Finch said somewhere in an interview that the Talon would show up somewhere down the line, but I highly doubt it. Next month, Judd Winick won’t be around and Greg Hurwitz will be taking over the series and kicking things off with a Scarecrow arc. That means that “Batman: The Dark Knight” #9 has no impact on its own continuity, which now has two loose ends counting the White Rabbit, who was never caught.

Basically, what I’m saying is that if you don’t read this comic you will have missed out on nothing. Most of the events shown are from “Batman” #9 and those that weren’t are either forgettable or detrimental to the overall Owls saga.

SCORE: 1/10

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