New 52 – Batman: The Dark Knight #2 review

This book sucks. At the end of “Batman: The Dark Knight #1” we saw this:

Clearly, expectations were not high for this book. I gave issue #1 a 3/10 and the 3 was only given because the art was okay. Issue #2 is more of the same.

This is a mindless comic. Paul Jenkins and David Finch seem to think that a good Batman story is made by pitting Batman against a ridiculous foe (the demons of hell in the original 1-5 series before the New 52) and then throwing in as many cameos as possible.

Batman has the best bad guys so why Jenkins and Finch feel the need to turn them into the same mindless beast is beyond idiotic. I suppose they could be trying to carve a niche with “Batman: The Dark Knight” by making it the outlandish “fun” Batman comic, but it isn’t. It’s just stupid. If you want to see Batman in a wacky adventure go read “Justice League” or “Batman: Brave and the Bold” and leave this book on the shelf.

Even Damian is out of character here. And how hard is it to write for Damian? Honestly? He’s an arrogant brat who thinks he can handle anything, yet when he sees the beefcake version of Arnold Wesker (back from the dead in the New 52, apparently!) he says “uh…I think we’re gonna need a little backup.” That’s not the same kid who went after Joker with a crowbar by himself. And it sure as hell isn’t how I wanted to see The Ventriloquist reintroduced to the comics again.

We also get to see a brawny Zsasz chase after Batgirl. He prematurely carves a scar into his skin because he knows he has Barbara beat…I’d argue that Zsasz would never do that, but he is on this no-fear drug so…whatever.

We also get a cameo of the Birds of Prey who are fighting the roid-rage Clock King, who looks kind of like the one from the animated show “Batman: Brave and the Bold” only it doesn’t work here and they somehow made it more ridiculous by giving him a wristwatch mask.

Then there’s another cameo ontop of that where Batwoman is beating up a guy who I’m pretty sure is The Cavalier only Finch didn’t do a very good job drawing him all hulked-out.

One of the greatest offenses the book makes is having Batman look ignorant. During a rooftop meeting atop police HQ, Gordon informs Batman about the inmates who were injected with this serum back at Arkham in the last issue, “The ones still alive aren’t in good shape. One of them says he saw a white rabbit for Pete’s sake.” Batman, who saw the girl dressed in sexy lingerie and bunny ears running around Arkham then asks if anyone saw a girl that night, too. Gordon blows this off and Batman moves on with the investigation no realizing that there may possibly be a correlation between the girl in bunny ears and the claims of seeing a white rabbit by the inmates.

White Rabbit, by the way, is a terrible idea for a villain. Sure, I don’t know what her motive is but do we need another Louis Carroll reference? And what is the point of her dressing like that. I mean, yeah, we see a lot of scantily clad villains and heroes, but this one seems specifically designed to appeal to the Hentai pornography crowd.

A hot chick with little to no clothing, a boatload of unnecessary cameos, and a ridiculous venomized Two-Face (Now called ONE-FACE) isn’t how you sell more comic books. This is a book that appeals to the lowest common denominator. If drawings of big boobs and watching an idiot Batman punch his way through a bastardized version of the “Batman: Arkham Asylum” videogame plot is something that’s worth three bucks to you then by all means go ahead. I say avoid this book. Brian Azzarello came out with a new 9 part mini-series today that’s starting out at just $1 an issue, go pick up three of those instead and give the other 2 copies to friends.

However…I might just be a Batman snob right now. In the past week I’ve been reminded of the great story “Batman: Year One” what with the release of that DVD and then Scott Snyder’s fantastic “Batman #2” came out and then I played through the jaw dropping “Batman: Arkham City” videogame. So…in the past week I HAVE SEEN THE MOUNTAINTOP. I have the image of a great Batman adventure fresh in my mind and “Batman: The Dark Knight #2” could not be farther from it. I’m giving it a 2, I don’t care how good the pencils are at times. When there are this many Batman books on the market, “Batman: The Dark Knight” fails to justify its existence and I’d rather have quality over quantity.

SCORE: 2/10