Batman: Arkham Knight #3 Review
April 23, 2015
Now that Arkham Knight seems content to leave Joker in the past and move on to the many living villains making Gotham’s streets unsafe, the comic is rapidly building steam. Pete Tomasi is weaving a complex, entertaining saga with his latest Batman assignment. And like any good video game tie-in, Arkham Knight is succeeding on its own merits, independent of the source material.
Tomasi juggles a lot of villains in these three chapters, from big icons like Penguin, Scarecrow and Harley Quinn to more minor players like the Abramovici Twins to the titular villain himself. This issue doesn’t really shed further light on the Arkham Knight, but it’s nice to see him included all the same. The comic taps into one of the fundamental appeals of the games, each of which managed to cram a who’s who of villains into one hellish, nightlong adventure for the Dark Knight. And whereas Tomasi’s Joker came across a little weird in the previous issue, these villains feel right on point.
This issue also taps into elements that weren’t nearly apparent enough in issue #2 – the comedy, the supporting cast and Bruce’s post-Batman ambitions. Tomasi brings this universe a little more down to earth thanks to the amusing banter among Bruce, Tim and Alfred. Meanwhile, Lucius Fox enjoys a lot of time in the spotlight (more than we usually see of him in DC’s traditional comics, even). The subplot involving Bruce’s rebuilding plans is intriguing because of how much this story emphasizes his advancing age and desire to finally pursue something lasting and meaningful.
The series switches artists in this issue from Viktor Bogdonavic to Ig Guara. Guara isn’t quite as apt a fit for this particular vision of Gotham. He’s more suited to brighter, lighthearted books like Blue Beetle. His characters (particularly the Arkham Knight) lack the right sense of mass and power. Still, his general storytelling is solid, and he helps keep the book dynamic even when it emphasizes politicking or boardroom drama over capes and tights.
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