March Going Bats Madness – BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT 3/05/11
BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #1 (DC Comics, 12/29/2010, Jan 2011 cover date) Written, penciled and cover by David Finch. Inked by Scott Williams. Colored by Alex Sinclair. Lettered by Dave Sharpe. “Golden Dawn, Part One”
A new Batman book drawn by the incomparable David Finch is reason enough to celebrate. A new Batman book that is also written by Finch is something new. I eagerly looked forward to this title’s debut, just imagining the possibilities when the scripter’s ideas can be flawlessly coordinated with the artist’s vision - - easy enough when writer/artist are the same person.
The remainder of the art team on this book are the perfect compliment to Finch’s style. This is a gorgeous book to view. I can’t remember being this enchanted by the art in a Batman book since the first HUSH series. Ironically, the one artist whose style reminds me the most of David Finch is Jim Lee. Finch is both a master of detail as well as an artist who seems to understand the positioning of characters in panels better than anyone else. (A little study of this book will help you better understand my meaning. It’s hard to describe. A visual example is best.) The shading, the depth, the shadows, the smallest details - - all perfect !
There are too many examples to list them all here. But check out how Finch depicts the effects of a heavy rainfall as it hits the industrial piping that Batman is standing on, a glass marquee smashing down into Killer Croc’s neck and shoulders, the marvelous two-page panel revealing interior details of the Batcave, and the concluding panel with the Penguin and henchmen confronting Batman as the overhead commercial fluorescent lighting casts the appropriate glow on the action below.
Equally impressive is what Finch has down with the script of the opening chapter in a six-part story arc. We get an engaging introduction to a tale that includes several familiar villains and an investigation into the seedy and supernatural side of Gotham worthy of the detective skills of Bruce Wayne, the original Batman. There’s some neat background/history that reveals the connection between a young Bruce Wayne (before his parents died) and the daughter of a family friend - - Dawn Golden, a young and aloof but enchanting red-haired, green-eyed beauty that mesmerizes young Bruce and stirs new feelings in his emotional development. This Dawn reminds me of another indie-comics Dawn - - also a green eyed, red haired beauty.
There is so much to like about BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT. Issue #2 doesn’t debut until March 23, 2011- - - and then it promises to come out monthly. I can’t wait to see it.