Knight Madness Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1
Written by Scott Synder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
Lettering by Tom Napolitano
Published by DC Comics
When Batman has been investigating a case for over a year, he discovers a pivotal clue that even surprises the great detective himself. In Scott Synder’s newest comic, Batman: Last Knight on Earth, Batman finds a young, frail boy who is kneeling where his parents were shot and killed. Wasting no time with the situation, Batman makes an emergency call to Alfred to get medics to the scene. But what starts as a rescue mission suddenly dissolves in a flash of light as the Batman slips into eternal darkness only to awaken in a completely different and strange reality. With Dr. Redmund hovering over him and Alfred at his side, Bruce Wayne’s eyes slowly begin to focus upon a reality where Batman is nothing more than a figment of his imagination. Both Alfred and everyone he’s ever fought against is present with alternate personas in order to bring Bruce Wayne back from his nightmarish oasis. But with everything Bruce Wayne has faced over the years as Batman, how can it all be a lie? With twenty CC’s of heavy sedation and a whole lot of straitjackets, my review of Batman: The Last Knight on Earth is now.
Awoken from sedation, Bruce Wayne finds himself sitting alone in a padded room. After his brief encounter with Dr. Hudd, who strongly resembles the Joker, he frantically looks for a way out. While tearing out the padding, he discovers what might be a huge punch in the gut. All of his years protecting Gotham City might have been an illusion as he finds a Lincoln penny and a small T-Rex toy in between the wall cushions. Though the story tells why Bruce Wayne was committed to the asylum, the shock of his parent’s death by his hands is alarming. During the night, he manages to leave his cell only to face Alfred alone. He confesses their world is all but gone and that the smoke and mirrors were necessary to give his beloved boy a chance to forget his alternate persona and live his remaining life as himself. The story furthers elaborates little about how Gotham City is in ruins and the fall of the Lantern core. Though alive and somewhat sane, embarks into the unknown as Batman searches for the truth. The answers are out there, but there may be someone who may hold the key to all this, and he dying to be reunited again.
Like living in the Twilight Zone, Bruce Wayne cannot believe what has happened to him and the city he’s sworn to protect. Being told that he’s responsible for the death of his parents is shocking, to say the least, but a faithful Alfred stands at his side. For twenty years Bruce lived as a rehabilitating patient puts his plan to action and makes a break for it. This is reminiscent of the FlashPoint paradox where Barry Allan changes the course of history that results in a doomed-like scenario. For Bruce, everything he’s ever known has changed in an instant and has no idea why? Even the villains Batman has fought over the years have become his medical team in order to nurse back to good mental health. It is a nightmare that he cannot wake up from thus begins his journey to find answers. Though Alfred offers some insight into what has transpired during Bruce’s absent, the truth is a lot worse than the fantasy.
From this point, the comic book takes a leap into madness as Batman ventures out in a world where Scott Snyder absolutely loves to conjure up morbid scenarios. Though Batman hikes through barren wastelands, he discovers a glass case hung ominously in the desert landscape. It is the Joker’s head very alive and very much the same. It seems that Batman and the Joker are destined to be together forever and the two move on. It’s not until, while out on patrol that Amazonian women find Batman and take him and Joker back to their lair. Another familiar face comes out of the shadows and it’s a weary Wonder Woman who informs Bruce what series of events has caused this world and Gotham City to fall in such disarray. A being who’s called Omega, who’s managed to destroy the heroes and humanity continues to hunt them down. Little is known about him, but after Lex Luther campaign to rid of Meta-humans that the war spiraled out of control and Omega took power. Diana, as well as some fellow Leaguers, have survived underground along with the remaining population. There’s little hope of surviving this ordeal unless everyone moves deeper underground where the god of Hades has agreed to offer refuge. Here, the lives of innocents are in jeopardy of annihilation and look to Batman, not be saved by him, but to leave out their lives with them. The same intentions of Batman leaving the asylum. Not wanting to be saved, but to live out his life.
Artwork / Emotion / Enjoyment
There’s a lot of panels throughout the pages that offer a deep emotional connection between Bruce Wayne and his tireless guardian Alfred. It is here where the artwork one could see the tension and fear these characters share for one another. Readers will find the head of Joker in a glass jar a bit alarming to see but to actually have it talk and express itself does raise the freak-level bar way above normal. Greg Capullo is a great one for details in the story and it shows. Having a young Bruce Wayne version tells this may have to do with him being fabricated as Gotham City must always have a Batman to protect. With that being said, the mystery opens to the debate of whether or not the Batman at the beginning of the book is the same person as at the end of it.
To conclude my review, Batman: The Last Knight of Earth offers a good start on a compelling storyline. Is Bruce Wayne’s alternate persona alive or simply created out of the figment of someone imagination. Is this the Batman standing in the place where his parents were killed or is it the Batman traveling through the barren desert with a glass jar holding the head of the Joker in tow. And let us not lest forget about the man/woman called Omega who is at the center of all this devastation. From what I could only speculate about this character is that Omega may have something to do with the regeneration machine Bruce Wayne created in order to continue to be Batman for Gotham City. This series is a short one with only three books, but it carries a lot of twists and turns readers will come to enjoy. The next installment will be available July 31st.
Batman: The Last Knight of Earth offers a good start on a compelling storyline.