REVIEW: ‘Batman: The Knight,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman: The Knight #3

Batman: The Knight #3 is written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico, colored by Ivan Plascencia, and lettered by Pat Brosseau. It’s published by DC Comics. Immediately picking up after the ending of Batman: The Knight #2, this issue finds Bruce Wayne and the Grey Shadow being cornered by private investigator Henri Ducard. Matters are complicated further by Ducard revealing that he was hired by Alfred Pennyworth to bring Bruce back home, which leads Bruce to make a deal: he will return home after he helps Ducard catch a killer that’s been menacing France.

The name “Henri Ducard” may be familiar to some Batman fans; in Batman Begins, he served as the man who trained Bruce Wayne before revealing that he was secretly Ra’s al Ghul. However, in comics lore, Ducard first appeared in Detective Comics #599, teaching Bruce everything he knew about tracking a target. Zdarsky puts his own spin on this, as Ducard teaches Bruce the skills he will ultimately use to hunt down the criminals of Gotham as Batman. However, Ducard is a cruel and ruthless teacher — he correctly guesses why Bruce is traveling the world but tears down his reason for doing so. “No one’s invincible, boy,” Ducard snarls. “Your parents weren’t.”

Ducard turns out to be not so invincible himself, as he takes a bullet meant for Bruce. Di Giandomenico draws the event as if it’s happening in slow motion, with each panel containing a different action; first, Ducard sinks to his knees, then Bruce runs to his side. There’s even a closeup of Ducard’s face, twisted in agony. Plascencia soaks the scene in red, from the background to Ducard’s pain-filled eyes. That same sense of red returns when Bruce stumbles upon one of the serial killer’s victims and when he nearly pummels said killer to death. And continuing the trend from #2, Brosseau continues to place characters’ lettering within parentheses, which means the entire issue is technically being spoken in French — save for a heartfelt phone message Bruce leaves for Alfred.

And that rage is brought up toward the end of the issue, as the Grey Fox says that Bruce needs control that readers know he’ll learn as Batman but lacks as a teenager. In a way, this series acts as a companion piece to the Daredevil: Woman Without Fear miniseries that Zdarsky wrote over at Marvel. In Woman Without Fear, Elektra Natchios struggled with her past deeds and her love for Matt Murdock, which drove her to pick up the Daredevil mantle. In The Knight, Bruce struggles to control his anger at a world that took his parents away from him. Zdarsky joins the rare club of Batman writers who actually understand that Bruce Wayne is a human being with feelings, and exploring those feelings makes for interesting stories.

Batman: The Knight #3 explores the rage boiling deep within the Dark Knight’s soul as he continues to forge his secret identity. Between this series and his upcoming run on the main Batman title, Zdarsky is looking to do for Batman what he’s done for Daredevil, and I welcome it.

Batman: The Knight #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 


Batman: The Knight #3
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TL;DR

Batman: The Knight #3 explores the rage boiling deep within the Dark Knight’s soul as he continues to forge his secret identity. Between this series and his upcoming run on the main Batman title, Zdarsky is looking to do for Batman what he’s done for Daredevil, and I welcome it.