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Batman: The Dark Knight #10

Written by Gregg Hurwitz

Art by David Finch

Inks by Richard Friend

Reviewed by Travis McCollum

Batman: The Dark Knight #10 is proof that a team can make or break a comic. Despite always being one of the top selling books every month, The Dark Knight hasn’t fared so well against the critics. Now I realize that one critic’s thoughts doesn’t form the entire opinion, but when you have an overwhelmingly negative track record on a monthly basis, chances are people are going to take notice eventually and stop buying your book, especially when there are so many Bat-books out on the market already. DC Comics must have noticed this and decided to replace Paul Jenkins, an otherwise talented writer, with Gregg Hurwitz, who has gained a reputation in the Bat-world with his work on the critically acclaimed mini-series “Penguin: Pride or Prejudice.” After reading Issue #10 of The Dark Knight, I can safely say that Gregg Hurwitz’s taking over has totally made this comic much more than it ever was before.

After a string of kidnappings with the victim returning mentally scarred, Batman and Commissioner Gordon decide to take it upon themselves to try and put a stop to this. Batman decides to focus on the latest victim, a little girl, while Gordon follows up on some leads, which end up putting him in yet another perilous situation. Batman is also dealing with some problems at home, primarily with his current girlfriend Natalya, who’s starting to feel neglected by Bruce. Little do they realize that it’s  The Scarecrow behind everything and this time he isn’t playing around anymore.

One of Gregg’s greatest strengths is his ability to create real situations in an otherwise fantastical world. Gotham may seem a lot like New York, but with its myriad villains and masked vigilantes it can seem slightly out of the realm of reality. Gregg is able to ground his stories while creating a well crafted narrative and deep character relationships. Issue #10 of The Dark Knight is a showcase of all of that and while it’s nowhere near as good as Snyder’s Batman, you could really argue that Gregg’s could be number two right now after this first issue. This issue does have a familiar feel to it, like it’s something I’ve read before (and probably better), but I’m really interested to see where Gregg takes it and I couldn’t be happier honestly.

Despite the critical backlash against the story and plot of The Dark Knight, one consistent praise throughout Jenkins’s run was David Finch’s art. Luckily Finch has stayed aboard on art duties and it’s still as awesome as its always been. Finch is a master of facials and epic splash pages and we get both in this issue. It’s also worth noting that Richard Friend’s inks are fantastic and really add a lot of depth and mood to the atmosphere of the art. Even if you don’t like Gregg’s story, Finch’s artwork and Friend’s inks are well worth the three dollars.

Verdict:

Batman: The Dark Knight #10 is a great big step in the right direction for the series and should be a definite pick-up for every Batman fan out there. A perfect jumping on point for new fans, I’m excited to see where this series goes. Gregg Hurwitz’s story mixed with Finch’s artwork is a brilliant combination and hopefully this team lasts for a long time. A great comic that nobody should miss.

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