BRAND-NEW COMIC: BATMAN ARKHAM
Based on the hit video game Batman Arkham City!
The title is on sale on 2nd January 2014 in all good newsagents and W H Smiths.
According to Titan’s promotional materials, this comic:
“Welcome to a bold new era forThe Dark Knight – Batman:Arkham! An exciting new-look comic containing 76 pages, featuring the awesome Arkham Unhinged, plus two favourite stories, Detective Comics and Dark Knight! Issue #1 is a re-launch of Batman: The Dark Knight and follows on from the previous The Dark Knight, issue #19. “
When I reviewed Titan’s “Batman/Superman” one of the things I liked best was the art, and how the characters were presented, and I think “Batman Arkham” continues this, and improves on it. I loved the characterization of Bruce Wayne/Batman in this. Again though, it’s a different characterization, both in the character, as well as artistic portrayal of him. I liked it, but wonder (as I did with “Batman/Superman” if this is due to the difference of Titan as a UK publisher). As with “Batman/Superman” I wonder if these differences will play out in other ways in the continued comic. This is definitely the Dark Knight figure, as you can see from the art on Batman, there are some classic nods to how the character appeared in those arcs, but again, the artists put their own spin on it. I really liked how Gordon was drawn, and written.
The layouts and splashes in the comic are pretty to look at and easily scan/carry the story forward. The coloring is wonderful, but I wish (as I do with many comics) that the colorist would not rely so much on blues. They tend to all meld together after a few pages, and this story deserves to stand on its own. The use of light is also great in these comics, and I really liked some of the highlighted panels.
The story is solid, although I’m not sure if it will be as clear to people trying to jump in with this issue, or are not familiar with the Dark Knight storyline. However, if you’re just a fan of Batman and/or are interested in just a neat and different take on the character, I definitely suggest checking out this new line.
The one issue I had with the comic (as I’m coming to have with all comics) is the oversexualization of Catwoman. The opening panels seemed like a big improvement, and I had high hopes. This seemed an edgier, but interesting Catwoman. However, two panels later, the second shot is what we get. Notice anything? Her face isn’t even shown in the panel. It’s all about the sexual. This portrayal continues throughout the rest of the comic, and I admit, it ruined the story a bit for me. She’s such a great character, but as with so many female characters (read almost all), artists and writers seem less interested in portraying her as a character than with a pin up girl.
The artists did a great job of showing Catwoman’s acrobatics in the panels, and I liked the dialogue between her and Batman. However, I just couldn’t get over my disappointment that once again a female character is short-changed.
This comic suffers more than “Batman/Superman” did with the dark coloring, and wish so many of the panels weren’t quite as dark. The one exception to these are the panels with Batman on the rooftops, which has great use of light.
All in all, I’d say this is an interesting addition to the Batman texts.