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'Batman: The Knight' #5 is like a good James Bond adventure
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‘Batman: The Knight’ #5 is like a good James Bond adventure

‘Batman: The Knight’ #5 explores how Bruce got good at being a spy.

If you ever wanted to know what it took for Bruce Wayne to become Batman before he ever put on the costume, look no further than Chip Zdarsky and Carmine Di Giandomenico’s Batman: The Knight. Over the last four issues, Batman has gained keen insights into being a detective and how to fight, but now it’s time to find a mentor who can teach him how to be a spy. In possibly the most James Bond-like issue yet, can Bruce learn from the best?

This issue is really two stories in one, or at least that’s the impression you’ll get until you reach the midway point. Batman: The Knight #5 opens with Batman and his new friend Anton locked up in a Russian prison. They’ve been beaten every day over many days and been asked questions they don’t want to answer. Their ability to keep their mouths shut is almost as hard as the grueling hopelessness they feel.

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This ultimately builds towards their meeting a woman who is set to train them in the art of charisma, disguise, and cunning. They’re gonna be super spies, y’all! Well, not quite yet, but they do go through two trials to prove they’re learning. This issue feels jam-packed with content thanks to these different scenarios that Bruce and Anton must navigate. They’re basically given tasks and are competing with each other to see who can achieve them first.

Fans of spy drams like Bond or Mission: Impossible will dig a swanky ballroom party both Anton and Bruce must navigate. They have the same goal, but they go about it differently. Anton just entered the narrative last issue, but you can see how Zdarsky is subtly showing us Anton is willing to do things Bruce is not — seducing someone, for instance, or committing a crime. They may be similarly gifted, but Bruce’s moral compass is evident. One can imagine they will come to blows at some point, but Anton has changed the feel of what this series is about on some scale. It’s not about Bruce learning to be the best anymore.

Batman: The Knight #5

Break out!
Credit: DC Comics

Everyone will be talking about a key moment between Anton and Bruce near the end of the issue. It’s unclear if Bruce is a willing party, but Anton is clearly attracted to Bruce and moves in for a kiss. Whether or not Zdarsky and Giandomenico explore this further in future issues remains to be seen, but it’s a bold and progressive move for Batman.

Giandomenico’s art is solid, with characters’ facial expressions and body language always tightly drawn. This issue is more about the talking and Giandomenico keeps the visuals interesting. Buildings, environments, and interiors all look sharp and believable. The use of lighting is used multiple times to bring focus to the characters’ faces, like when Bruce questions his new mentor, or when masks are mentioned and we get a close-up of Bruce determined.

Ivan Plascencia colors the issue and a lot of the lighting choices are clearly by his design. It gives the book an espionage feel when characters’ faces have shadows playing off their expressions.

If you like spy dramas, you’re going to love Batman: The Knight. Bruce Wayne finally gets to learn about the art of getting what you want, manipulation and pretending to be someone else. This issue also does well to further explore Bruce’s new friend Anton and his slightly gray moral compass.

'Batman: The Knight' #5 is like a good James Bond adventure
‘Batman: The Knight’ #5 is like a good James Bond adventure
Batman: The Knight #5
If you like spy dramas, you're going to love Batman: The Knight. Bruce Wayne finally gets to learn about the art of getting what you want, manipulation and pretending to be someone else. This issue also does well to further explore Bruce's new friend Anton and his slightly gray moral compass.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Continues to show how Bruce learn things that'll make him become Batman
Giandomenico's art is great at character acting
The Anton character is fleshed out well
Good play of light on faces
8.5
Great
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