Batman: The Knight has been a series that takes an enlightening look at Bruce Wayne’s journey in becoming Batman. A master detective and fighter, Chip Zdarsky and Carmine Di Giandomenico have shown us Bruce didn’t learn all his skills in a day — far from it. In today’s Batman: The Knight #6 it’s revealed he also picked up marksmanship. Given Bruce’s distaste for guns, it’s a surprise to be sure.
Batman: The Knight #6 opens with a deer grazing in a snowy forest. A quick shot of an arrow and the sound “FTT” takes the deer out. Soon the hunter is shooting arrows at unwelcome guests who happen to be Bruce Wayne and Anton. The next guru to train these friends is one of the greatest marksmen in the world.
It makes sense Bruce and Anton would continue to be trained by specialized folks, although it’s never fully explained why being trained in archery or shooting would truly help them fight crime. More knowledge is always good, I suppose, but as this issue reveals weapons don’t usually make situations better.
As was hinted at in previous issues, Anton is relishing the darker side of the training. Clearly, Bruce desires a partner of some kind, and it’s nice to see him bond with Anton over the last few issues, but it’s tragic that things turn sour for them this week. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but with four more issues to go in the series, a major turn in the plot this issue may change everything for the rest of the series.
This issue serves as a reminder of how awful guns are. Zdarsky makes a strong point through the expert marksman training of Bruce and Anton that they only lead to heartache, loss, and suffering. It’s also nice to see Bruce is a bit disgusted by them but knows he needs to know more about them to be the best.
There’s a major conflict in this issue that does seem to come out of nowhere. The marksman is certainly reeling from past mistakes, but his switch from helping Anton and Bruce to turning on Anton seems too abrupt. The reader certainly has seen enough warning signs, but a little more buildup could have made the marksman’s deadly choice a little more believable.
Art by Giandomenico and colors by Ivan Plascencia are strong, further showing how Giandomenico is one of the best at character acting. Well-timed extreme close-ups are used to help draw the reader’s attention to great pain and hurt, or in some cases the conniving nature of Anton. The fight choreography is good too with some nice blur effects to mix things up. Plascencia is always good at lifting the action up from backgrounds with subtle color changes.
Lettering by Pat Brosseau continues to add a lot of dimension to captions and word balloons. A weary word balloon of a character getting beaten is done well with a wavy tail on the balloon.
Batman: The Knight #6 continues to flesh out the training Bruce Wayne needed to become Batman. This latest issue is a pitstop in becoming a marksman but ends up taking a turn that changes things a little too abruptly. You might have seen the heel turn coming, but it’s a little shocking given how it’s depicted here. Still, this series continues to be a fascinating one, especially knowing Zdarsky is taking over the main Batman book soon.
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