If you ever wanted to learn how Batman became so good at so many things, look no further than Batman: The Knight. Chip Zdarsky and Carmine Di Giandomenico have revealed new skills in each issue, like Batman learning how to shoot in the last issue, and now in Batman: The Knight #7 it’s time to learn some magic.
As you can see in the preview, a love-torn woman has been cheated on, and soon she disappears with only her phone left behind. Odd. Cut to Bruce Wayne in a tank of water ala Houdini in a straight jacket. After breaking his record for holding his breath, the story pushes out to show John Zatarra is training him in the ways of stage magic.
This issue does a few things well, like establishing Zatanna’s role in Bruce’s life at a younger age and how Bruce learns there is real magic in the world. The plot plays a bit of sleight of hand with the reader, so to speak, first introducing Bruce in the New York scene simply learning new tricks but soon being embroiled in a magic-fueled adventure with his life at risk.
It’s an exciting chapter in the series and reads like an excellent lost adventure for Bruce to navigate. It’s also a neat way to show Bruce deal with enemies that far outpower him, but with his wits and determination, he can still succeed.
This issue also asks a few compelling questions surrounding magic and Bruce’s parents. Zdarsky offers a thoughtful explanation for why Bruce would avoid magic to communicate with or even see his parents. It’s an idea that never even occurred to me, but it’s nice it’s tackled here. This explanation also acts as a happy ending for the issue and Bruce.
Art by Giandomenico continues to be great with expressions and sharp lines. Those sharp lines might be on the face or how shadows cut into the background of a scene. Colors by Ivan Plascencia go nuts with the magic scenes with some obvious digital effects. The fire effects look great, and some obvious motion blur is used to amp up the action.
This is the kind of adventure you never knew you needed. Seeing Bruce Wayne at a young age encountering impossible threats and yet finding ways to beat them is exciting. He’s not even Batman yet but is resourceful enough to stay alive and hold his own. To further draw readers in, Zdarsky continues to reveal a tender, more human side to Bruce Wayne.
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