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The Bat-Man: First Knight #1
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘The Bat-Man: First Knight’ #1 opens with an electric first issue

In its first issue, ‘The Bat-Man: First Knight’ delivers a captivating story regaling Batman’s early days set in the past.

In an all-new Black Label series, writer Dan Jurgens and artist Mike Perkins retell the beginning days of Batman’s career. Things are different than we know them. He doesn’t have the resources, the people, or the technology he has today. This is 1939, and the world is on fire. Meanwhile, Gotham City has had some mysterious murders racking up which has caused the Bat-Man to make his first big splash in the public eye. In this three-issue mini-series, readers can see a modern retelling of stories not often touched upon. This is the Batman who fights monster men and uses nothing more than what’s in front of him. So, is this series a compelling Batman story? Absolutely.

The story opens and begins by painting a vivid image of Gotham City and its people. We don’t see the Bat-Man, as he’s referred to at this time, for quite a while. Rather, we see the people of Gotham City. And they are suffering. War is coming and people are still reeling from the Great Depression. Through this opening sequence, Jurgens introduces the villain to the readers as well. He’s a mysterious figure who seems ready to take advantage of the vulnerable state Gotham is in.

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DC Preview: The Bat-Man: First Knight #1

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Outside of Bat-Man, there are a few familiar faces readers will recognize, such as Commissioner Jim Gordon, and Julie Madison, and references to a few others. This further strengthens the issue as the supporting cast has a purpose. Most importantly, however, is likely to be a new character made by Jurgens and Perkins. His purpose becomes clear within moments, as his role with Bat-Man will certainly be imperative to defining what his mission will be.

But what about the Caped Crusader? The Bat-Man in this story is aloof, resilient, and resourceful. With not many tools at his fingertips, the Bat-Man is shown to be good at thinking on his feet. He might not be as sharp as we expect him to be, and maybe he’s got some room to grow, but this aligns rather well with what you’d expect an early-on hero to be. This also makes the story more compelling, More often than not, Batman is now depicted as this almost perfect figure who has contingencies for his contingency plans. That can make him hard to relate to at times. This Bat-Man, however, is the furthest from that. His imperfections are what elevate the story as the stakes truly do feel like life or death.

The Bat-Man: First Knight #1

DC Comics

Artist Mike Perkins partners with colorist Mike Spicer to illustrate a hyper-realistic story. The characters almost pop off the page as their involvement in the greater environment is akin to a movie. Something truly brilliant in this story is the paneling, which helps direct the focus on certain pages while also being capable of distinguishing perspectives. Additionally, the colors and shadows of this story blend very well. There are times when shadows inch across the page while other times the colors are as illuminative as the sun. Overall, this is visually stunning as Perkins and Spicer play works to deliver a story with strong graphics.

From start to finish, The Bat-Man: First Knight #1 is a captivating read. This issue succeeds in delivering an uncommon concept: a Batman origin that takes place in 1939, and finds its strength in the setting. Forcing Bat-Man into a world with limited resources and a lack of supporters humanizes him while making his mission all the more compelling. The social contract to the impending War similarly parallels the citizens of Gotham to those in Europe. Altogether, this is a very intriguing first issue which ends on a shocking cliffhanger to leave readers waiting for the next part of this three-issue miniseries.

The Bat-Man: First Knight #1
‘The Bat-Man: First Knight’ #1 opens with an electric first issue
The Bat-Man: First Knight #1
The Bat-Man: First Knight is an engaging story that focuses on his tenacity and intelligence.
Reader Rating2 Votes
9.1
The issue does a spectacular job worldbuilding and everyone around the Bat-Man to life, which make's the story more captivating
The art in this issue is stunning, as Perkins and Spicer use a very vivid artstyle which suits the story well
The shocking ending further illustrates how innovative Bat-Man will have to be to survive
10
Fantastic
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