Batman: The Dark Knight #28 (DC)

Batman TDK 28

Rating: 3.5/5 – Ethan Van Sciver’s Man-Bat makes this issue worth reading.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Ethan Van Sciver’s art is always a joy to look at, but unfortunately he’s never been an artist that could consistently produce a monthly book.  He has such an energetic line and puts so much detail into each and every page and panel.  His style may not be for everyone, but because of his talents, DC has used him on some of their big character events such as the “Rebirth” tales for both Green Lantern and the Flash.  Although he hasn’t done a major book since the New 52 launched, you can still find his work on an assortment of Firestorm and Dark Knight issues. So I was excited to see his name headlining the most recent issue of Batman the Dark Knight again.

Van Sciver has said in past interviews that he enjoys drawing monsters and horror.  Whether it’s designing the fear inducing yellow lanterns or the undead black lanterns, you can tell Van Sciver has a passion for the frightful.  So Man-Bat was the perfect villain for his talents in issue twenty-eight.  His Man-Bat is beautiful, in the scariest way possible of course.  He makes Man-Bat seem at least a few times the size of Batman which makes for some great splash pages.  There’s a fantastic transformation scene where Sciver creatively uses panel layouts to show the action, leading to a jaw dropping title page.

As far as story goes, a new Man-Bat is attacking Gotham City. We’ve already seen Kirk Langstrom as Man-Bat and most recently in Detective Comics backups, we’ve seen his wife become a “Man-Bat”, and now someone else within the Langstrom family has taken the formula to use on them self.  Regrettably, the story by writer Greg Hurwitz isn’t the most original.  That’s not to say it wasn’t entertaining, but yet another Langstrom family member using the serum, well it lacks a bit of creativity.  And the ending although a cliffhanger for sure, is one of the most common cliffhangers in comics.  That being said, Van Sciver’s art more than makes up for the lack of originality in the writing and I’ll be following this story into next issue because of it.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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