Batman: Arkham Knight: Genesis #1 (DC)


Rating: 3.5/5 – Fans of the Game Should Enjoy this Origin Story.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I’ve played and finished Batman: Arkham Knight and although I know the identity of the Arkham Knight who’s revelation didn’t happen until late in the game, I was still interested enough in the world and the characters that I thought I’d give this new comic series a try. Arkham Knight: Genesis takes place before the events of the game and stars as the title suggests, the Arkham Knight. It’s written by mainstay Batman writer Peter Tomasi and artist Alisson Borges, who’s work I haven’t seen before, but definitely enjoyed despite some confusing storytelling at times.

First of all, I’ll start out by saying it was great to see the Ratcather again! Although this isn’t the same universe as the main DCU, I have fond memories of the villain Alan Grant, John Wagner and artist Norm Breyfogle first introduced back in the late 1980s. His appearance is short lived though when Arkham Knight shows up in time to prevent him from killing Hush. Borges’ art is extremely violent, and his design of the Ratcatcher is striking with plenty of nods to the original. Borges’ line carries a lot of sharp edges to it, but his backgrounds lack consistency and in a few panels the action from one scene to the next doesn’t always flow as smoothly as they could.

It’s tough to go too much into the story without spoiling the identity of the Arkham Knight, but the majority of this issue is dedicated to the origin of this villain first introduced in the game. Tomasi does a fine job of fitting his writing of Batman into the world that Rocksteady introduced in the Arkham games, its just that the story is never all that engaging. Unfortunately for me, because of the character’s identity, the origin story is something I’m familiar with and read before and it doesn’t differ all that much from the main DC origin. So as intended, fans of the game should appreciate this story much more than long time DC comics fans who have most likely seen this material before.

Despite the familiar origin story, how Arkham Knight is in the position he’s in within the game is still something I’m curious about. I’ll be giving the next issue a try to see how the story progresses post origin. I’m usually a fan of most of what Peter Tomasi writes, and I’m interested in seeing more of Borges’ art since his work in comics is still rather limited. If you’re a fan of the Arkham Knight game and not necessarily the Batman comics, then this should hit the mark for you for multiple reasons. If you’re more a fan of the comics and not the game then this may not be for you, unless of course you want to see the Ratcatcher again.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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