Thursday, October 24, 2013

Batman: The Dark Knight #24 Review

Written by: Gregg Hurwitz
Art by: Alex Maleev
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 23, 2013

Villain's Month Part Deux

Villain's Month has come and gone and while the Clayface issue was good fun, I found it a unnecessary Forever Evil tie-in.  However, Dark Knight #24 is what I was looking for last month...a Clayface origin story that is really good and looks great.

This issue should have spelled disaster for me.  I am not a Clayface or Hurwitz's Dark Knight fan.  I may have been won over on both fronts.  The issue is a Clayface issue through and through.  Batman doesn't appear in it and is barely even mentioned.  What we get is a heartbreaking story of how Basil Karlo became Clayface.

The issue jumps between present day and Basil's childhood.  Following last issue, Clayface is in a containment cell and has found a new BFF in the next cell.  He is a big fan of Karlo's movie career and the two delight each other day after day with Clayface's performances.  It is nice to see Clayface so happy to get the attention of his prison neighbor.  His childhood scenes are just as touching.

After Villain's Month, I'm sure everyone is sick of the troubled kid who had a horrible upbringing becoming a supervillain story.  Well, this is a little different and a whole lot more touching.  Young Basil has loving parents who try their best to give him a good life.  He is a good kid who just wants to fit in and be noticed.  This story shows that even the best intentions can lead to a dark path if they turn to obsessions and you get involved with the wrong people who feed the fire.

Alex Maleev's art is great as usual.  I'm surprised he hasn't gotten more attention from this book.  The present day Clayface looks unstable, as if he could just melt into a puddle at any minute.  The flashbacks were the highlight for me.  Young Basil didn't stick out of the crowd and the way Maleev draws him it is so believable.  The world is going on without him and you can see the pain this causes the kid.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: Dark Knight #24 is really good.  In fact, this is the Villain's Month issue I wanted.  We get the promised Clayface origin and the touching story was worth the wait.  I haven't been the biggest fan of either Clayface or this book, but if Hurwitz and Maleev keep up this momentum, they may win me over yet.


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