Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Bat-Man: First Knight #3 Comic Review




  • Written by: Dan Jurgens

  • Art by: Mike Perkins

  • Colors by: Mike Spicer

  • Letters by: Simon Bowland

  • Cover art by: Mike Perkins

  • Cover price: $6.99

  • Release date: May 21, 2024


The Bat-Man: First Knight #3 concludes the throwback miniseries as the Bat-Man uses his detective skills to uncover the identity of The Voice and his medical skills to stop the Voice's zombie army.

Is The Bat-Man: First Knight #3 Good?

When last we left the Dark Knight in The Bat-Man: First Knight #2, he learned a secret mastermind was sending resurrected criminals to assassinate the power brokers of Gotham City. Along the way, he began to gather allies in the form of an understanding rabbi and an actress with hidden talents for medicine. However, the zombified killers proved to be too strong to stop their assassinations with mere fists and gadgets, so the Dark Knight decided to pick up a gun.

In The Bat-Man: First Knight #3, we catch up with Bruce Wayne, still in Bat-Man garb, contemplating whether he will follow Gordon's advice and carry a gun. Julie (the actress) unexpectedly enters the room, shocked to learn Bruce is the mysterious Bat-Man. Bruce expresses his feelings to Julie about his mission and the consequences of killing. Julie is grim but supportive in her replies, leading Bruce to give up on guns. The opening ends with a night of passion (Yes, this comic is rated M for Mature).

The next morning, Bruce gets to work examining the body of one of the zombified henchmen. It turns out the men were never killed in the electric chair but came as close as you can get, which means there's a connection to the Voice inside Blackgate. Bruce's research leads to the creation of a gas that undoes the zombification, but the cure kills the host.

Elsewhere, Gordon escorts Johnny the Whip into Gotham Central Hospital. As the only living soldier employed by the Voice in custody, Gordon hopes to get the Whip to turn into a witness once he's recovered. However, chances are high that the Voice will send his zombies to kill Johnny to keep him quiet.

As night and a thick fog descend on Gotham, the Voice makes his big push to kidnap Johnny and make him a zombie soldier, destroy the buildings and offices of Gotham's leaders, and kill every official to take over Gotham. In the end, only the Bat-Man will stand in the Voice's way.

What's great about The Bat-Man: First Knight #3? Dan Jurgens's Batman tale, set in his original time period, feels grounded, authentic, and cinematic in the sense that you could see this story playing out in the Golden Age of Hollywood without the modern benefit of CGI or modern special effects. If you've ever wondered what it would "really" look like to if Bat-Man showed up in the the 1930s, this is as close as you could get without being there.

Further, Jurgens keeps readers on their toes regarding the final reveal of the Voice's identity. When you put the clues together, it makes sense, but it still came as a surprise. 

What's not so great about The Bat-Man: First Knight #3? Jurgens's story is rich and fully detailed to build out the world of Gotham City, but that detail sometimes comes at the expense of pace and focus.

The action is well done, but there's a lot of talking and extraneous scenes in this issue. Some of the conversations are pivotal to the plot, some are not. For example, the brief conversations between Julie and her "husband" add nothing to the story. The movie filming scenes are completely unnecessary. The entire subplot involving the Rabbi and his synagogue turned out to be pointless to the plot and only existed to provide context to world events at that time from a Jewish perspective.

You can tell what's necessary and what's not by asking a basic question, "If this character, moment, or subplot was completely removed, would the story turn out any differently?" When you hold up the movie filming and the synagogue subplots to that question, the answer is "no."

How's the art? Perkins and Spicer do a commendable job of delivering a grounded, gritty, realistic version of Gotham City with oodles of noir crime drama. Their work here is significantly better than their work on Swamp Thing, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they do next.


About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


Final Thoughts

The Bat-Man: First Knight #3 ends the Rated M for Mature adventure of the Bat-Man in the 1930s with excellent detective work, an explosive plot to take over Gotham City, and strong art. Plus, the reveal of the Voice's identity is a well-constructed surprise. That said, Jurgens's script has pacing problems due to extraneous characters and subplots that go nowhere and an imbalance between the dialog and the action.

6.8/10



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