Between Batman, Detective Comics, Batman Inc., Batman and Robin, Justice League, and The Dark Knight, sometimes it feels a little bit crowded in the Batcave. There are a lot of different ongoing comic book series right now featuring DC’s popular superhero. Each book has its own creative team, and therefore, each series focuses on different themes surrounding Bruce Wayne and Batman. For example, Detective Comics stays true to its title as well as the Bat’s first appearance by focusing on mystery and thriller as a story vehicle and Batman’s skill as a crime solving detective. For this review, we look at The Dark Knight, and my description of this book? For those of us that still want Tim Burton’s Batman.
Honestly, I had never read any of novelist Gregg Hurwitz’s previous works before he took over The Dark Knight from writer and artist, David Finch so I tried to stay open minded but it was tough when I was already reading really great Batman stories in Scott Snyder’s Batman and Pete Tomasi’s Batman and Robin. The Dark Knight was the book I would read if I remembered it was there. I’m glad I didn’t forget checking out this volume. Volume 3: Mad focuses on the darker tones of Batman’s world and not just the fact that everything in his life takes place after the sun has set but his villains are terrifying. This book focuses on the lesser known villain, the Mad Hatter a.k.a. Jervis Tetch and I have never more terrified of this Alice in Wonderland obsessed maniac.
Mad Hatter has always been one of the villains that I took less seriously. How could you take a someone obsessed with a children’s book seriously? He didn’t have Joker’s psychotic humor, Bane’s terrifying size, or The Riddler’s charm. Hurwitz manages to tell an eerily believable back story for Jervis Tetch that begins in his childhood and the psychotic murderer that Batman is up against in this version of the Mad Hatter is someone who is a credible threat. Describing the plot will only be a disservice to this book but the art carries the story just as much as the writing. Ethan van Sciver is a staple in DC’s lineup of artists having worked on Green Lantern with Geoff Johns through big story arcs such as Blackest Night. Sciver’s Batman is big in a statuesque gargoyle kind of way. He stands at least a foot taller than Jim Gordon in scenes where they are standing side by side and anytime we get a close up on his face you can tell this is the pissed-off, no joking around Batman. Szymon Kudranski lends his artistic talents to a few pages as well and his style blends quite well into the crazy and twisted dream-like quality of the flashbacks in this book. It’s been said in our blog and in numerous other writings in blogs, articles, books, and interviews before but there is a Batman for everyone. If you love stories that focus on lesser known villains or a darker take on the Bat then The Dark Knight, Vol. 3: Mad is a hell of a good time in Gotham.
This blog post was written by Kindle Comics expert Charlie Chang. Interested in comics and graphic novels? Sign up for Comics Delivers, a weekly email featuring the best in comics each week - from weekly booklists to deals and exclusive content from creators.