Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia, and Pat Brosseau
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 17th, 2022
Bruce Wayne’s travels and conversion into BATMAN continue this week in BATMAN: THE KNIGHT #5 by Chip Zdarsky as Bruce finds himself imprisoned after leaving Master Kirigi and the mountaintop bordering North Korea. But, how did Bruce get captured and why? Is he following Ducard’s list? And if so, who’s he after now? Let’s dive into the issue and find out!
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Batman: The Knight #5 Review.
Zdarsky throws a quick swerve into the beginning of the story as a shocking twist reveals an undercover Ex-KGB operative that appears to be a master of disguise, however, doesn’t come across as too believable for my tastes. Moreover, Zdarsky’s focus in BATMAN: THE KNIGHT #5 was to showcase how BATMAN learned the art of illusion, disguise, and espionage. Granted, these are compelling aspects of the character but they’re not what drives the BATMAN. It’s these elements that provide angles like Matches Malone more so than BATMAN himself. And due to that perspective, this week’s tale lacked some of the action and suspense that the prior installments carried along with it.
What was an interesting perspective was how straight-laced and proper Bruce comes across as compared to the movies and other adaptations of the character. Sure, this is his beginning before he becomes BATMAN. However, I didn’t take him as this naive even after his prior experiences in this comic series. And that’s how he comes across in this issue of BATMAN: THE KNIGHT #5.
Additionally, he’s not as quick on his feet as you’d think Bruce to be. I’m not suggesting this is wrong nor am I suggesting that I don’t like this perspective. What I am saying is that I feel like this chapter should have come before his martial arts training fitting the flow of the overall narrative better and making the story flow a bit more logically.
Nevertheless, the suspense does pick up as Avery, the renowned spy, sends Anton and Bruce on a mission/ game to get intel that manages to go awry. The positive was showcasing the drive Bruce has to be the very best to win. However, Zdarsky interjects some characteristics involving Anton that were unnecessary to the story and will probably never be revisited again. Yet, they were nicely played against by Bruce at the end of the issue in order to succeed and gain the upper hand.
Carmine Di Giandomenico and Ivan Plascencia continue their BATMAN origin tour with the usual sketchy linework that even comes across as somewhat noir but with a bit more color and pizzazz. However, I found myself focusing so much on Bruce’s facial expressions as he was maneuvering through BATMAN: THE KNIGHT #5. Di Giandomenico’s attention to detail with Bruce’s shock and dismay were spot on and added the emotional tension the story needed at the right times.
BATMAN: THE KNIGHT #5 was somewhat slower with a bit less suspense and thrills than the prior issues in the story to date. The action was more tame, the villainy was toned down, and the story beats seemed insignificant, especially as BATMAN: THE KNIGHT #5 came to a close for what appeared to be for nothing. Ultimately, it’s just a down issue from what we’ve received prior but it doesn’t mean you should drop the series by any stretch. Every creative team has a down issue here or there and that’s all this was. I feel confident that the story will be buzzing again next month. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!