BATMAN: ONE DARK KNIGHT #1
It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. DC Black Label. Batman. Jock. It just works. Put aside everything you think you have a problem with, because I had those problems to. Do we really need another Batman related Black Label book? If the story is worth telling, then yes…yes we do. The Dark Knight rules all in Gotham City, but when the lights go out and he is left alone with villains on his heels, Batman is in trouble.
Written and Drawn By: Jock
Nothing about the story is overly complicated or unique. What is unique is the way the story unfolds. The way Jock tells the story over the roughly 50 pages of the first book of Batman: One Dark Knight is special. On the outset the idea of Batman being “trapped” in Gotham City fighting villains, well its been done. What Jock does is build tension. We get the day and times plastered on the page, we get Alfred in the ear of Batman. We also get word bubbles and news reports that help build the expectations of the city about to explode. Page turn after page turn, the feeling of dread/the threat is moving closer and closer to Batman.
In the first book it was nice not to see the main Rogues front and center. As much as Batman can be overused in DC, the same goes for the villains. Book one puts Batman and to an extent Alfred constantly top of mind. Going forward it will be interesting how Gotham City is used as a villain, as the threat. New villain E.M.P does his job in the first book and going forward will be interesting how Jock uses him.
Jock draws every human to look like vampires. Jock has their own style that works for a lot of people and for Batman. Its also a personal preference. What’s special about One Dark Knight and the art, is that with the prestige format, the art is just that, special. Oversized comic issues are the superior product compared to a regular single issue. The pencils look better (regardless of the quality or reader preference). Lettering and colors are both exemplified to a larger extent so ease of read is higher.
Jock is drawing and coloring all three books in this series (as well as writing of course). On that point alone credit should be given. Jocks work on facial expressions are on point. Where book one shines overall though is the colors. The idea behind the book is Gotham City without power, but that doesn’t mean without color. 3/4 of the book are bursting with yellows, oranges, pinks, and bright blues. When the power is turned off, the pallet changes to more blacks, baby blues and grays. With the oversized format and Jocks precis colors, the book ends up being one of the best looking Bat books of 2021.
Throw away the skepticism towards another Batman book. Jock does all the work, all you have to do is enjoy a fast paced ride through Gotham City. The Dark Knight reigns supreme in DC Black Labels latest.