Arkham is empty and villains flood the streets, and now The Dark Knight has to change his tactics! Your Major Spoilers review of Batman: Knightwatch #1 from DC Comics awaits!
BATMAN: KNIGHTWATCH #1
Writer: J. Torres
Artist: Erich Owen
Colorist: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Editor: Michael McCalister
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Previously in Batman: Knightwatch: After a massive breakout at Arkham Asylum, Batman and his team are on a mission to bring all the escapees back. First on the list is Clayface! Using social media, Batgirl taps into an informal network to track the villain throughout the city. This inspires Penny-One to create a more organized network of informants and spies called Knightwatch!
REMINDS ME OF BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
This issue starts with a search for Clayface, one of the most difficult Bat-foes to track, thanks to his shapeshifting abilities. Batgirl is helping him with the tech side of things (including the latest news from Chirper) and Robin, who is out after curfew, They manage to capture the villain, which convinces Batman to create his Knightwatch, a group designed to watch over Gotham with him. When Catwoman shows up, there’s mistrust between the heroes and the former villain, but when Mister Freeze turns up, we get to see Nightwing, Batgirl, and Batman dealing with that villain and the mistrust, with a surprising close. We also get a brief adventure of the Super-Pets in action, as seen in their recent film adventures!
A BALANCING ACT
The really impressive part of this comic book is seeing all the parts and characters of the modern post-Flashpoint Batman mythos presented for grade school readers. The clarity of the story and the explanations of what’s going on in Gotham City is very well handled, including the appearances of the villains and the introduction of all the Bat-family members. There are a few panels where Batman looks almost goofy, which feels counterintuitive, but seeing a more expressive Bruce Wayne face makes me happy. Erich Owen’s Batgirl, Nightwing, and Robin are also younger than the Earth-0 counterparts, but as a reader, that fits in perfectly with the tone and the intended audience makes that feel perfect.
BOTTOM LINE: WORKS A SOLID DONE-IN-ONE
I didn’t realize at first that Batman: Knightwatch #1 was aimed at 8+ year old readers, but I appreciate seeing an all-ages book that really is for all ages, fitting in with the main Batman titles but also delivering its promise of Bat-Family for younger readers, and while it doesn’t ever really explain Knightwatch is, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. If the art can balance the wacky and the serious a little better, this would be a book that any Batman fan could pick up and enjoy.
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BATMAN: KNIGHTWATCH #1
It's interesting to see DC do a modern Batman story aimed at younger readers, and they mostly pull it off in this book, though the art is a little bit inconsistent.