Title: Batman: Last Knight on Earth.
Writer(s): Scott Snyder.
Illustrator(s): Greg Capullo.
Inker(s): Jonathan Glapion.
Colourist(s): FCO Plascencia.
Letterer(s): Tom Napolitano.
Publisher: DC Black Label.
Release Date: April 7th, 2020.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Sometimes you build a bond so deep with someone that your minds connect on a cosmic level unattainable to the common mortal. Through hardship and success, you learn to perfect your communication with this other being and almost make it seem like it was an innate and natural ability passed along by the Gods of Creativity and Innovation. Within the comic book industry, such partnerships have come and gone throughout time, leaving behind countless monumental tales for others to remember them by. Amongst these heavenly matchups, legendary writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, who both have delivered together the incredible Batman: Court of Owls saga and Dark Nights: Metal event return together for their final Batman tale with no chains restraining them as they flex their creative muscles under the DC Black Label imprint.
What is Batman: Last Knight on Earth about? Split into three oversized special issues, this final tale of the Dark Knight sends Bruce Wayne looking into an odd mystery hidden within Gotham that leads him back to the alley where it all started for him. Caught off guard and unable to comprehend what he discovers, the story temporally shifts to a time where he finds himself tethered to a hospital bed where he wakes up from a coma and is trapped in an inexplicable reality where the life he has known as the guardian crusader of Gotham City might have all just been a fiction of his imagination. However, things aren’t exactly what they seem as the story spirals into a daunting post-apocalyptic future where he must figure out what caused his world to be destroyed.
Writer Scott Snyder has often gone over and beyond with his story-telling throughout his time with Batman, whether it’s during his New 52 Batman comic book run or his Metal palooza. Embracing his inner Grant Morrison, he officially outdoes his previous achievements and distinguishes himself in this story arc with one of his most overblown, ludicrous, and radical portrayal of a world that has seen the worse while under the guidance of Batman. Drawing upon this powerhouse creative team’s past lore established together, they now looked into gluing together a mosaic worthy of their most outlandish ideas as they attempt to raise the Dark Knight as the only hero left in the world who could pierce a ray of hope within a post-apocalyptic future reigned by an unmatched and deranged usurper. While the story radiantly glows with their known fantastical eccentrics, it turned out unrefined with loads left unsolved as the narrative drowns itself in their unwavering creativity.
Narrated by an unnamed figure—whose identity can be guessed further into the story—and featuring an exhaustive cast of characters that have been significant to Batman throughout his life, artist Greg Capullo was in his zone to depict the Caped Crusader for one last time in all of his New 52 glory as he channeled his trademark gritty, rough, and brilliantly expressive artistic vision into this grand finale. Assisted with inker Jonathan Glapion and colourist FCO Plascencia, they were also able to breathe life into a dystopian world void of heroes while still giving Batman his obsidian black shades accentuating his iconic fear-based presence.
While the narrative searches to contrast an Old versus New World, it remains intriguing to see new character designs introduced into the story while familiarity in their facial expressions and beliefs soothes the reader in this strange world. Through the artwork, the theme of repurposing the world and its inhabitants that is ever so present in the story before the reader is captured through Batman’s determined mannerism and remains the sole driver in this far-out experience. The overall impression left by the tale might not be as bittersweet as desired but several sequences throughout the story are enshrined by the breathtaking artwork.
Batman: Last Knight on Earth is the ultimate swan song encapsulating Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s cautionary vision of Batman and the future.
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for this copy!