Batman: Knight Out by Chuck Dixon

details
Title: Batman.
Story-Arc: Knight Out.
Writer(s)Chuck Dixon.
Penciller(s)Graham Nolan & Jim Aparo.
Inker(s): Bob McLeod, Bill Sienkiewicz, Scott Hanna, Tom Palmer, David Roach, Cam Smith, Eduardo Barreto & Stan Woch.
Colourist(s): Gloria Vasquez.
Letterer(s): John Costanza.
PublisherDC Comics.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: September 29th, 2020.
Pages: 272.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781779506696.
My Overall Rating: 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

thoughts

Life has a way of making us feel miserable. It will make us beg for miracles, for a hand to pierce through the dark sky and offer us mercy, beg for any sign of hope within this mad world. It is during these trying moments that some are driven to the limit of their sanity, abandoning any sense of justice, remorse, or guilt as they refuse to think twice when confronted with the law. Alas, life will have made them see that any means would justify the end. In Gotham City, not many are able to dig themselves out of the grave they find themselves in. Instead, they pursue a life of criminality and pray that the Caped Crusader doesn’t look their way. Diving into countless events during the dark nights of this city is the legendary Batman creative team of Chuck Dixon (Batman: Knightfall, Robin: Year One) and Graham Nolan (Hawkworld, Superman) as they present us with a collection of past adventures featuring Batman (Bruce Wayne), Robin (Tim Drake), and Alfred Pennyworth.

What is Batman: Knight Out about? Collecting Detective Comics issues #703-718, this graphic novel is an anthology of several adventures where Batman and Robin go up against new and old foes to take them down before they harm anyone in the process. From playing The Riddler’s games, teamed up with his two associates, Query and Echo, to discovering the pitiful saga of Al Gabone, to stopping a revenge-driven man-machine known as Gearhead, there’s no moment to rest as Batman fights crime, often pushed to the temptation of breaking his own rule, and finds himself confronting criminals who are either driven to lawlessness or dumped in a vast and cold sea of full-on villainy.

“Sometimes the future is even more certain than the past.”
— Chuck Dixon

Unlike other graphic novels, this reprint of past issues offers fans the chance to explore stories created by writer Chuck Dixon and penciller Graham Nolan centered around Batman and his rogues’ gallery. Read like a sequence of rarely connected episodes of crime-fighting, a lot of the narrative gravitates around typical action and adventure without ever diving into a complex or original story-arc. While a couple of villains presented here are well-known to fans, such as The Riddler, Deathstroke, and Firefly, this graphic novel also offers readers the chance to discover less notorious characters, from Gunhawk to Gearhead. Although they don’t leave any worthwhile impression on readers, it is the fun and borderline asinine story-telling that makes this collection somehow refreshing to pick up amidst more compelling stories.

The artwork by Graham Nolan and Jim Aparo offers a very traditional cartoon style that often feels very open and aerated, sticking to less but larger panels to display the characters in the middle of their crime-fighting sequences. Without overpopulating pages with dialogue either, the artwork simply flows from one sequence to another, allowing readers to gobble up the adventures without having too much time to think, thus stripped of those moments to realize the mundane stories that are being told. Colourist Gloria Vasquez also brilliantly contributes to this creative team’s comic book run by giving Gotham City the somber and sinister tone while also allowing the contrasting Bruce Wayne life to pop with life alongside Robin’s suit. While these stories aren’t that impressive, their derivative quality is sometimes exactly what you need every now and then.

Batman: Knight Out is an unfocused, episodic, and featureless collection of stories exploring the crime-fighting journey of Batman and Robin.


EXHIBITA
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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