Title/Book: Batman: In Darkest Knight
Writer: Mike W. Barr
Artist: Jerry Bingham
Colorist: Digital Cameleon
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Release Date: 1994
This is an Elseworlds tale, which is pretty much the DC version of Marvel’s “What If…?” In this one, the question is “what if Bruce Wayne was chosen as the Green Lantern of sector 2814?” Additionally, Bruce is set up as the first superhero — before Superman, before Wonder Woman, before them all.
Like many of the Elseworlds titles, In Darkest Knight gives you a premise that immediately sets your imagination in motion. Bruce Wayne wielding the most powerful weapon in the universe? What an awesome idea! Unfortunately, the book doesn’t live up to it’s fullest potential.
More often than not, the story comes across as disjointed and rushed. A few plot points are touched on (such as the time when Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Flash are summoned), but there isn’t any time to flesh them out properly. Gordon and Alfred are there, just like you’d expect, but they serve little purpose other than to be killed by the book’s villain.
Jerry Bingham turned in solid art, and the coloring was crisp, but without a cohesive and well-plotted story to hold it all together, it all just falls flat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a terrible read, it’s just disappointing because it could have been so much more if it were given double the pages…and maybe even a bit less of what feels like editorial direction.
There is, however, one thing that makes this book hold a special place for me, and that’s the dedication on the last page: “To the memory of Bill Finger, who was present at the birth of each.” For those who didn’t know, Bill Finger is the uncredited co-creator of Batman, the Batmobile, the Batcave, and he even named Batman’s City ‘Gotham’. Bill Finger also made major contributions to the highly-recognizable look of Batman.
Everyone knows about Bob Kane…but no Batweek would be complete without giving credit where credit is due.