Batman: Knightfall Volume One Review

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By Will Barber -Taylor

The Dark Knight has recently quit Venom, a drug obsession toxin which supposedly makes one stronger. He is not in the best shape and so is not prepared for all his most dangerous villains to break out of Arkham Asylum. The cause of the break out is Bane, a new villain who has a strange obsession with Batman. Batman must not only stop Gotham from burning at the hands of The Joker and the other Arkham breakouts, but also stop Bane from coming after him and fulfilling his desire to destroy Batman.

Knightfall Volume One is notorious in Batman myths, not only for introducing one of its most memorable characters, Bane, (who recently got his first cinema outing in The Dark Knight Rises) but also one of its most memorable scenarios, the breaking of Batman’s back.

Does the story stand the test of time? The answer is a resounding yes. The story ties into the Venom arc well though you do not need to have read the previous story to understand what is going one. The story is not too fast and neither is it too slow but nicely paced. The story is not perfect though, there are holes. For instance, why, if Gotham is infested with some of the most dangerous villains the world has seen, is the Wayne charity fund not simply cancelled? Indeed the main holes seem to be that even though the city’s mental asylum has been breached and that there are strikes all over the place then why is it almost functioning as normal? These holes are never explained but are merely small holes which could have been fixed with slightly better editing. They don’t take away from the main story which is generally very good.

It is very visual not only in the images but the way it tells the story. Indeed you can see why Christopher Nolan decided to use this as the base for his final Batman movie simply because the comic book is so easy to adapt. The story feels like a movie and even though this is only the first third of the story. You really can take the first volume and read it without reading the previous Venom story or the following volume.

The artwork for the story is fantastic, particularly when you compare it to modern illustrations and realise that in the 80s, the artists did not have computers etc.  The artwork is particularly good during the fight sequences between Batman and Bane. Nothing is left out and we get the full gore of the scenes, which makes them more realistic. Another great scene is the escape from Arkham. The colours and images mix wonderfully and the scene looks almost cinematic.

Knightfall: Volume One does have flaws but it is still an excellent narrative. It shows the darker side of Batman brilliantly and helps demonstrate that comic books from long ago can still be as enthralling and exciting as more recent editions of the comic family.

 

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