Batman: One Dark Knight is written and drawn by Jock. DC Comics originally published it in 2022 as a three-part miniseries for their Black Label but they are now collected as a graphic novel.
Under the guidance of Dr. Vasquez, Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD are escorting the villain EMP, who can short out electricity, to Blackgate Prison. After an incident, EMP’s powers overload, plunging Gotham City into darkness. Batman gathers EMP and sets out for the prison. However, the gangs of the city begin to riot. Vasquez is revealed to have sinister intentions and kidnaps EMP’s son as leverage. Meanwhile, Batman makes the trek across Gotham with all his gadgets disabled and gangs chasing him, wanting blood.
The way it handles the writing and artwork for the entire series and I have to admit, it impressed me. The story sets up Batman back to the basics and it shows. Without his equipment, how will he handle getting EMP to Blackgate with an army of gangs wanting to hurt him? I also enjoyed the twist at the end that you do not expect, showing the power that family can have on people.
Jock is an impressive artist whose character and background designs wove pretty well with the vibe of the plot. Compared to the other Batman stuff DC Comics is putting out where Bruce Wayne talks about his feelings every two minutes instead of fighting guys, I had a good time with how this story evolves.
I often criticize DC Comics for how they are handling Batman and his allies recently. This story puts the Dark Knight in a situation where his devices are useless, forcing him to rely on his wits, cunning, guile, and, of course, his brute strength to make it through to the end. I especially enjoyed how this story showed Batman’s compassionate side, which is often ignored these days.
It goes without saying that this was a unique tale among Batman stories these days and I enjoyed every minute of it.
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