Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Hopefully last month you picked up the first issue of Batman: Last Knight on Earth. If not, why not? A quick recap in case you did miss the first issue or need a refresher: Batman was investigating a case that seemed to be someone linked to the death of his parents. Just as Batman thought he had found the killer, he was ambushed and ended up in the hospital. Bruce Wayne is led to believe that his career as Batman has been nothing but a dream. However, shortly after that, he discovers the truth of the situation is much more dire. Instead, the whole DCU as readers know it is over, and Batman and his trusty lantern (occupied by the severed head of the Joker) are all that still exist.
Sounds crazy right? Well if you are thinking crazy good, then yes you are right.
Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2 picks up just about where the first issue left off. In the opening flashback, Batman is trying to get answers as to what is going on. With each panel, Batman is losing more control, until the reader is thrust into the desert. There, we once again find Batman and Joker. They are still on their quest to find any other heroes who may still be alive. As they continue their trek, some questions are answered, but even more mysteries are unveiled.
Since the New 52, and probably well before, Scott Snyder has created some of the most iconic moments within the Batman mythos. The first two issues of Batman: Last Knight on Earth make it obvious that Snyder plans on leaving on a high note. The way that Snyder lays out the chapters helps to focus the reader. Each section provides twists and turns that keep the reader guessing what is next.
While the first issue began to unravel some of the mysteries, we get many more answers here. The fate of several heroes is revealed. Many of them do not get the happy ending that people may be hoping for. In addition, Snyder does an excellent job of driving home the fact that Batman will not be able to save everyone. It is a refreshing change from when, so many times before, Batman is smarter than everyone in the room.
Years of writing these characters has allowed Snyder to perfect the voice of not only Batman but also of much of the supporting cast. Snyder’s Joker (even as a severed head) works well as the main narrator. He knows Batman better than Batman knows himself. Snyder understands that, so he uses the Joker to be not only a point of humor but also as the voice that grounds Batman.
I have always been a fan of Capullo’s art. And it is even better in Last Knight on Earth. He has this ability to merge the over-the-top and the bombastic with realism in a way that many artists cannot. For example, there is a panel in which a tornado and a hero have a unique interaction. Capullo is able to draw it in a way that both exudes emotion and destruction all at once. The coloring is bright and inviting. Each panel feels as if it is personal yet larger-than-life at the same time.
With only three issues left to tell the story, Last Knight on Earth #2 does an excellent job moving the story forward. We end up with a clear direction for Batman to be successful in his mission. However, with the big reveal at the end, Snyder leaves us guessing as to how successful he might be.