[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Arkham Knight has arrived, and he works from the shadows to bring light to Gotham and overthrow the Batman. Subsequently, all the bats in Gotham die off en masse. Both the GCPD and Batman himself are baffled by this ominous occurrence. The Dark Knight himself seeks the advice of Francine Langstrom, wife of Kirk Langstrom, aka the Man-Bat. She’s hearing a signal that is driving her mad, and she takes the Man-Bat serum to investigate it. However, this only leads her on and the Batman on a mad chase through Gotham City.
Detective Comics #1001 gives us the warning shot of the Arkham Knight. While it’s not revealed how he accomplished it, it can be assumed that the Arkham Knight is responsible for the mass die-off of bats throughout Gotham, and it’s a safe bet that it’s intended to foreshadow the coming fate of the Bat himself.
Much of the story is Batman investigating the bat-genocide across the city, but we do get to see the first actual stages of the Arkham Knight’s plan to bring down the Dark Knight. It’s not all symbolism and foreshadowing.
A lot of what we see of the Arkham Knight in this issue harkens back to Azrael and the Order of St. Dumas. Religious imagery and the concept of knighthood are both big parts of the Arkham Knight’s repertoire, and he has followers that do the same.
Brad Walker joins up as the artist on this issue, and a mixture of light-hearted stylism mixed with the overall aesthetic of the heroic tradition. It looks good and suits Batman well. It balances the fun and the serious well, and it’s complemented by Andrew Hennessy’s inking and Nathan Fairbairn’s color work, which largely does the same.
Detective Comics #1001 gives the Arkham Knight and impressive introduction (though he did appear at the end of Detective Comics #1000, he didn’t do much in it). The mass bat-death is a nice touch, and he definitely seems to get Batman on the back bat-foot. This one earns a recommendation for sure. Check it out.
Detective Comics #1001 comes to us from writer Peter J. Tomasi, artist Brad Walker, inker Andrew Hennessy, color artist Nathan Fairbairn, letterer Rob Leigh, cover artist Walker with Hennessy and Fairbairn, and variant cover artist David Finch with Tomeu Morey.