The Wise Words Of A Drunken Butler: The Batman’s Grave #1 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

It’s another long night for the Batman, as the criminal element in Gotham City is as lively and vicious as ever. A particularly strange case is brought to the Dark Knight’s attention when he is called to the locked apartment of a man not seen for three days. Batman goes in to investigate, and sure enough, the apartment’s occupant is long dead. However, his walls are plastered with newspaper articles about the Batman, and the cause of his death is a mystery. Batman goes back to his cave to study the case further, and he’s stopped by an inebriated Alfred who has words about Bruce’s long-running crusade.

The Batman's Grave #1 cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair
The Batman’s Grave #1 cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair

The Batman’s Grave #1 starts off as a relatively innocuous case for the Batman. A man has died under mysterious circumstances, and Alfred is drunk and angry about Bruce’s life as the Batman. 

Of course, this is a Warren Ellis comic, and the devil is always in the details. Ellis keeps the reader engaged with every word and strange turn of the comic. Fight scenes are scripted as to show off the Batman’s skills, Alfred’s criticisms of the Batman are particularly poignant and, well, true, and the dead man’s case is a mixture of tragedy and peculiarity.

Batman’s detective skills are shown off pretty well by this comic too. We get to see his thought process and how he tackles a strange case such as this one.

The Batman's Grave #1 art by Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, Alex Sinclair, and letterer Richard Starkings
The Batman’s Grave #1 art by Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, Alex Sinclair, and letterer Richard Starkings

The other selling point of this comic is Bryan Hitch as the artist. Hitch’s work is especially good in this book. He is given space to craft brilliant spreads of the Batman and Gotham, and he gives the action scenes plenty of detail and care. Kevin Nowlan’s inks greatly aid those fantastic visuals, and Alex Sinclair delivers a well-balanced palette for this venture.

The Batman’s Grave #1 is an engrossing new adventure for the Dark Knight Detective, and it’s being brought together by a brilliant creative team. This first issue, despite being thematically interesting, doesn’t really hint at what the full story will be about. That said, I can’t wait to find out what the main plot for this maxiseries will be. This first issue definitely gets a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.

The Batman’s Grave #1 comes to us from writer Warren Ellis, artist Bryan Hitch, inker Kevin Nowlan, color artist Alex Sinclair, letterer Richard Starkings, cover artist Bryan Hitch with Alex Sinclair, and variant covery artist Jeehyung Lee.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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