So instead of writing a 500 word open letter to Bungie about how much Destiny has let me down, I decided to write a positive review of DC’s Batman, Arkham Knight: Genesis #1, written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Alisson Borges.
I got this book for free this week and honestly only took it because it was free, and it was Peter J. Tomasi. I know I am going to get a bunch of hate for this… but I really dislike the Arkham universe. I played through ¾ of the first game and didn’t enjoy it one bit, and played about 5 minutes of the second one and have been out ever since. So the fact that this book is set in that universe was not a draw for me at all. That being said, I didn’t have high expectations for it, and was proven wrong.
Also I feel I have to add — Potential SPOILER warning for Arkham Knight — I guess? You have been warned.
*** Below there be SPOILERS folks ***
So the book starts with Ratcatcher’s rats attacking someone that he thinks is Bruce Wayne, then he gets attacked and killed by the Arkham Knight. The Knight reveals the unknown man to be Hush, and also perhaps Thomas Wayne (?). When they get to the Knight Cave, Arkham Knight reveals himself to be Jason Todd and he launches into the beginning of his origins. He talks about his birth, his parents trying to sell him, his meeting Batman and suiting up as Robin for the first time and the issue ends with him swinging into the night after teasing his plan for Batman.
Basically this book is just Peter J. Tomasi telling the origin story of Redhood, who is reimagined in the games as Arkham Knight. At first I thought I was going to hate it but I soon remembered why I fell in love with Batman and Robin’s last run; Peter J. Tomasi is an amazing writer! This man should seriously just be in charge of all the books DC has to offer, or at least the Batman side of stuff. This is the guy who gave Robin super powers, and managed to make it a touching and amazing story. I am actually going to read all six issues of this series simply because it is the best thing DC has on offer right now. This paints a sad picture for DC comics — that out of all the books on offer, the best of all of them is a video game freaking tie-in.
The art work in this book is pretty good. It’s not outstanding, kind of looks like Marvel’s current Civil War book, but it’s still good. The colors are great and there are a few pages that are really beautiful and unique. For example there is a page towards the back of the book which features a montage of scenes of Jason Todd studying and excelling at Gotham Academy, but instead of regular rectangle panels, it’s a jumble of fractured panels, broken like a mirror, with a robin bursting through them. It’s a gorgeous page and throughout the book the designs of the characters are really eye catching.
Overall this is not a great book. It’s really a 2.5 out of 5, but I really wanted to talk about it because it made me take notice of a universe I really don’t care for, and that is proof of Peter J. Tomasi’s ability as a writer. Take notice DC, you have a gem… don’t lose it.
Oh and here is the page I was talking about above.