Review – Batman: Last Knight on Earth
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Colourist: FCO Plascencia
Inker: Johnathan Glapion
Publisher: DC Black Label
Twenty years in the future, Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane. And…he’s never been, Batman. So begins this sprawling tale of the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC landscape, featuring a massive cast of familiar faces from the DC Universe. As Batman tries to piece together the mystery of his past, he must unravel the cause of this terrible future and track down the unspeakable force that destroyed the world as he knew it…
Ending the Dark Knight
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s seminal run on the central Batman title, during DC’s New 52 relaunch, proved to be one of the most popular titles consistently throughout their tenure. They kicked things off in spectacular fashion with what is now considered one of the best stories in Batman’s history “The Court of Owls”. Snyder has left his mark on the character in the years to come and for my money, no one captures Batman quite like Capullo. With Zero Year the two reimagined the origins of Batman and with this title Last Knight on Earth they attempt to finally close the book on their almost decade long saga of Bat stories. But did they stick the landing? Let us find out in our review of Batman: Last Knight on Earth.
I’ve always enjoyed Snyder’s take on the Dark Knight. To me, his Bruce comes across as more human and flawed than other interpretations. Specifically, the way he portrays the relationship between Bruce and Alfred, as that of a father and son really works for me. This is on full display in the opening to Last Knight on Earth. We open in very typical Batman fashion with a case that needs solving. Snyder knows this is a typical set-up and reassures us through the narration that “something about this case felt different”.
This can be said of the whole book, something does indeed feel different. Snyder effectively weaves a foreboding sense of finality through the entire narrative. We feel like Batman is heading for the end all the way up until the typical final showdown. No surprises there as this was marketed as “the last Batman story”. Without delving into too many spoilers what Snyder does with characterisation here is mostly excellent, with any scenes between Bruce and Alfred being the emotional lynchpin of the entire book. The antagonist of the book also delivers not only an interesting twist but also serves as a reevaluation of Batman which Snyder has presented us with since 2011. Saying anymore would be telling but if you ask me, it’s worth the price of admission alone.
There’s not much more that can be said about Capullo’s take on the Dark Knight. The guy just knows how to draw Batman. The way he chooses to frame his characters has always been a standout. His choice to oftentimes silhouette Batman as an entirely black figure is incredibly effective. This is helped by the excellent inking work of long time collaborator Johnathan Glapion. Capullo’s pencils carry us from the sterile white and grey environment of Arkham Asylum in the early pages of the book all the way through his twisted and at times hauntingly beautiful vision of the DC universe as it stands post-world-ending event.
FCO Plascencia’s vibrant colour work sells us what this world has become. Where many post-apocalyptic tales would opt for a drab and grim colour palette to sell the tragedy of the situation, Plascencia opts for a colourful patchwork look to enhance Capullo’s pencils. I was a big fan of what Plascencia brought to Zero Year with his colours and he continues that masterfully here.
What Snyder and Capullo have achieved with their entire run on Batman is nothing short of masterful in my eyes. With Last Knight on Earth, they have managed to do what many before have tried and fallen short of, give a historic run a meaningful and effective ending. If this was the last word Snyder had to say on Batman I would be more than satisfied. From his writing to Capullo’s pencils, Glapion’s inks and Plascencia’s colours this is a team that has clearly developed a great shorthand from the many years of churning out premium Bat-books and they all bring their A-game to the finale.
We hope you have enjoyed our review of Batman: Last Knight on Earth and hope you pick it up at your Local Comic Shop
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