Publisher: DC (Black Label Imprint)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Greg Capullo
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Colours: FCO Plascencia
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Release Date: 29th May 2019
Last Knight on Earth opens like any classic Batman mystery, with a voiceover leading the Dark Knight down the rain-drenched black streets of Gotham on the trail of another mysterious foe. However, we quickly learn that everything isn’t as it seems, and that not only is Batman’s safety in question, but so too is the very nature of his reality and his future.
This is already beginning to feel like something a swansong for Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Their work together from the New 52 onwards has been nothing short of spectacular, and Last Knight on Earth provides the perfect send off to all those stories. However, rather than leaving with a vague nod to these stories, this makes the previous loose ends part of the story, explaining just how Batman found himself where he does in the future. More than that though, the duo have such a distinctive feel to their collaborations that it’s hard to imagine anyone else creating a story quite like this.
The switch to the Black Label imprint isn’t massively noticeable in this first issue, but it does leave us with the unnerving feeling that there’s no telling quite how screwed-up and dark Snyder and Capullo may go as this story unfolds.
Played out over chapters, this is one of those “Elseworld” stories that hark back to classic post-apocalyptic films like Mad Max, the original I Am Legend, or indeed the comic Old Man Logan. The use of distinctive chapters is an interesting approach, and feels like splitting the story into episodes, each with their own feel and progression of an overall story. And while Snyder sets out a completely hopeless chain of events, in just a few lines he brings you back to the core of the Batman character and shows why Scott writes him so well. In the face of his greatest battle it all comes down to a boy being consoled by his hero.
Capullo, inker Jonathan Glapion and colourist FCO Plascencia paint a beautifully haunting world, with each chapter having its own distinct feel in the choice of colours and tones. The slight alteration to the well-known cast in the second chapter I thought was very well done, but the wasteland Bats finds himself in gave me a bleak, desolate feeling in the pit of my stomach, enforcing that fact that Batman is well and truly alone – well, aside from his bodiless companion scaring the poop out of me on the last panel.
We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of this epic, and there’s already so much to get excited about, and so much I didn’t want to spoil in my review. Go buy it now and find out for yourself!
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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