Sure, we all know the origin of Bruce Wayne and how he became Batman.
Devoted parents are murdered. Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot. I shall become a bat.
It’s been told again and again and again across all sorts of pop culture, news media and storytelling platforms. Arguably the only “origin” tale more widely known is: Doomed planet. Last hope. Kindly parents. Truth, justice and the American way. But the world isn’t as darkly enamoured with that particular beginning.
No, everyone wants (and wants and wants again) the “Batman” tale.
Over the last few decades, more and more writers and illustrators have delved into Batman’s past in order to pull on storytelling threads that help weave the tapestry of Bruce Wayne’s past. Not why he became the Batman. That we already know. Instead, it’s how he became the Batman that is so compelling.
This day sees the release of a brand-new first issue that goes one step further than anyone else has before when it comes to the how.
Today, we get into the tormented psychology of a young Bruce Wayne, stumbling through life, much before famously choosing to walk down a path that would lead him to become the Dark Knight. This is unfamiliar origin territory!
Written by Harvey and Eisner Award winner, Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil, Batman: Urban Legends, Justice League: Last Ride, Howard the Duck, Sex Criminals) and wonderfully illustrated with both action and deep, pensive emotion by Carmine Di Giandomenico (The Flash, Batgirl, Justice League Odyssey), Batman: The Knight is a ten-issue, monthly series that blazes new ground for young and lost billionaire, Bruce Wayne.
The angry Bruce, here, internalizes the pain of losing his parents and then lashes out at both those he loves and despises. As an emotional outlet, he engages in illegal underground fight clubs while simultaneously protecting those around him that require more physical forms of aid. Less on a path and more lost in the woods, this Bruce is in need of direction. Someone needs to point him towards a lifelong mission as the World’s Greatest Detective and scourge on crime, the feared Batman. But who will that person, or people be?
One fascinating element in Batman: The Knight, is that in his attempt to find clarity, Bruce Wayne tuns to renown psychiatrist, Dr. Hugo Strange – the man that would become one of Batman’s most deadly foes!
Strange is a character that begs for the pop culture stage. He’s always been somewhat present in the Batman mythology, but, at the same time, he’s been a side player – an underdeveloped b-list villain who demands so much more. Zdarsksy and Di Giandomenico give us a Hugo in deliciously deep Rorschach ink blots here – a character front and center, who is himself discovering his own journey through the psychological woods.
Batman: The Knight portends so much trail-blazing development on a character you only thought you knew the history of. After reading the first issue, you’ll realize there is so much more to Bruce Wayne and what will make him the hero he is destined to be.
Get up off of your couch and make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up Batman: The Knight #1. Dig deep into the tortured psychology of a young man on the precipice of ultimate life meaning!