Review – Batman: The Knight #10 – The Crucible

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Batman: The Knight #10 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: The Knight #10 – Chip Zdarsky, Writer; Carmine Di Giandomenico, Artist; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: Bruce Wayne’s long journey comes to an end this issue, as his alliance with Ra’s Al Ghul goes about as well as you’d expect. When we last left off, Bruce and “Anton” were forced to compete in a brutal battle to the death to determine who would become Ra’s Al Ghul’s second-in-command. Anton wasted no time turning on his former friend, but while he’s got nothing but killer instinct, Bruce has been honing his skills for years. Bruce wins, becomes Ra’s lieutenant, and the man who would be Ghost-Maker is sent into the desert in disgrace—potentially setting up his turn to the dark side. As for Bruce, we first see him essentially a true believer—plotting a better, safer world with Ra’s, all the while blissfully unaware of the ruthless cult leader’s true plans for the world. Or so it seems, because this issue keeps its secrets well and has one last big surprise before the series ends.

The test. Via DC Comics.

When Bruce does finally turn on Ra’s and reveal his master plan to take down the villain’s genocidal plan, it leads into one of the best fight scenes so far in this comic. Ra’s is a villain who often has a lot of presence but is never quite used to his potential. This version actually feels like a man who has been alive for hundreds of years with all the plans that would go with it. The final fight has a surprise betrayal, a surprise savior, and perfectly sets up the next few cycles of Batman’s rivalry with several characters. But the real emotional meat of the issue comes in the last few pages, as Bruce finally returns to Gotham to reunite with Alfred. I’m hoping once things are cleared up in Batman vs. Robin, Zdarsky gets to write Alfred extensively in the main title. This has taken a story that everyone knows and added so many new flourishes and characters to it. It’s one of the best superhero origin retellings of all time.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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