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February 23, 2015

‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ preview: Bruce Wayne heads back into darkness

Posted in: Comics

Trouble looms for Bruce Wayne thanks to a mysterious new adversary in “Batman: Arkham Knight,” DC’s next Digital First comic release.

Written by Peter J. Tomasi (“Batman and Robin”) with art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Art Thibert (with colors by John Rauch), the new series arrives as a prequel to one of the summer’s most anticipated game releases, Rocksteady’s “Batman: Arkham Knight,” out June 2. (The spoiler-averse should proceed with caution.)

Set after the events in depicted in 2011’s “Batman: Arkham City,” the story begins with the Joker dead and Arkham City now closed. Nursing old wounds, Bruce Wayne begins to question whether Gotham still needs Batman. Before long, though, a shadowy new villain emerges, summoning the weary hero back into vigilante justice mode.

“Batman: Arkham Knight” kicks off with a three-part story, “Death of a Rival.” The first chapter will be available for download Tuesday, before the series moves to Friday distribution; the second chapter will be available Feb. 27.

Hero Complex readers can check out an exclusive preview of the first chapter of “Batman: Arkham Knight” — including Dan Panosian’s cover — in the gallery above or in the links below.

‘BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT’ No. 1: Dan Panosian’s cover | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Page 10

In an email interview, Tomasi shared with Hero Complex some information about what readers should expect when issue No. 1 arrives.

Hero Complex: Can you describe Bruce Wayne’s state of mind at the outset of the new series?

Peter J. Tomassi: Think of Bruce as emerging from a war, a soldier who wants to make sure the peace is secured so he can help in the rebuilding of Gotham’s infrastructure and its soul as Bruce Wayne in the daytime and protecting its citizens as Batman in the night. Only the war in Gotham is never-ending, as storm clouds gather quickly and force Bruce to jump right back into the darkness.

HC: We’ve been told he’ll be facing down a powerful, mysterious foe. What can readers expect from the new adversary? Is this a wholly new character?

PT: This mysterious new foe is the Arkham Knight, and he’ll be introduced in the first chapter of our series. He’s eventually going to drive Batman into a whole new world of pain, but at the outset he’s staying in the shadows, biding his time until making his presence known and striking when it best suits his battle plan. With the game still a few months from hitting the shelves, it’s best not to divulge too much info on the Arkham Knight since it would understandably set some laser sights on me by the good folks at Rocksteady – but I can say that Arkham Knight will become an amazing addition to Batman’s rogue gallery.

HC: You have so much personal experience and investment in Batman. At this point in your career, what does it mean to you to continue to help shape the character on the page?

PT: It means a lot. From being the Batman group editor a few years back to writing his monthly adventures, it’s been a real dream come true to invest creative energy into the amazing mythology of Batman and join the list of talented writers and artists who’ve made this character live and breathe for over 75 years.

— Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex | Facebook


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