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BatWatch Reviews: @DCComics Batman: The Dark Knight #24

Here is today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's Batman: The Dark Knight #24. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.

See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.

Batman: The Dark Knight #24 - Captive Audience

Now that he's locked up in Arkham, Gotham City is safe from the threat of Clayface. But what led Clayface to become the monster that he is? The answers lie here.


A Shape Worthy Spying

The Dark Knight has consistently been the weakest of the Batman titles, and that's a shame since it's chosen field, the criminal denizens of Gotham, should make for a good source for story fodder, but somehow, each villainous issue seems to fall into the same pattern of retelling the origin of a villain which is always steeped in tragedy accompanied by a caper in modern days that is derivative of other better stories and eventually foiled by the Bat. It would be nice if this Clayface story could end this negative trend.

Does The Dark Knight #24 shape up to greatness or is this soggy pile of much toppling towards disappointment?

In this issue, Clayface bonds with another prison inmate and shares the story of his childhood.

Though I was not crazy about this issue as a whole, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself impressed with Clayface's origin. Unlike most villains that have been explored in this series, Clayface was not horribly abused nor did he suffer some terrible tragedy. He chose to be the criminal he became, yet at the same time, I find the plight that led him to this path to be more compelling that the "child that had a horrible childhood" story we saw with Penguin, Scarecrow and the Hatter. What I like about this origin is that it does not make Clayface a victim. I felt for him as a kid, but I don't think he was forced into this life in any way. He chose to do wrong because he was selfish, and it's refreshing to see a story that does not give an excuse for the criminal.

There were definitely some things that annoyed me about the issue though. This is a reboot of the character's origin, and like many reboots, it is both unnecessary and arguably worse than the original. (Spoilers until Conclusion) Clayface now gets his power from a Native American cube of organic clay? Yeah, sure. That was a necessary change that makes the character much more relevant to the modern audience. I'm so thankful for that update! Speaking of continuity changes, Clayface now gained the ability to copy people on a genetic level before he started his crime spree. That was an addition to his power set added by Scott Snyder just six months ago. We can't stick to one script of continuity for six months? Are you even trying, DC? Clayface's choice to become a criminal didn't seem to take much of a push either. As best as I can tell, Penguin told him to start killing people, and he did so without a seconds thought...which makes it seem like we are missing a key scene.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

Images Unplugged Rating

Cover & Solicit - 3
Art, Colors & Inking - 3
Layout & Flow - 5
Story - 5
Verdict - 4.1 (8/10)
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Jeremy Sims is a blogger at https://batwatch.squarespace.com/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.


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