You can see from the cover that this is going to be a slightly twisted story. Gregg Hurwitz is ready to take the series in a new and dark direction.
I've been on the fence with this series from the beginning and I'm happy to say this was a pleasant surprise. As much as I love Batman, I sometimes wonder if we need all the different series. Looking at this issue, I now see what place this series can take and why it can be necessary. In the past I've been a proponent for tighter continuity in the different titles. It could be frustrating to wonder how an arc in one Batman series fits in with the others.
Reading the first issue by new series writer, Gregg Hurwitz, I remembered that was the original plan David Finch had. I could totally see a Batman series rooted in the darker and possibly supernatural areas of Gotham. The very first page sets the tone immediately. How creepy is it to see someone sewing their own mouth shut? This isn't going to be a happy Batman story, especially with children involved.
This isn't just going to be a big spooky story. There are other story elements here that work to add to character development. Bruce has a girlfriend but she offers some great insight into who he is and how he thinks. It's great to see this addressed as we don't often see the Bruce Wayne persona on display. I've often wondered how much time exactly does he put into keeping the charade going. We also see Jim Gordon reflect on his kids. That includes James Jr!
David Finch's art captures the dark and gritty essence needed for the story. It fits nicely with the story in making me feel this is a completely different kind of Batman story. I'm not sure if that's truly the intention of the series but I am perfectly content with the idea if that's what the angle will be.
I do enjoy seeing more of the Bruce Wayne side explored but it does stretch the limits of credibility (even though, yes, we're talking about a Batman comic). If this series is tied in the same continuity as the other titles (and we are supposed to believe that), it seems extremely unlikely he could have the time to keep any pretense of having time to see someone on a steady basis.
There was a scene with a maternity ward in the city. It seemed very strange that it would be at street level with a giant glass so passerby's could see all the newborn babies. And if I'm being nit-picky, I question the physics of how Batman kicks a guy out of a car. I could be wrong on that though.
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT is headed in a new direction courtesy of new writer Gregg Hurwitz. We are given a separate feeling dark and gritty story and it's a great feeling to be able to read a different type of Batman tale. As much as I'm enjoying BATMAN, BATMAN AND ROBIN and BATMAN INCORPORATED, I can now welcome this series if it means telling different sorts of Batman adventures. With the way this story arc begins, I'm almost scared to see where Hurwitz is going to take it. With Scarecrow involved, this goes to show that even characters that have been portrayed in a more silly fashion can still be presented in a creepy and intense way. Batman is about instilling fear in others it'll be a wonderful twist to see him have to cope with how fearful and dark evil can be. Hurwitz's story is creeping me out a little and that's just the way I want it.