Apex Fan Anthony’s thoughts on a great story where Batman’s cunning and intelligence allow him to at last take a breather.
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT Annual #1 “Once Upon a Midnight Dreary”
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz Artist: Syzmon Kudranski
We’ve seen Batman’s considerable ingenuity on display in numerous stories like 2000’s JLA: TOWER OF BABEL, in which the caped crusader’s tactical thinking is exploited to great effect against his fellow Justice League members. Ingenuity of the magnitude required to defeat the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman doesn’t come easy. The training and dedication required to maintain that level of intellect would take its toll on any non-superpowered human being.
To match that intellect, Batman must also maintain a constant state of peak physical ability. This is necessary in order for him to instill fear in the hearts of the criminals and protect the innocents of Gotham City. For Batman to be effective, he has to give his all mentally and physically every night. His decision to assume the role of Gotham’s protector is in itself part of his tragedy.
When you love Batman as much as I do, you feel for the guy. I often wish that my favorite hero could find more time to enjoy the finer things in life. Take a vacation, celebrate a birthday, get a full night’s sleep… maybe even with a Catwoman. Just give the man an opportunity to take it easy for a bit or have some fun.
In this week’s annual edition of BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, I finally got my wish. Batman is absent throughout the issue, yet through a well thought out plan he is able to neutralize The Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, and The Penguin for a night by exploiting their various weaknesses.
By the end of the issue, when a surprised Alfred attends to Bruce Wayne only to find him stretching and smiling from a good night’s rest, I felt as relieved as Batman himself. It was good to see something I’ve waited for on the last page of a well written story.
Do yourself a favor and pick up this one shot tale. You’ll be glad you did.