REVIEW: Batman: Gotham Knights – Gilded City #5

By | March 10, 2023

Batman: Gotham Knights - Gilded City (2022) #5B — Black Dragon ComicsFrom Polygons to Pages 

I’m having a very DC kind of day while reading the newest issue of this book as a lady dressed as Batgirl sets down a cappuccino at my table; there’s this little place called Gotham Coffee where sometimes the servers are in costume; it’s a fun gimmick, but it’s also a little uncomfortable like a Comic-Con maid cafe. So as the newest issue of Gotham Knights rolls across my tablet, I’m surprised, to say the least; this isn’t just a generic series based on Batman’s sidekicks but a comic book based on the 2022 video game of the same name. Now I was initially excited about Gotham Knights; the thought of sharing the Arkham Style gameplay with another person in co-op is a really intoxicating idea, not to mention the ability to finally play as other members of the Bat Family. However, when I ended up playing it, I just modded a bat-suit onto Nightwing and pretended the whole game was about Dick struggling to fill the mantle of Batman. 

The game isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it lacks the polish and punch of something like Arkham City or Asylum. If they are going to sideline Batman, the gameplay has to be killer, and it’s lukewarm at best, so let’s see how DC handles expanding the game’s story with this miniseries. 

Steller Story  

The writing is actually a little better than what I experienced in the game, and that’s no surprise because one of the writers from the game Evan Narcisse actually penned the script for this comic; hats off to him; he kept me engaged while I flipped pages over my coffee. The dialogue is tight, these famous characters are on point, and I like where he’s going with this hero from 100 years ago in Gotham’s past, who I wasn’t expecting to be a woman. We open with Robin taking down armed guards to break into a facility he suspects to be up to something. This scene is split between Robin and Red Hood, who is sleuthing around Santa Prisca, home of the infamous Bane. Batgirl and Nightwing usher Bruce into the Batcave and force him to rest after he’s been burning the candle at both ends AGAIN! 

If you’re a regular fan, you know how it is by now “No rest for The Batman.” While Bruce recovers his strength, we are treated to a flashback 100 years prior detailing the origins of this strange new plague gripping Gotham. This new illness causes people to relentlessly pursue their obsessions lest they burst into flames; let me tell you, as somebody who has won a recent battle with chronic OCD, it’s not too far from the truth; the writer has done their homework. Red Hood gets injected with this Virus, and his old grudge to kill Batman is restored because it was an obsession he buried deep inside himself after reintegration into the family. 

Now here’s where the story gets good Batman has to decide between Robin and Red Hood and he has a moment where we see back to Jason’s tragic death and how he vowed he’d never let that happen again, so he chooses to go after Red Hood. Now that’s the type of callback to previous famous Batman stories I like to see; the kind of choices that really define these characters because of the events they’ve lived through. 

Depth & Design

So the character designs are really nice; they all convey these characters’ iconic images with a slight sleek modernization. Abel and John’s art and colours freaking kill it, really showing off their skills in the flashback sequence. Everything about this book is good; it feels like how a Batman book should; the characters feel like themselves, Gotham is well represented, and finally, it just got me excited to read more. 

“If you enjoyed the video game or just DC comics in general, definitely pick this up once part six concludes the story.” 


Writer: Evan Narcisse
Art: Abel
Colours: John
Publisher: DC