Yeah, I expected this to be dark, so... no real comment about that. Except that maybe I would blame this book and others like it for starting the trend for things to have to be "dark" and "gritty" and "mature" or whatever. Feh.
The introduction works well enough, basically setting the scene, and that's what it's there for so it does its job.
The first bit of the actual comic though throws me - what the hell does a race have to do with anything? I guess it's trying to get us into the current mind-set and attitude of Bruce Wayne but... really, it just confuses me. It made me think he'd become a race-car driver or something in this version of things, but no. He's still a millionaire, if not a "playboy" these days, and that was just... whatever.
It's a bit awkward for me to get into this. Some of the scenes jump around with little or no or confusing segues, the art is murkier and the colors blander than I'd like, and the writing is good, certainly, but the characters don't feel right to me. Of course they've been written by so many people in so many styles, that's not as much of a complaint, plus there's the fact that this is ten years + on from what I suppose was the "current" DC Universe at the time, so there's that.
And having the Joker attempting to assassinate Harvey Dent via proxy, using a disguised bomb, was pretty nifty. Along with the villains starting to crop up again as the Batman re-emerges. And it does raise some good thoughts about vigilantes, as to whether they're good because they stop criminals, or worse because they're unlawful themselves and just add to the chaos. I'm not really sure where I stand on vigilantes myself - I guess like so many things, it's a matter of each case being different.
"Arkham Home for the Emotionally Troubled" is a nice touch... and subtle.
I also like the crack about painting a big target on his chest - because he can't armor his head/face against gun shots. ;) And I'm assuming with the bit about "inspires the same level of loyalty from his men" that it means that although we don't see it, Dent was "helped" from the copter by his underlings? *boot*
And I'm left wondering just what he did with Harvey at the very end. I'm assuming left him for the cops, but who knows?
And I'm so glad that hairstyles didn't really go in this direction, because ye gods.
As one last note: the whole red eye bar thing, and term "mutants," makes me think of Cyclops from the X-Men each time I see them crop up. Anyone else? And I wonder if that's deliberate...
Remember, Tuesday we discuss Book Two. See you then!