So I didn’t actually realize, back when I reviewed Wonder Woman: Warbringer, that it was the start of a series of origin novels. The second is this one, about Batman, and the next is Catwoman: Soulstealer. (I can’t wait for that one, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, and Catwoman have been my three favorite superheroes for ages, even if Catwoman isn’t exactly a hero!) After Catwoman’s book, we get Superman’s book, and that’s all that’s been announced, so I don’t know if there will be any more. Though I hope there will be, because these first two have been excellent!
The name Batman is never actually mentioned in this book; he is Bruce Wayne the entire way through. He does get a suit, towards the end, and starts his career as Batman without really realizing he’s doing so. We get a few nods to the Batman mythos – he stops to watch a swarm of bats heading out to hunt, and he mentions the broken grandfather clock that he hasn’t fixed yet. But this is a Bruce around his high school graduation, just starting to learn about the kinds of tech that Wayne Tech produces. We do meet a few familiar faces beyond Alfred.
I had a few moments where I wanted to shake both Bruce and the adults around him because NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD DO THAT and if it needed to happen for plot’s sake make it more believable! But it was overall pretty good.
There’s no need to read this in order, from what I can tell – events in Wonder Woman have no effect on Gotham. Though the Catwoman book is also set in Gotham, so it will be interesting to see if they intertwine at all.
If you like DC Comics, these are definitely worth reading – if you don’t, skip them.
From the cover of Batman: Nightwalker:
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most nefarious criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?
In this second DC Icons book–following Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer–Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a super hero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?