Batman: Last Knight On Earth is one of those unpredictable comics that I am just enjoying the ride that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are taking us on. Thus far Snyder and Capullo have created a compelling Elseworld-style story were they are shaping a DC Universe that Batman is still trying to figure out. Batman being a stranger in the DC Universe he woke up in has led to a lot of great revelations. That includes the revelation that ended Batman: Last Knight On Earth Book Two of Dick Grayson revealing to Batman he has become a Talon in the new Court of Owls. What that means for how things will go down in the finale for Batman: Last Knight On Earth is anyone’s guess. Let’s find that out now with Batman: Last Knight On Earth Book Three.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On the GCPD rooftop Commissioner Gordon notices while talking to him that Batman seems distracted. Commissioner Gordon wonders if its about Lex Luthor. Batman talks about the boy they found dead in the alley turned out to be Joe Chill’s estranged son.
He goes on to talk about how the boy died during a botched operation because the doctor was drunk and tore the kid’s intestines apart. Batman then reveals that the doctor was Thomas Wayne. Batman then says that the Waynes’ Estate made payments to the boy’s mother to make it all disappear.
As Batman explains, this would mean that the Waynes were able to make their murder look like it took place because of the height of injustice in Gotham City when in reality it was an act of revenge. Commissioner Gordon tries to play it off that it means nothing but Batman disagrees.
Commissioner changes subjects to lighting the new Bat-Signal after the last one broke down he tells Batman to push the button to turn it on.
In the present, an old Jim Gordon welcomes Batman to the Owl-Cave (which is the new name for the Batcave underneath the old Wayne Estate). Dick Grayson tells Batman that he is lucky they found him because he could’ve fallen under Omega’s signal after being exposed for it for a few hours.
Batman is still in shock of the new name for his old Batcave. Dick reveals that Omega moved everything out of the Batcave years ago and had the Wayne Manor rebuilt on top of Wayne Tower. He goes on to say that they originally fought as the symbol of Bats when the mayhem started but as things went on the Bat symbol became corrupted.
Batman says he is glad they are all alive and asks if Omega is who they’ve been fighting all this time. Dick reveals that is not the case. Over the years they’ve fought through the Clay Wars, Season of Demons and other threats until Omega rose through the ranks and became something none of them could fight against.
Dick reveals that for a period the majority of them fell to Omega’s control but thanks to Tim Drake’s efforts he saved them. Dick goes on to explain when Tim’s neck was broken in a Grundy Pit everyone thought he was dead but survived in secret. From the shadows Tim was able to fight his way back and develop a blocker to free them from Omega’s control but now Omega is about to launch a new signal they can’t fight against.
Batman says they need to fight back immediately and asks where Tim is. Dick somberly reveals that they already tried to fight back but in the battle Tim was killed along with many others and only the people in the Owl-Cave are left.
Batman can’t believe it. Dick tells Batman that the amplifier is locked in Arkham Asylum with the signal emanating from Wayne Tower which can only be opened with Omega’s DNA.
Batman still can’t believe what he is hearing. Barbara Gordon tells Batman to look around to see cases holding Jason Todd, Kate Kane, Cassandra Cain and Damian Wayne’s costume. Barbara states Damian was the first to fall when he rushed to save Batman and died a Robin. She then shows Batman the robot armor that Tim wore when he fell, while mentioning they couldn’t bring Stephanie Brown when she was killed in battle.
Wonder Woman says they understand her pain but Barbara says they have no idea what they fought against. Batman and Commissioner Gordon think they should fight on the same team. Dick and Barbara don’t know about that since Omega is Bruce and they can’t get to him. Bryce Grayson (Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon’s daughter) mentions Batman has Omega’s DNA. Barbara still doesn’t view Batman as part of their team, especially with how he is carrying Joker’s head.
Batman admits he knows he is not Bruce and that he is young and idealistic. He goes on to state that because of that he believes he is the right one to face Omega as they are each other’s opposites. Batman says that if he has one vulnerability is his own overconfidence so after beating them all this is the best time to strike. Bryce says they could go to “her” for help which Duke Thomas agrees.
Barbara is still not sure about all this because she doesn’t want her family to die but both Batman and Bryce tell her this could work.
Suddenly Joker speaks up and asks for a favor.
Sometime later, at Wayne Tower Omega stands with Bane and Scarecrow as he is told the amplifier is nearly ready but the new Batman stands in their way. Omega talks about an article in the newspaper that stated Gotham was the citizens but that was a lie. Omega states that Gotham won’t be a lie anymore and orders to finish preparing the amplifier.
Batman, Dick and Wonder Woman find Selina Kyle at a warehouse. Dick says that while she did not help them before things are different now with Batman so she doesn’t have to follow Omega. Selina reveals a red rope that she is supposed to pull when she sees Dick and the others as part of their deal. Batman and the others try to talk Selina out of pulling the rope.
Selina says she won’t do that and opens a storage unit that houses various weapons and gear she has collected over the years. She goes on to reveal the gear includes Wonder Woman original Lasso. Selina then tells everyone to go before she changes her mind.
Afterwards Batman puts together a plan where Wonder Woman would lead the Owls to Arkham Island to go after the signal amplifier while he leads the Bats into Wayne Tower.
In the sewers Batman fights against Omega’s forces. As he asks Joker where he is at one of Omega’s special robotic soldiers attacks Batman. Suddenly Joker wearing Tim’s armor appears and calls himself “Robin.” Joker-Robin uses the weapons in his armor to completely destroy the Omega robot soldier.
Over in Arkham Asylum, Wonder Woman and the Owls use Mad Hatter’s technology that Selina gave them to evade being seen from Omega’s forces patrolling the facility.
Back at Wayne Tower, Batman has an uneasy feeling when he is about to bypass the security system using his DNA. Joker-Robin asks Batman to wait so he can come up with a good Robin line but Batman does not wait and opens the doors.
Back in Arkham Asylum, Wonder Woman and the Owls are able to walk pass Clayface, Killer Croc, Victor Zsazs and Mr. Freeze without being noticed. Barbara then tells Bryce to use The Universal Answer device that Riddler created to open the door in front of them. Wonder Woman realizes that The Riddler used that device to open the doors to the Hall of Justice, an event she will never forget. When the doors open Wonder Woman is shocked at what she sees.
Back at Wayne Tower, Batman and Joker-Robin are shocked to find a museum with containers holding the costumes of Giganta, Cheetah, Joker, Sinestro, Black Adam, Brainiac, Black Manta and other villains almost like a trophy room. As they walk through the room Batman hears an echo. Suddenly Batman and Joker-Robin are tangled up in a purple substance.
Omega suddenly appears and welcomes Batman to his place.
Back in Arkham Asylum, Wonder Woman, Barbara and Bryce are shocked to see Martian Manhunter in a containment field where he has become Omega’s amplifier. Wonder Woman tries to talk to J’onn. Martian Manhunter says “DDDDDIIEE!” and closes the door, locking himself in with just Wonder Woman.
Back inside Wayne Tower, Omega has strapped Batman into the Mobius Chair, planning to use the tech to transform Batman into one of his soldiers. Joker-Robin tries to save Batman but Omega easily knocks him out and curve stomps him into the ground.
Batman tells Omega the real Bruce Wayne would be disappointed if he knew him. Omega disagrees and takes off his mask to reveal he is the real Bruce Wayne. Though Batman can’t believe it Omega reveals that while people thought he fell in the first days of the war he actually let “them” in and they broke him.
Omega says that he was broken so bad that it took him a long time to get back on his feet. He did just that without any magic or pits, just a vision he had on how he could save them all. Omega goes on to state that his signal amplifier is all part of his plan to save everyone.
Meanwhile, in a command center, KGBeast attacks Jim Gordon.
At Arkham Asylum, all the villains finally see the Owls are in the facility.
In the amplifier room Wonder Woman struggles to defend herself against a crazed Martian Manhunter.
Back in Wayne Tower Batman states he will take Omega down. Omega says that is what he wants. He wants the moment Batman rises from the Mobius Chair to be the time he takes over for him as Omega because he has realized how his age and injuries have caught up with him. Omega then activates the Mobius Chair to begin the process.
After Omega leaves the room, Joker-Robin regains consciousness and reveals to Batman he was the one that wrote the note he stashed with the boy in the alley. Joker-Robin reveals that the case was supposed to be “The Last Case” he would give to Batman to challenge and make him stronger. Joker-Robin admits that things didn’t turn out that way as Batman did not change. He then reveals that when they all fell Alfred Pennyworth hung Joker’s head in the desert and left it their.
Joker-Robin then says that whoever Omega is he is not Batman, that is the Bruce sitting in the Mobius Chair.
Batman realizes what he must do and as the countdown for the Mobius Chair process goes on Batman drops Two-Face coin.
From the top of Wayne Tower, Omega orders Scarecrow to take the Owls down.
In Arkham Asylum, the Owls struggle to fight off all the villains. Bryce is able to defeat Mr. Freeze. Duke and Dick are able to get in formation to cause Killer Croc and Bane to turn on each other.
Meanwhile Martian Manhunter has been able to defeat Wonder Woman and awaits Omega’s orders.
Back atop Wayne Tower, Omega is ready for everyone to hear and follow the new Bat-Signal he has created.
Batman suddenly shows up and states Omega is going to cry. Omega wonders what he forgot. Batman says that it is more than he knows.
Batman and Omega charge at each other and start trading blows.
Back in Arkham Asylum as Martian Manhunter awaits Omega’s orders Dick and Duke desperately try to open the door to help Wonder Woman. Scarecrow gets back up and tells Bane and Killer Croc that they should deal some pain.
Back at Wayne Tower, Omega begins to gain the advantage and says that there is no place for Batman. Batman fights back saying he makes his own place. Tired of fighting Omega knocks Batman down and says he belongs to him now as an effigy. Omega then stabs Batman with a spear that has Darkseid’s head on the other end.
Omega says he will use his machine to make a worthy successor so Batman can just stay stuck where he is while a new world is born. Omega then activates Darkseid’s head to begin the signal amplification process.
Back in Arkham Asylum, Scarecrow injects his fear toxin into the back of Duke’s head. Bryce attempts to stop Scarecrow but is easily knocked back by the villain. As Scarecrow lunges to inject Bryce with his tear toxin Dick jumps in the way to take the inject in place of his daughter.
In the amplification room, Wonder Woman desperately tries to reason with Martian Manhunter. She is too late to stop the amplification process as Martian Manhunter is used as an amplifier for Darkseid’s Omega signal.
While Omega rants that everything is going as planned Bryce faces off against all of the villains inside Arkham Asylum.
At the same time Wonder Woman desperately tries to disconnect Martian Manhunter from the amplification device.
As all that goes on Batman rises back up and hits Omega with the spear he was stabbed with. Omega desperately tries to get Batman to understand what he is doing but Batman has none of it. Batman finishes things by using the Darkseid spear to stab Omega through the neck.
A dying Omega tells Batman that if he lets them in they will break his heart. Batman says that the reason Omega created him was to continue to leave the door open for the others.
The villains in Arkham stop their attack as a recovered Martian Manhunter carries an unconscious Wonder Woman out of the amplifier room.
Sometime later Batman, Joker-Robin, Wonder Woman, Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Batwoman (Barbara Gordon), Batgirl (Bryce Grayson) and Signal (Duke Thomas) wait for the last Kryptonian spaceship holding Kal-El to land.
Eventually the spaceship lands and Batman happily takes Kal-El out of the ship. He then holds baby Kal-El in his arms and looks out into the world ahead with Wonder Woman and Joker-Robin next to him. End of story.
The Good: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo ended their run on the Batman franchise the same way they started: their own way. With each passing page of Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3 Snyder and Capullo show how they are people on a mission to leave behind their definitive finale with Batman. By the end they are able to say mission accomplished as they deliver a stellar Batman story.
Just like previous issues of this mini-series, Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3 was treated as the final Batman story that was going to be told. That is sure not at all the case with the Batman franchise. But that is what makes this entire series special. Snyder and Capullo made sure they left their mark on the franchise like this was the last thing that was going to be written about Batman. In doing so Snyder and Capullo are able to take risks that are reward thanks to the world they have been able to craft since first starting their run on Batman.
What is most impressive about everything that takes place in Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3 is that everything about what happens makes sense. Every story beat that Snyder introduces works to continue to develop the world created in this series. Whether its Dick Grayson’s explanation for the remaining Batman Family members using the Court of Owls as their new symbol or Omega big reveal to Batman, everything works to compliment the greater story unfolding.
The thing that I found most impressive about Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3 is how it never feels like Snyder is holding the readers hand. Every piece of dialogue and interaction serves the purpose of advancing the character arcs of everyone involved in the story. Even when we open up with exposition heavy scenes Snyder writes them in a way that the information Dick Grayson and others give to Batman aren’t for the readers benefit. It is all about getting the version of Batman who woke up in this world to understand everything the Owls have been through since even before Omega came to power.
There is a sense of being taken on a journey as Batman is listening to his closest allies talk about everything that has gone on before he woke up. We see that with how Snyder does not go out of his way to explain that Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon are now married with a kid. That is just something that you naturally learn through their interactions with each other, their daughter Bryce Grayson and Batman.
For the time she is on screen Snyder does a great job making Bryce Grayson become a stand out character. You can see how she has many of the qualities of both her parents. Being ready to make a final stand against all of Batman’s villains was a great visual that tells you all you need to know about Bryce’s fearless attitude. It all made rewarding when we see Bryce wearing a new version of the Batgirl costume at the very end of the story.
In developing this world, Snyder also does a lot of quality work to make sure the rest of the Batman Family get some form of character arc. Even short ones like Barbara revealing that Damian Wayne fell because he wanted to fight by his father side spoke to who the character is. Barbara mentioning that Damian died a Robin was a very cool sign of respect from Barbara.
What we learn about the key role that Tim Drake played in the story was also well executed. Snyder was able to paint a full picture of the crucial role that Tim plays in Batman: Last Knight On Earth. Even without Tim around anymore his presence is felt by the impact he left in saving everyone and leaving the possibility for our heroes to still win. The development Tim receives is a great example of how to do this type of character even after they pass away.
It all helps further the idea that this version of Bruce Wayne waking up to become Batman is the ray of hope this world needed. Everyone around him has gone through so much and barely survived Omega’s attacks that they are left unsure if they can win. That is where Batman steps in to provide a fresh perspective on how they can still win if they work together.
At the same time, Snyder makes sure to not suddenly make Batman a reckless that is basing everything off hope they can win because they are the heroes of the story. Going to find Selina Kyle and asking her for help speaks to that. It was surprising to see that Selina was an ally of Omega. But Snyder turned that surprise into a strong character moment when Selina showed she is still a hero at heart with how she ends up helping Batman and the others. The moment she has with Wonder Woman was the payoff needed for this quick scene that Selina was in.
Splitting everyone up into two missions of equal importance was also well done. Snyder picked the best moments to switch between Batman and Joker’s confrontation with Omega, and Wonder Woman and the Owls invading Arkham Asylum. They kept switching back and forth the right times so these scenes compliment the trials all our heroes are facing in both locations.
With Batman and Joker we get a good continuation of the relationship that Snyder has been emphasizing since his run began. There is a connection between Batman and Joker that they cannot escape from each other. Even with how weird it is to see Joker become the new Robin it sort of works as the next step in what Snyder has been doing in challenging both characters during his run.
It also plays in well with the battle between Bruce Waynes that we see play out for the remainder of the scenes at Wayne Tower. Snyder does an impressive job writing Omega Bruce Wayne’s dialogue in a way that does make you question if he is the original Bruce Wayne. The character believes that to be fact so hard that you do start thinking that to be the case. At the same time, there are still hints that make you wonder if this Bruce Wayne is a clone with a similar history to the one who is currently Batman.
This twisted version of Bruce Wayne provides a final push for the Bruce who is currently Batman to show how he will continue to fight. Even with these odds were it almost seems impossible for Batman and he loses hope while strapped to the Mobius Chair the character finds the strength, thanks in part to Joker, to continue fighting. This allows the strength of the character not to give up be spotlighted as he fights through even being stabbed by a Darkseid spear to defeat Omega Bruce Wayne.
The scenes over in Arkham Asylum added to the tension of how our heroes were raising against the clock to stop Omega. The reveal of Martian Manhunter being used as the amplifier that Omega was using to amplify the Darkseid signal was fantastic. It makes sense that Omega would use the most powerful psychic in the DC Universe to make sure his signal can bypass anything that could fight it off.
This gave Wonder Woman the chance to be spotlighted in a way that it wasn’t about her being a warrior. Wonder Woman continuously calling out to Martian Manhunter to come to his senses by calling him by his name of J’onn spoke to this. While saving the world was her biggest motivator Wonder Woman wanted to also save her friend from the suffering he has been put through. It is a cool arc to give Wonder Woman that built off how she has become even more protective of those closest to her after losing so much in this world.
The ending of Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3 being Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Batman Family welcoming the last Kryptonite ship with baby Kal-El inside was fitting. With Batman, Wonder Woman and others saving the day and giving this world a chance at a brighter future the new baby Kal-El can be that beacon of light. Being raised by Batman and Wonder Woman also means this version of Kal-El can be different from the normal version of Superman that we have grown to love. It’s a good way to leave things for the reader to imagine what happens next while still feeling like an ending.
Along with Snyder’s stellar writing, Greg Capullo, along with Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia, deserves an equal amount of success for how fantastic Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3. Capullo does a fantastic job in telling the full story of the horrors Omega Bruce Wayne went through to become who he is by the way he drew him unmasked. It’s a powerful visual that added to the story Omega Bruce Wayne told to his younger self who was Batman. The storytelling from the way Omega Bruce Wayne also extends to the designs for Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Wonder Woman, Bryce Grayson and other characters that helps in strengthening their dialogue.
The artwork for the action sequences that dominate the last part of Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3. Especially with how often we switch between Wayne Tower and Arkham Asylum, Capullo and his team are able to keep a nice flow between all the action going on.
The Bad: As cool as seeing Joker become a robotic version of Robin it wasn’t something that was a home run development. This development never loses how odd it is to see Joker rocking Robin’s colors. There are times when you see Joker as Robin, especially in the final scene, that does not feel like that is the role the character deserves to have. More than anything it felt like this was more about getting merchandise created once Joker as Robin became the status quo. This did not hurt the story of Batman: Last Knight On Earth at all but was something that I just did not fully connect with.
Overall: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo do an excellent job ending their Batman run with Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3. They present a story that could very well be the final Batman story told and are successful in crafting a world that captures your imagination. While Batman is the star of the show there are plenty of characters, like Wonder Woman, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, that get time to shine. Having all these characters play a key role in the story made Batman: Last Knight On Earth an even more fitting end to the epic run on Batman that Snyder and Capullo crafted together.
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