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Gotham Knights Diaries Part Twenty

Gotham Knights Diaries Part Twenty

Honestly, I felt a little incomplete leaving things at the end of the game — which honestly hit a lot sooner than I thought it would! There was nothing indicating “make sure you’re done before proceeding” like some games do. So, I decided to read the prequel comic based on Gotham Knights.

Now, this is different to Batman: Gotham Knights, a comic released in the early 2000s which ran for 74 issues. It is also not the Batman: Gotham Knight animated anthology from 2008. No, this is Batman: Gotham Knights – Gilded City, a six issue mini-series by Evan Narcisse, Abel, John, and Steve Wands, which is available in trade paperback. Yes, those two artists have a single name each.

Batman Gotham Knights Gilded City 0006

Things start with Bruce Wayne eating an extravagant meal in the skybox at the Gotham Guardsmen Arena when a riot breaks out, caused by food bloggers. Changing into Batman, the caped crusader finds that this is happening elsewhere in the city too! Batgirl is combating sneaker YouTubers, Robin is fighting off gamers after a new graphics card, and Batman himself winds up taking on fashion fans.

The team works out that these people, as well as apparently-dosed kitten café patrons and anyone consuming pumpkin spice or avocado toast, are experiencing extreme FOMO (fear of missing out). But there’s no time for that, instead the comic cuts to 1847 where two black people are saved from attackers by a masked figure named The Runaway.

The comic keeps cutting between present day and 1847 throughout, showing how a “tenement typhoid” tore through Gotham, and how it was caused by Falling Star Water, a popular bottled beverage. It transpires that the water is being created by the Court of Owls to turn people into an early version of Talons. Also Vandal Savage is there.

Batman Gotham Knights Gilded City 0080

In the present day, Batman and Robin head to Blüdhaven to bring Nightwing into the story, and Red Hood comes in about halfway through as he’s out of the country investigating something for Lucius Fox. They discover who is behind the scheme, the villain is defeated, and The Runaway warns Batman that there are forces at work from the shadows…

Obviously, if you want the specifics you’ll have to buy the comic — or it might be on DC Universe Infinite, I’m not subscribed so can’t confirm. Overall, the story feels disjointed with the frequent page-and-a-half of flitting into another century, but it does feature some characterisations from the game (Nightwing hates Batman), and hints at a couple of story threads that Gotham Knights will pick up.

Right at the end of the story, it’s heavily suggested that The Runaway will be back in Gotham Knights. No, I didn’t just forget to mention them for 19 diary entries, there was no hint at the existence of this character for the entire game. If you read the footnotes sections, you’ll see how thorough I was, though I’ll admit that I didn’t catch every single thing.

Then, while every character is given something to do, Batgirl gets about a page’s worth of material to herself across the whole mini-series. Everyone else has multiple scenes and something resembling an arc, but Batgirl barely has more lines than actual supporting character Jada Thompkins. While I’m complaining about the writing, there’s an odd two panel sequence where Robin says that communications are down city-wide, so he’s going by himself to an old mine, he’ll explain why on the way…?

Batman Gotham Knights Gilded City 0098

Unfortunately, the story isn’t helped by some of the artwork flowing poorly, often feeling like a panel or two was skipped somehow. How was that assailant taken out? Dunno. How did that character know to be there? No idea. Do we have any idea who that person is? Maybe! The art itself is perfectly fine for the large majority of each page, it’s just not strong in the area of storytelling.

On the whole, Batman: Gotham Knights – Gilded City has very little to do with the game, so as a prequel (which was published after the game launched…) it doesn’t really fit into anything the game does. It’s decent enough to give a read, but it’s definitely not required reading.


Gotham Guardsmen are supposedly a basketball team, though they appear to have never been shown on panel, and I didn’t see or hear them mentioned in the game.
Vandal Savage was created in 1943 and is an immortal caveman who received his gift from a meteor. He has spent millenia gathering power and resources, yet has somehow never taken over the world.

Gotham Knights Diaries
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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