Author: Marie Lu
Adapter: Stuart Moore
Artist: Chris Wildgoose
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: October 1st, 2019
I received a copy of Batman: Nightwalker through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Batman: Nightwalker now has a graphic novel adaptation for us to enjoy! If you read and loved Marie Lu’s take on Batman and his earlier days, then odds are good that you’ll find yourself enjoying the graphic novel version as well.
Stuart Moore and Chris Wildgoose were brought on for this project, one doing the adaptation (editing down the book into a shorter format, that sort of thing) and the other as the artist. And I’ve got to say, they did a pretty solid job.
For those not familiar with Batman: Nightwalker, it’s part of the DC Icons series, delving into the past of our beloved heroes. In this case, the focus was on Batman, or rather, on Bruce Wayne before he became Batman.
It turns out that Bruce was always a bit of a reckless teenager, which makes sense given the path he’ll eventually head down. Here is his first experience with crime-fighting – and it explains so much about how he eventually became the masked hero we adore.
Bruce Wayne has found himself in the center of a whole new crime mystery. The Nightwalkers have been targeting the rich, but unlike their Robin Hood inspiration, they’re not giving to the poor. They are, however, happily killing the rich they steal from.
Madeleine Wallace is the only break in the ranks – the only member to be arrested and not die within hours of said arrest. And she’s become fixated on Bruce. Or is it that Bruce has a fixation with her?
Batman: Nightwalker was a brilliant and animated read on all accounts. Seeing it in graphic novel format only helped to heighten certain elements. You can really see that this plot was designed with a more visual format in mind, as it adapted so well.
Visually speaking, there were certain elements that I absolutely adored. For example, most of the graphic novel was in black and white, but there were exceptions. Anything that the creative team wanted us to pay specific attention to was highlighted in a vibrant yellow. This was striking, to begin with, naturally. But some scenes were amazing thanks to this one small change – such as the moments with origami.
I also adored the design of the breaks between parts. It was dark, yet oddly elegant. It was a perfect fit for this dark and brooding tale, that’s for sure. And it fit in nicely with the artwork as well.
Speaking of the artwork, I absolutely adored the character designs in this graphic novel. I know that the artists had something to lean on, knowing how some of these characters would look in later years. But they were able to do what they wanted with their more youthful versions, and I think they did a brilliant job. Bruce, in particular, looked like the pretty and rich boy we all expected – with a complete lack of fear of getting beat up, of course.
I’m really pleased with how this adaptation came out, on the whole. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series is going to end up looking like. And I might have to go back and reread the original novel after this.