Happy Batman: Arkham Knight launch week! Rocksteady's conclusion to their Batman: Arkham Trilogy is finally in the hands of gamers everywhere, and the reviews have been great. But just because the game is now out in the wild doesn't mean this prequel comic will be coming to a close. There is still plenty of story left to tell.

After a long, tedious five-issue arc in which Batman battled with Bane, we have reached the light at the end of the tunnel. So what comes next?

This satisfying one issue story. It serves as a great palette cleanser from the Bane arc, a refreshing one shot that manages to pull on one's heartstrings and reminds Batman what exactly he is fighting for.

Batman is beaten and bloodied after his battle with Bane and the resulting explosion. An older, down on his luck citizen of Gotham discovers Batman in a dumpster while rummaging through trash, and brings him back to his apartment to nurse him back to health.

It doesn't sound like the kind of material that would make for a great issue, but after the near non-stop action of last issue, this calm, more dialogue driven issue works wonders. The two men talk about the past and get to know one another. Turns out the man who pulled Batman out of the dumpsters name is Archie Freeman, and that he worked as an usher at the Monarch Theatre, the same place where Bruce witnessed the death of his parents.

Batman shows a real curiosity for how Gotham used to be, but before Archie can tell him more a pair of goons arrive to extort the poor old man. Not that Batman is going to let that happen, of course, but there is some real tension here as Archie struggles to deal with the two men as a wounded Batman hides at Archie's request.

Despite the depressing conditions Archie now finds himself in, this issue ends on a bright note with a message of hope. Batman has the power to return Gotham to its former glory, and people like Archie believe in what he is doing. You can tell Batman is actually happy to hear Archie say that, to hear that his war against crime in the city isn't for nothing.

Every once in a while a standalone issue like this goes a long way, and writer Peter Tomasi definitely knows how to hit the reset button before once again diving deep into some of the story threads we've been following over the course of the book. This issue is a welcome surprise.

Story

★★★★☆

Art

★★★☆☆

Overall

★★★★☆


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