Published by DC Comics in 2019, Last Knight on Earth is a three-part Batman story (divided into nine chapters) from writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo. The story, about a post-apocalyptic world, features a number of classic characters from the DC Universe, including Lex Luthor, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Last Knight on Earth was initially published through DC Comics’ Black Label – a line of alternate universe stories, which take place in a separate timeline to the events of the main DC Universe.
What happens in Batman: Last Knight on Earth?
Part One: The Cave
Someone is leaving strange markings in Gotham City, with a pattern pointing to Crime Alley – the place where Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed. Batman investigates, but upon arrival at Crime Alley he finds the decomposed body of a boy.
The body has been rigged to cause harm to Batman. A shot is fired and the Caped Crusader blacks out.
When he wakes up, he discovers that he is a patient in Arkham Asylum – a facility which has been his home for almost 20 years. Bruce is told he was committed to Arkham after he killed his parents.
Part Two: The Right Hand
Batman uncovers the truth: The Asylum is an illusion, created by Alfred Pennyworth – Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler. Alfred wanted to keep Batman safe from the outside world, which is a wasteland.
After Alfred informs Batman of some details about the state of the world, the Caped Crusader leaves Arkham and finds himself in a desert. Here he discovers the dismembered head of the Joker – who inexplicably is still alive.
Part Three: The Asylum
Batman and the Joker encounter trouble, but are rescued by Vixen and Poison Ivy.
Part Four: Echolocation
Taken underground, Batman learns of what happened to the Earth at the hands of a villain called Omega. He also reveals his own secret – that he knows he is not the original Bruce Wayne, but merely someone with Bruce’s memories.
Part Five: Who’s There?
Batman and Joker travel across the country, experiencing the harsh reality of this ravaged world. Their goal is to find Superman, who they believe is located within the Plains of Solitude.
Part Six: The Miracle
At the Plains of Solitude Batman and Joker find Superman, as well as an underground recreation of the Kent Farm. But they quickly discover that Superman is merely a synthetic creation, one of many being controlled by Lex Luthor.
Luthor explains how the real Superman was killed. He also explains he is currently on a mission to bring the real Superman back to Earth, through the use of a wormhole, but Luthor’s plan is cut short when he is killed.
Part Seven: Paradise
Wonder Woman, Batman and Joker return to Gotham City. Here they are greeted by the Court of Owls – a group of heroes led by Dick Grayson.
Part Eight: The Signal
Working with The Court of Owls, and with some help from Catwoman, Batman and Wonder Woman form two teams. Wonder Woman and the Owls head to Arkham Asylum to disrupt a signal which is controlling all human life on Earth, while Batman and Joker head to Wayne Tower to confront Omega.
Omega and Batman fight, and Omega is killed. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and the Owls manage to disrupt the signal.
Part Nine: The Doorway
A short while after the death of Omega, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Joker and assorted members of the Owls stand ready for the challenges that lie ahead – including parenthood. Luthor’s plan to bring Superman back has worked, with the infant Kal-El arriving on Earth via a wormhole.
Is Batman: Last Knight on Earth a good read?
Last Knight on Earth is an epic story, which pushes beyond the boundaries of Gotham City, to cover the wider DC Universe. Readers who like stories involving a collection of DC characters will find much to enjoy – especially those who also like apocalyptic scenarios.
And this is what Last Knight on Earth is – an apocalyptic story, where all bets are off and anything can happen. Heroes can become villains, foes can become allies, and the normal rules of the DCU no longer apply.
For me, Last Knight on Earth is up there with some of the great ‘end-of-the-world’ stories from DC Comics. The writing is strong, the visuals are superb, and the end result is an excellent story that will be revisited time and time again.
When it comes to Batman stories, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are a creative dream team, who have crafted some excellent stories. Last Knight on Earth is one of those tales, and allows the duo to explore an adventure that would usually be off limits.
Has Batman: Last Knight on Earth been adapted into film?
To date, Batman: Last Knight on Earth has not been adapted for film. However, the story would lend itself to an animated adventure, so I am hopeful it will become a feature-film at some point in the not-too distant future.
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