Arkham Knight Origins In Detective Comics #1004

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead (Major Spoilers If You’re Not Up To Date On Detective Comics)]
Jeremiah Arkham explains the story of the Arkham Knight, aka Astrid Arkham, to Batman and Robin. It’s the story of a young Jeremiah Arkham, a psychiatric doctor at the asylum, and his love, medical doctor Ingrid Karlsson. The two dedicated their lives to helping the inmates of Arkham Asylum. Ingrid would later become pregnant, and a riot broke out in the asylum on her due date. Against all odds, the inmates helped Ingrid deliver her child, but she was still kid with a Batarang wildly throne by new inmate.

Detective Comics #1004 cover by Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, and Nathan Fairbairn
Detective Comics #1004 cover by Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, and Nathan Fairbairn

Detective Comics #1004 dedicates its runtime to explaining the origins of the Arkham Knight, now revealed to be Astrid Arkham. There is little to discuss outside of this origin story, so evaluating the comic comes down to how compelling and entertaining that origin is.
So, is the Arkham Knight’s origin tale good? The answer: yes, fairly. It doesn’t blow the reader away, but it’s interesting and even somewhat believable in a world that works like ours within the DC Universe.
That is to say that, of course Astrid processed the death of her mother being at the hands of the Batman and the kindness of the Arkham inmates as an excuse to dress up like the Batman and wage war against him.
The comic does paint the likes of the Joker and Two-Face as far more kind and compassionate than the ones we know. That may bother some, but it’s far from a dealbreaker for me.
Detective Comics #1004 art by Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, Nathan Fairbairn, and letterer Rob Leigh
Detective Comics #1004 cover by Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, and Nathan Fairbairn

Brad Walker’s artwork continues to suit Detective Comics well. I am once again in awe of how expressive he makes the eyes as well as how generally emotive each character is in both facial expression and body language. Nathan Fairbairn’s color work is well-balanced while still popping off the page, which is appropriate for a comic like this one.
Detective Comics #1004 gives a decent origin story to the Arkham Knight. It’s not mind-blowing or shocking, but it is decent and gives a believable motivation to Astrid. It’s solid read and worthy of a recommendation. Feel free to pick it up.
Detective Comics #1004 comes to us from writer Peter J. Tomasi, artist Brad Walker, inker Andrew Hennessy, color artist Nathan Fairbairn, letterer Rob Leigh, cover artist Walker with Hennessy and Fairbairn, and variant cover artist Mark Brooks.
Final Score: 7/10

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