There once was a man in pain. In fact he was also very un-vein. But he did know fear, and he looked very queer, plus his name was Jonathan Crane. Now for more bold candor, please read this tale Written and Drawn by David Finch; whilst aided and abetted by Paul Jenkins and Richard Friend. It was published by DC Comics in January 2012.

So what’s the story morning glory?
'Welcome to the Jungle' is a story involving dilemmas and plights, that is as disturbing as a cute blind monkey holding a machine gun.

The Dilemmas - Regrettably, Batman is in deep do-do at the moment. He is trapped in the coils of one of Poison Ivy's mutated plants, with her no where to be seen. Moreover, he is unable to help Flash out with his current drugged induced drudgery also.

So who does he turn to for help? The Justice League? No - Wonder Woman and the gang have their hands full at the moment with their own battles. OK, so what about Jim Gordon then? Err - again, afraid not - because Batman has put him in a quandary due to his previous actions with Forbes.

Still, he's Batman, right? He can find a way.

The Plights - Thankfully, due to a clue left for Batman by Poison Ivy, plus a way of tracking her down with his computer, the Dark Knight fly's off to this location in his Bat-Plane.

Oppps - be careful!

Well, you see, under the White Rabbits guidance, Deathstroke attacks him on route to this destination. Worst still, is that once he lands, Batman finds a very scary man in a very old barn - Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow.

To be continued...
What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
OK, I know that this line does not have anything to do with the actual story itself, but I did find it amusing when Alfred asked Bruce if he wanted 'Ice Cream, sir'.

Plus, Batman's running monologue was very nifty too - very encompassing.

Was the story any good?
Personally speaking, I found that this issue of the Dark Knight was a marked improvement where the overall structure of the story was concerned. Granted, like last issues Flash inclusion, the cameos in this tale did appear a mite fleeting and cosmetic in tone. Nevertheless, the story progression itself did have some more depth to it than usual, and I have to say that certain aspects of Bruce's personality were fleshed out in a very nice way indeed.

Was the art any good?
David Finch is just a bold and detailed artist. In this comic book I really did like his depiction of the 'cameo players' - Deathstroke and Wonder Woman - very vibrant all in all.

Whereas his 'Alfred Pennyworth' on the other hand, did look older and more wrinkled than his normal debonair self - more Charles Bronson than David Niven, if you get my meaning. 

What is the best thing about this issue?
As much as the cameo's were very nice in this issue, my personal favourite thing was Bruce's running commentary. For me, not only did it tie together quite nicely what this story arc is all about, but in addition to this, it presented a personal prose that I would really like to see more of in the future.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
As much as I do not enjoy saying this, co-plotters, Paul and David, keep on presenting tales which are one half cosmetic and one half nice. You see, it comes across that in each issue, their has to be a smidgen of plot, a dash of cameo, and a cliff-hanger / lead in resolution scenario. This, I am afraid to say, is starting to feel very 'formulaic' at this stage in their union.

Also, Batman asking for help? What was that all about?   

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
By in large this issue was one problem after another after another, right? So what about "Don't rub it, because it might hurt" - because this phrase is both a warning and a temptation.

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
I am happy to say that Alfred helped me in answering this question - as this story was like Ice Cream.

It can be repetitive at times and have a nice kick to it. Whilst at other times it is used to numb a toothache.

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
I would have liked Wonder Woman to say to Batman that she could have helped him, and then they could have both gone back to the Bat-Cave for a quick bunk-up.

Well, if this creative team like's presenting cameos with spunk - this one would work just fine, right?

Final thoughts...
OK, I know that I was a bit too harsh on this issue, but I do have to state that it was a nice overall read. I just hope that when this arc ends and the next one begins, that this subsequent story will have some more story to it.

Marks out of 10? 8

THE DARK KNIGHT #4 THE DARK KNIGHT #4 Reviewed by David Andrews on January 10, 2012 Rating: 5
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