How The First Page of Batman: Damned #1 Does Killing Joke, Dark Knight and Arkham Asylum In One

Okay, it's not quite the first page of Batman Damned #1 by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. This is the first page.

How The First Page of Batman: Damned #1 Does Killing Joke, Dark Knight and Arkham Asylum In One

But this is the page that everyone will think is the first page.

How The First Page of Batman: Damned #1 Does Killing Joke, Dark Knight and Arkham Asylum In One

Bleeding Cool has noted that Batman: Damned demands to be taken, treated, revered as the likes of the great Batcomics of the nineteen-eighties, The Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum and The Dark Knight Returns, and this first page makes a very visual attempt to refer to all three and lift itself up into their company.

First, the Dark Knight Returns, the use of the heart monitor image to recognise that Batman, buried in the ground, is now very much alive.

How The First Page of Batman: Damned #1 Does Killing Joke, Dark Knight and Arkham Asylum In One

The lettering, white on black typeset, as well as the rich painted artwork, seemed a call to Arkham Asylum.

How The First Page of Batman: Damned #1 Does Killing Joke, Dark Knight and Arkham Asylum In One

And the most obvious, a joke about insanity and a beam of light…

How The First Page of Batman: Damned #1 Does Killing Joke, Dark Knight and Arkham Asylum In One

That comic ended with the possibility of a dead Joker too… and Dark Knight Returns delivered…

BATMAN DAMNED #1 (OF 3) (MR)
(W) Brian Azzarello (A/CA) Lee Bermejo
DC BLACK LABEL, the highly anticipated new imprint from DC Comics, starts here!
The Joker is dead.
There is no doubt about that. But whether Batman finally snapped his scrawny neck or some other sinister force in Gotham City did the deed is still a mystery.
Problem is, Batman can't remember… and the more he digs into this labyrinthine case, the more his mind starts to doubt everything he's uncovering.
So who better to set him straight than… John Constantine? Problem with that is as much as John loves a good mystery, he loves messing with people's heads even more. So with John's "help," the pair will delve into the sordid underbelly of Gotham as they race toward the mind-blowing truth of who murdered The Joker.
BATMAN: DAMNED is a bimonthly super-natural horror story told by two of comics' greatest modern creators-a visceral thrill-ride that proudly puts the "black" in BLACK LABEL.In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
SRP: $6.99

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.