Last Knight On Earth
When I finished reading it, I was disappointed. Maybe I wasn't in the mood. Maybe there was something of depth within the pages and I haven't given myself to process it. I slept on it and decided that this was just not a good book.
☼ The premise was brilliant. I would have loved to read a story about Bruce Wayne waking up in a hospital never having been Batman. Who are his enemies? Where is he? Or, the biggest question of it all, was any of it actually real? Something like that would be pretty insightful, the story itself and retrospectively when you're sitting on your couch thinking it over. That's not what we got.
☞ | POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
☼ This book assumes that we'll always root for the human race, even when they have lost any semblance of their humanity; by choice. I'm going to state the obvious. Fighting for the people who ripped you limb from limb, who ripped your son limb from limb, is not noble. It's stupid. Fighting for something that the majority of people don't want is not heroic, it's dictatorship.
☼ This Batman is incredibly different from most of his counterparts. He's naive, the Joker is his best friend and, to put it bluntly, he's not very smart. Which is basically what makes Batman, Batman. This Batman is really Superman in disguise but with none of the god like powers and no real sense of loyalty to any of the surviving heroes.
☼ I understand that empathising is not Batman's strong suit; it never has been. However, that does not mean that Batman does not understand where people are coming from. He understands the human brain - he has to - because whether it's good or bad, Batman plays people. Or he should. This guy hasn't got a clue what's going on. He makes little effort to understand where people are coming from and makes half hearted attempts to figure out what has happened.
☼ Even when he's asking different characters about "where it all went wrong", it feels more like a plot device rather than genuine interest. Nothing really seems to pay off. None of the backstory that he has told effects him in any way. He just does what he wants to do, common sense be damned. I'm sure we all know someone like this.
☼ This is a book that desperately tries to capture the terrible side of human nature but is too scared to tackle it head on. It pummels you with the idea that "people are bad!!" and "humanity is doomed to die of death of their own making!!" but forgets to tell you that there are some good sides to... anything. This makes the main character seem all the more stupid when he tries to "save" people. We don't have any idea what he's saving, nor why.
☼ If you want to shine on light on how ugly human nature can be; go ahead. Don't let me stop you. Write that tweet! Post that YouTube video! But you'll never get the whole truth without mentioning that sometimes, somehow, people can be good. Or at least we find instances of where we can be.
I wonder if this book was written by an AI. It follows the right arc, dots all the i's and crosses all the t's but it doesn't seem to understand why it's doing it. It ambles along demanding that superhero = saving the human race. It's a sandwich that uses another slice for it's filling. It's technically still a sandwich, but is it a good one?