"The Hangman" in the Dark Knight in this Dark City
Finally Peter Milligan's Batman stories get some love. Both wonderfully selected stories to be collected in this "100-page spectacular". This reprint collection makes a nice mature pick-up read for those who like the darker and more adult Batman stories, while I must stress this is recommended reading material to understand Grant Morrison's Batman run, since both men are friends and it is likely Morrison read these stories when researching, you can see some of the influence of Milligan's run on Morrison's run.
Dark Knight, Dark City 1| 2| 3|
This three issue arc is Peter Milligan's best Batman story. It is dark, it is scary, it is a mature take on Batman in a smart way. Peter Milligan has done his research into the Occult and introduces aspects of the Occult into Batman. This concepts would later be adapted again by Grant Morrison in his current run on Batman. The three issues alone are worth the admission price and then there is a bonus story in Identity Crisis. If you pay attention in the first chapter of Dark Knight, Dark City you can see John Constantine on page 8, the 7th panel, we see the Batmobile race around the corner and the Green Suited (Crisis on Infinite Earths) John is hit with a rush of air,
The idea of Bruce Wayne battling his duel identity is not a new idea, In Batman #112 "Am I Really Batman?" Bruce Wayne goes face to face with himself. Peter Milligan being obsessed (in a good way) with the idea of dueling identities goes for his take on a similar idea.
When I first read this years ago the take seemed so fresh. I've recently read Batman #112, then reread this comic and the first half was not as mind blowing as I remembered. The end was as good as I remembered and it was a treat to see how talented Peter Milligan was back in 1991.
The Search of Swamp Thing Preview:
There is a four page preview of The Search of Swamp Thing in this reprint. I personally was not amused, I would think that Jonathan Vankin (Who was once an editor for Vertigo) would know John Constantine better. I felt the dialogue was weak, making Brain Azzarello still the best American writer for John. The story does focus on Swamp Thing, but its weird having "Classic" John as the lead, when classic John was the "in the shadows manipulator". Another problem I had with this preview is that the wasted space could of been all the covers of the Batman book, meaning twp of the Mike Mignola covers are lost to history.
I was looking forward to this collection, even if I had these comics in singles. By having it reprinted I now have a loner copy in this one and it also means other people can now see how good Peter Milligan is even from work from so long ago.