Another New 52 milestone, another tag-team review. Like we did with Justice League, we’re presenting two opinions on Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman #1. This is one of DC’s highest-selling books in years, but is it worth picking up?
Rebel Rikki: Man, there’s a lot I want to say about this book, but in short: I loved it. I loved the mystery it set up, I loved the action, I loved the twists and I loved the fact that Bruce Wayne’s getting proactive… and getting cool new toys. Scott Snyder makes 20-page comics feel dense and layered, something that other writers could learn a lesson from. Capullo’s art is fantastically moody and grotesque, capturing the likenesses of both heroes and villains very well; that’s only bolstered by Fco Plascencia’s muted colors. I admit I had to warm up a bit to Capullo’s Batman being so square-jawed, and I still don’t know if I like it, but this issue is just so excellent I can’t bring myself to grade it down for that. There’s stuff here that seems to be meant to appeal to fans of Grant Morrison’s Batman (the notion that Gotham is a living entity, the tone of Bat-family interactions) as well as fans of Christopher Nolan’s films (some lines and locations are borrowed pretty freely from them), yet it should be a totally accessible read for people who never picked up a comic before. In my opinion, this is one of the best releases we’ve gotten from DC. A
Spaceman Spiff: I had high hopes for this book, but man, not this high. What a lot of fun. I agree with everything you say Rikki. The art was fantasic, and I loved the shout-out to Grant Morrison’s Professor Pyg, and his ad-hoc prison-made pig-mask. I thought the handling of Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Damian Wayne was all handled really well, and I’m glad to know that Alfred isn’t just a hologram. And as cool as the opening fight scene was — with Dick Grayson going undercover as the Joker — for me the highlight of this issue was getting to see Bruce Wayne in action, something we hadn’t really gotten to experience yet in the “New 52.”
I mean, let’s face it, on his own Bruce Wayne is a fantastic character, and that’s before tights and pointy bat-ears come into the picture. And here in this issue Scott Snyder gives us a great glimpse into the other side of Batman and how Bruce Wayne is able to juggle it. Rikki, I had no problems with Capullo’s square-jawed Batman at all, but I do think his Commisioner Gordon face needs a little work, even if it is nice to see ‘ole Jim with some color back in his hair. This issue gets an A from me as well.
Rebel Rikki: That’s funny that you mention Gordon’s face, because that’s when the aesthetic of the book kind of clicked for me… the muscular, boxy-chined hero, the hard cop with the chiseled face… it’s very classic noir stuff. But yeah, the focus on Bruce Wayne is tremendous and I loved to see him experimenting with new gadgets ala James Bond. Also, speaking of the Dick Grayson/Joker masquerade… my feeling is that the end twist of this issue ties back into that somehow. I haven’t quite worked it out yet, but there are a lot of really interesting possibilities here.
Spaceman Spiff: Yeah, the twist at the end is too shocking to take at face value, and it definitely makes me want to go back and reread this issue to look for “clues.” Hmm, maybe this team should’ve been on Detective Comics instead. Anyways, Rikki, I’d say that we’re pretty strongly in agreement on this issue. A solid A all around.
Pull list verdict: KEEP IT
My Best of 2012 Playlist by Eric Garneau
After being inspired by some friends, for the past few years I’ve been really into documenting my musical exploration with year-end mixes. I realize this is not a particularly novel thing to do, but hey, who has original ideas any more? Anyway, this has gotten even easier to do thanks to new technology like Spotify. read more