Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review: Batman #2

Batman #1 was the sort of comic that made me feel lucky to be a Batman fan. Batman's been the star of so many terrific stories, and great stories continue to be told with the character month after month. He's been written by some of the best writers ever to work in the business, like Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, and is currently being written by Scott Snyder, a fantastic new writer who I'm expecting will be considered a great in the years to come. So for me, whether or not Batman #2 would be good wasn't a question. It was naturally going to be awesome. The only question was how awesome it would be.

Now that I've had a chance to enjoy the comic, I can report that the answer is "pretty darn awesome". This was hands down my favorite comic of the week, and features an action scene that I'm mentally filing away in my "why I love Batman" folder. The comic was wonderfully paced and built on the many mysteries introduced in the first issue. I read solicits, so I have some idea of where things are going next, but I imagine Snyder will still find many ways to intrigue me along the way. I'm very interested in the court of owls, but I'm even more intrigued by Lincoln March. I found the story he told Bruce to be genuinely touching, and I'm interested to see if he's sincere, or if he has a deeper connection to Gotham's dark history. The assassin's line about killing Waynes is one that should have the internet buzzing for a while.

The story and action are both terrific, but I'd  be remiss if I didn't talk about the book's characters. I love Gordon's portrayal here. I'm unclear as to how much of Gordon's willful ignorance about the identity of Batman has carried through here, but the relationship between him and Batman is great regardless. It was great seeing them perform the autopsy together. It's impressive to see how creepy Snyder manages to make Dick Grayson appear here. This is the character I think of as being the most emotionally stable member of the family, and Snyder obviously has a good handle on him. Most of the lines could be written off as red herrings, but I think there's something more going on here, and I can't wait to see what it is.

But Gotham remains the most significant supporting character in this tale. Bruce has come a long way, but I can still believe that he thinks of the city he protects as one of his closest friends. Bruce has spent much of his life afraid to trust anyone, but as vile as Gotham can be, the city is something he feels he truly understands. He knows its strengths, knows how the city can help him. He knows what to expect from Gotham, and what he can do about it. Seeing that trust waiver will be fascinating, and makes me all the more excited to learn about Gotham's deepest and most well hidden secrets.

 Greg Capullo's work on this comic continues to stun me. His visual storytelling during the book's chase scene was pitch perfect, and I often felt like I could hear what was happening thanks to his dynamic art. There's a huge variety in facial expressions, even when it comes to random bad guys, and it does worlds for giving every character their own unique personality. Being able to do something like this is crucial in any Gotham based book, where half the major characters are sporting black hair and blue eyes. We see more of the great backgrounds and architecture we were treated to in issue #1, and his rendering of Gotham's guardians made a certain scene in the book feel that much more badass.

If you're a fan of Batman, then this is a comic you should be reading. It's a great showcase for all the major Batman characters, and it's just a great comic in general. It has wonderful art, compelling writing, and to me, is miles better than any other Batbook DC is publishing right now. While I get the definite sense that Snyder is building a bigger story arc here, both of the book's issues have really felt like they told their own complete story. The endings give you plenty to look forward to while you wait for the next month's issues, but the story you do get still feels satisfying and whole. Batman continues to be one of DC's best comics, and with talent lik

By Marceline with No comments


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