Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Scott Snyder has really come full circle on Batman. I started his run like a lot of people have: reading Detective Comics, when Dick Grayson was Batman. While that eventually gave way to Bruce being the only Batman yet again, Snyder retained a consistent theme throughout both runs on Batman. The idea being that Gotham is an entity that tests the people who live in it, with challenges unique to them. While this is Scott Snyder’s third Batman, and Greg Capullo’s second Batman, they both bring a fresh feel, one that might well have been a reboot were it not for that “41” plastered on the title.
The natural question that comes to mind is “why should Commissioner Gordon be Batman?” We know the real world reason, but the in-story explanation, and how Snyder differentiates it from the time Dick took over as Batman makes perfect sense. That being said, this Batman doesn’t work outside the law, he is the law, and that extends to his version of Gotham City. While Morrison gave us the idea that Batman will never die, that his legacy will extend across time, Snyder gives us a more personal version of that idea, what Batman means to Gotham. While Gotham’s immortality has been the focus of this run up till now, the immortality of Batman comes into play, while the competence of his allies and the police are not in question; Batman himself is to Gotham what Superman is to Metropolis, thanks to his sacrifices. That neatly plays into why Gordon, a consummate agent of law and order, and a good man is the perfect person to replace Batman in his city’s time of need. Thankfully, there’s a healthy amount of awareness in the writing of just how this change might come across, meta-textually, and by Gordon.
The issue itself is free of baggage beyond the bare necessities to give the premise. There are almost no holdovers from the previous supporting cast, which fits with the new guy in the suit, as is Gotham. Where Bruce’s Gotham is more mysterious, and Dick’s Gotham was more brightly lit, Gordon’s Gotham is more grimy and arena-esque. Kudos to Greg Capullo, while some have questioned some design aspects like the “bunny ears” (which gets a healthy amount of snark from the Dark Knight himself), it helps in keeping with the idea of Batman being a more palatable hero to Gotham, and for that matter the new villain and cast introduced. Gordon’s world is a more open one than his predecessors, and the art is reflective of that.
While $3.99 has become the defacto price point for most comics companies nowadays, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth here. With two creators who’ve injected what’s essentially a new #1 after their biggest story, you’d be remiss to skip out on the debut of the new Batman, and the insanity that follows.
5 out of 5 robo bunny ears
Reviewed by Slewo