Writte: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, Fco Plascencia, Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn
Batman #50 is a disorienting experience, but not in any bad way, that is. While it was always a safe bet, one made very clear from the beginning of “Superheavy” that Bruce Wayne would return as Batman, to have it all happen a couple days before Batman Vs Superman is serendipitous indeed. That said, the ending to Jim Gordon’s time as the new Batman was built up to all this, and it ends with a bang. It’s a celebration of the last nine issues, lots of giant robots, exploding energy beams, and punching out giant monsters while Jim Gordon grumbles his way to the finish. While it’s a shame to see Gordon get an even shorter tenure than Dick Grayson, he gets to go out in style, and as a hero in his own right.
As always, the biggest hero of the comic is Greg Capullo. In most other hands, the events of Gotham burning, Batman returning to take down Mr. Bloom in the midst of Gotham’s army of police robots wreaking havoc while an injured Jim Gordon struggles to save the day would be a complete mess in lesser hands. That controlled chaos though is a large part of what’s made Greg Capullo’s work so fun to watch over the last 5 years, but each thing that happens is as exciting as the next. These include the big moments like Batman taking on a gigantic Joker-Bot, to a small moment with Jim Gordon as he might die on his final adventure as Batman. FCO Plascencia’s colors as always do a great job of evoking one of the most unique looks in all of comics right now with this comic. There’s no other book like this in the DCU, especially poignant given that Snyder and Capullo’s five year run together ends next issue.
Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbain return to illustrate the epilogue for this issue, which is appropriate given their role in last month’s issue restoring Bruce Wayne back to Batman. And after last issue’s acknowledgement of what could have been for Bruce Wayne without Batman in his life, it’s time for one last glimpse into that brighter world. With a nice tip of the hat to Batman Year One that Paquette gives with that gorgeous Gotham skyline and Fairbain’s colors brighten up as a contrast to Capullo’s version, as both Batmen contemplate what they’ve accomplished. It’s especially poignant given the loss that rings throughout this issue. Jim Gordon of his own feeling of futility in letting things spiral out of control as Batman, Bruce Wayne in having to sacrifice what might’ve been a different life, Duke Thomas over the loss of his parents, and whether there can be a normal again.
While Scott Snyder attempts to tidy up the toys for the next guy (in the same way when Morrison did when his run ended), that additive nature that comes with writing Batman shines through. Nothing is the same after all. Gordon may not be Batman anymore, Bruce Wayne is healed in both mind and body, and Duke Thomas finally got to be the Robin he was always meant to be in the moment of truth. While this run may have had its own peaks and valleys, some of which didn’t always agree with me as a reader and as a fan, everyone involved clearly loves the characters, and that love shines through to the very end. If you want a comic that reminds you why Batman will never die, here you go, also that $5.99 definitely gives you what you pay for in the fireworks, and in the higher page count, so don’t be intimidated.
4 out of 5 Batmen