New 52 Review: Batman #1

Scott Snyder has done it again. Batman #1 could very well be a perfect Batman book. How so, you ask? Read on!

Snyder has a way with all things dark, creepy, and unnerving, which places him as a perfect writer for the Dark Knight. I have not read his Detective Comics run yet, but, from what I have heard, this man was born to write Batman. His opening for Batman #1 is a monologue from Bruce telling us about a section of the Gotham Gazette called “Gotham is…” where people would send in an answer to this question in under three words. Normally, this could be pretty boring back story and setup, but Snyder is so much better than that. He lays this question and some of the answers sent in overlaid against an all out brawl between Batman and the better part of his rogue’s gallery in Arkham Asylum. The genius of it all is that it sets up the mood and introduces any new readers to what the norm is in Gotham City, while at the same time providing a very exciting jump into this new Batman for seasoned readers. Bravo, Snyder. Bravo.

From this point, Snyder starts digging into the meat of his story, planting some pretty amazing seeds for Bruce Wayne’s and Batman’s future. I would love to discuss some of them here, but that would be unfair to anyone wanting to read this book. I won’t allow spoilers for something this good. The twists that Snyder has placed in this issue are very important for his future groundwork and to read them here would ruin any sense of gravity they held in the book. Trust me on this one: just read it.

Greg Capullo’s art, on the other hand, is a different story. Reading this book I felt like I was looking at two different artists. When Batman is on the page we are treated to some gorgeous, moody panels where Batman seems to melt into the shadows. His detail on some of the more famous of Batman’s villains is fantastic! Two-Face is absolutely grotesque, and The Joker is nightmare-inducing; but, as soon as Bruce is out of the cowl, it all falls apart. Capullo tends to draw everyone on the younger side, and it is actually hard to tell some characters apart. There is a frame where Bruce, Dick, Tim, and Damien are all standing, getting ready to enter a formal event. They all look the same; you could only really tell them apart by height. It was really kind of silly. But if this is the only thing wrong with this book, I’ll take it.

Go pick up Batman #1 now, if you can. If the empty shelves at my shop were any sort of indication, it’s going to be very tough to get your hands on the first printing of this issue. Snyder has laid some amazing groundwork that I cannot wait to see play out. Bravo, Mr. Snyder. Bravo.

Written by: Sean Sorensen

This guy loves his comics; probably more than he should. We've heard his comic boxes have comic boxes! From Sweet Tooth to Thor to Central City, Sean reads them all and will let you know which ones you should be checking out!

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