Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Snyder, Capullo & Glapion
Batman is dragged to the depths and finds something inside that motivates him, in order to pull himself out again. Snyder managed to place Batman into, what appeared to be, in an inescapable situation and that makes this issue’s events that much more of a payoff. This comic book relies heavily on the art to tell the story, which is definitely a winning combination as Greg Capullo continues to impress and delight. This is a fantastic read and I think any fan of the character would agree that this is without question something different from the regular Batman comic.
The plot isn’t exactly made crystal clear in this issue. It seems that Batman is hallucinating, but he surely is drained and mentally weak. As the issue unfolds we realize that the lead villain, Talon, is actually playing to an audience of Owl members. Talon isn’t the mastermind and this works because one of my complaints was that Talon just isn’t a big enough, or established, threat on his own to take down Batman. With this revelation, Talon’s inclusion is more defined as a hired thug than someone that could take on the Detective.
Batman finally wakes himself up and pushes back in ways that only Batman could. This is a story reminiscent of stories like Grant Morrison’s RIP where Batman was really Batman all along. He fooled his opposition just as he may have fooled the reader.
As mentioned, the artwork is the highlight. The book begins with a bulky, hunched over, Batman that reminded me a lot of a Frank Miller rendition. As Batman moves through the confusion and disorientation stages, he takes on a demon-like look that reminded me a lot of a Kelley Jones depiction of the character. However, set with the panel layout and the coloring, Capullo puts his own unique stamp on the book and it is fantastic. The one panel that I was confused by was when Batman ignited a substance that puts a hole in the floor. I felt the panel was confusing and didn’t make sense. The close up of the panel is what threw me off. The pencils are clear, it just took a second look to figure it out. If you are looking for something different in a Batman drawn book then this is it. Capullo has completely reinvented himself with this book and it is impressive.
The only issue I had with the comic was I felt like Batman was taunting Talon and the rest of the Owl club at the end. I wasn’t sold on this characterization. He also seems to have left behind a character that could have been dead. I’m not saying this isn’t Batman behavior, but I am of the mindset that he probably wouldn’t look to verbally ingest fear into his opponent, especially in an unfamiliar territory.
Snyder is mastering Batman in ways I didn’t think possible. He’s got a new villain and a new angle on the threat. You add in that Capullo is telling a stunning visual story and you have one of the best Batman stories I’ve read in the last 25 years. I definitely recommend checking this book out.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles