Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Snyder, Capullo & Glapion
The origin or jump on point Batman book has two stories in it. The main story by Snyder and Capullo focuses on an early Bruce Wayne adventure against crime before he became Batman. The backup by Tynion and Clarke is a look at four of Batman’s sidekicks, just before they team up with Batman. The book is a good read but has some problems as the editors try to ignore, but inform the reader about the character’s continuity in the back of the book. This is the usual level of entertainment from Snyder that you would expect.
The main story is Batman’s early crime fighting before he finds something to wear. It’s a clever story because the villains assume he is a cop, but the cops (specially a certain Detective bound for greatness) pick up on the fact that this vigilante is probably a rich guy. The story has a lot of good moments in it, but none is better than when Gordon confronts Wayne about the nighttime activities that are busting up some crime. I like how this interaction explains why Batman lives so far away from where he operates primarily.
The bulk of the story is really about establishing the characters and their mindsets during this look back in time. It’s interesting but I felt Wayne and Alfred were too polished for the time period. It was difficult to read their dialogue and know intuitively that this story took place at the beginning of Batman. Their inexperience simply didn’t show in the dialogue.
The backup story is tremendous. Tynion crams in a lot of story in a short amount of space and I felt he framed up the four characters perfectly. This backup story really made the book something to not miss and almost outshined the main story. After reading the backup I had thought it would have been a better idea to somehow infuse the Bat Signal into the main story to really tie everything together.
The artwork is very good but it is not the best effort from Capullo. I realize not every issue can be inventive or revolutionary in the art but this one felt a little rushed and not as detailed. I also didn’t get the feeling that Wayne was younger looking in the book than how he normal is. Clarke’s art in the backup was good but runs into the same problem that everyone has with the Robin characters: they all look alike. Still, Capullo and Clark deliver a comic book that is visually supportive of the story and that’s all you can ask for.
This comic book was a fun read. I recommend reading the backup first because I think it packs more of a punch when you read the book in that order. I definitely advise skipping the “First Appearance” box as it is purely garbage as it tries to make sense of continuity in New 52 terms and fails at it miserably. Snyder knows how to tell a good story and that is the case here. I recommend checking this out.
3.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles