What did the
Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
Variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
Size: 32 pages
We’ve all seen how hype can not only help a comic, but also hurt it as well. Sometimes a comic can really deliver on it’s promises, while other times it will fail miserably after one issue. Scott Snyder must have certainly knew this while going on his constant plug for his new run on Batman. Not only is this run going to connect to his previous run on ‘Detective’ and ‘Gates of Gotham’ but the message is basically clear on all this hype: This is going to change Batman forever when it’s all said and done. It is a lot of pressure and the future seems very promising for Bat-fans. So I guess all I can ask is: Is this all hype?
For the most part, this is a very very strong issue. From the opening page to the final reveal there is a lot to like here. First we get a great narration of what ‘Gotham is’ which Snyder balances perfectly with an opening Arkham breakout. When it’s all said and done you get a long, but certainly intriguing look into the mindset of Bruce for the future of Gotham and the characters who will populate the run. Then we have a disturbing crime scene and chilling message to end the issue. All of those moments are great and Snyder writes them perfectly. However, as first issues go….It’s great, but not what I was expecting. Snyder, as usual, seems to be going for the slow burn on this run so not much is stated here other then the message towards the end. While hints of the villain for the run is here, it’s weird we get no real visual of who or what it is. Again if it’s a slow burn of a story it’s fine. But Snyder seemed to hype it up to the extent that a lot was going to happen right off the bat, but it didn’t. It really didn’t hamper the issue for me in any way, it’s just strange we didn’t get right to the crux of the story so quickly.
The real question of this new run is Greg Capullo. An artist I didn’t think much of until the reveals of certain pages, both for this and future issues, got me real excited. For the most part I like what I see. His style is really unique because it’s a dab of cartoony visuals mixed with ultra-violent images. His take on Batman has this animated feel to it and I only connect it that way because of the chin. His chin matches the Bruce Timm chins of so many DCAU characters. His take on other characters like Gordon, Bullock, or others feel just as simple but there is a bit of detail to make them stand out. His Gordon looks like any other guy, but he puts so much detail into his hair (and that awesome mustache) that he has a unique take on the guy. Sometimes his drawings don’t pan out too well, like his seemingly realistic (by which I mean gross) take on Two-Face and his other versions of the classic villains. That Joker, even if it is a switch at the end, still doesn’t look right to me. Overall though I was pleasantly surprised on how much his style, as much as a 90s take it is, worked for the story.
I have no doubt that Scott Snyder is going to be writing one of the best runs on Batman. This issue is a strong start but the hype he laid out before the release did hamper it for me a little bit. Mainly that it’s a slow first issue with a lot of build up and no big reveals or story beats just yet. Greg Capullo’s art though definitely got to me in the first page and he will definitely be the right fit for this dark tone for the series. Maybe the hype didn’t translate into a POTW for me, but it’s still an excellent first issue with a lot to be excited for the future.
Art: 5 - Excellent