BATMAN #23

Review by: ghostmann

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Story by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo & Danny Miki
Colors by FCO Plascencia
Letters by Nick Napolitano
Cover by Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia, Gary Frank, & Brad Anderson

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

Let’s a do a page by page recap/review of Batman # 23 shall we?

PAGE 1: Awesome opening page – Capullo has a gift for page compositions and his three panels here suck you into this story immediately. Love the close up of the pad-lock.

PAGE 2: Is it just me or are the colors here in this issue more, uh, rainbowy? It felt like I was reading a Green Lantern comic at moments. FCO Placenta, errr I mean Plascencia, went a little overboard if you ask me – but you didn’t ask me so, on to the next page fools!

PAGE 3: Ahh the Red Hood Gang. And just WHO is behind that Red Hood? Is it the Joker? Speaking of which have you read this weeks Batman ’66? It has the Red Hood and The Joker in it and it’s a pretty dazzling digital issue. In Batman ’66 The Red Hood is out for revenge on The Joker and kidnaps him in the end – so The Red Hood couldn’t be The Joker – right? It’s quite a mystery here, in Batman 66 there is a panel were The Red Hood is holding The Joker and The Jokers face is reflected perfectly in the Red Hood’s shiny helmet – making it seem like The Joker is behind the mask. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

PAGE 4: Again, Capullo can tell a story like no one else in comics. The dude understands sequential flow like no other. Love how the breaking of Bruce Wayne is echoed in the breaking of the lock.

PAGE 5: FCO!!! Enough with the Slik Specter acid trip colors!!!!! Ah Ha, The Red Hood drops a clue about The Joker in the last panel on this page, “For Example, there’s this one man we’ve been fighting lately. A real CARD. You remind me of him a bit.” A real card? The Joker card? Yeah, so The Red Hood isn’t The Joker but someone that someday will be “replaced” by the man that becomes the Joker.

PAGE 6: Now that’s just rude Red Hood – shooting Bruce through the portrait of his parents. But he does offer some clues as to his identity. If you remember in the previous page The Red Hood mentions, “We wear the red hood to COURT the wolf….” Then here on page 6 he talks about the “symmetry” of events. Hmmm, court. Symmetry. He shoot Bruce through the FACES of his dead parents. Could The Red Hood be Harvey Dent before he becomes Two Face? Maybe The Joker turns him into Two Face and takes over The Red Hood persona for a little bit there? Perhaps. We’ll see.

PAGE 7: You ever have one of those missile pops ice creams? The colors here remind me of them.

PAGE 8: “The roof the roof the roof is on fire, The roof the roof the roof is on fire, The roof the roof the roof is on fire, We don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn! Burn motherfucker burn!”

PAGE 9: Goddamn Bruce – you shoulda took the bus or something!

PAGE 10: YAY! He made it to his father’s study! Now, cue the BATS!

PAGE 11: The Riddler has got some sweet chops! Oh, and I like how the smashed window is in the shape of a bat. Clever. On Edwards desk there is a book called “Creeching Physics 101″. I Googled that shit and only found Michelle-Creech-Eakman’s Homepage – a Physics teacher. Maybe Scott Snyder put in a little Easter Egg for one of his colleagues?

PAGE 12: TOO. MANY. WORDS. ON. PAGE. But these are nice inroads that Snyder is laying for Edward to become The Riddler. It’s kinda like The Riddler: Year One!

PAGE 13: “Cain” is the password to activate the giant magnet. Yeah Bitch! Magnets! Oh and come on, really Scott? You had to have Philip say, “Edward Nygma is and always will be nothing but an EMPTY QUESTION MARK!” dude, a bit heavy-handed there yeah?

PAGE 14: Bruce is fucked the fuck up. I like Alfred’s “thread” comment. Nice.

PAGE 15: How many times in the last 70 years has Alfred told Bruce “You need to rest and not go out.” TONS. So it’s nice that Snyder acknowledges this with the scene here between Bruce and Alfred. If there was ever someone Batman needed more then Alfred I don’t know them – Alfred IS as much a part of Batman as Bruce is. Cool touch in the last panel on this page with the blanket becoming a cape on Bruce. Oh, and in the 2nd panel on this page you can see Bruce Wayne’s butt!

PAGE 16: I gotta say, some of my favorite moments so far in Snyder and Capullo’s Batman run are the silent pages – no word balloons – just Capullo’s art guiding us through the story in a completely haunting way. Beautiful work.

PAGE 17: We have now arrived at the moment we have all been waiting for. The moment Bruce Wayne gets the idea for Batman. This is where Snyder could have screwed the pooch and played it all wrong – but it looks like he is playing things perfectly and giving us the iconic scene they way it should be done – in his fathers dark study – a broken Bruce – windows open – drapes blowing in the wind. Yep, this is Year One alright.

PAGE 18 and 19: Bruce clicks that hologram and the study changes into the CAVE! Trippy.

PAGE 20: Nice spin on THE CITY telling Bruce to become it’s protector. To become a Bat. Thank god FCO dialed down the color pallet a notch.

PAGE 21: Wow. Chills man. Chills.

PAGE 22 and 23: It’s not every day that you get to read the following line, “yes father, I shall become a bat.” Snyder plays this perfectly – giving us just enough “old” with just enough “new” to make everyone happy. I love Miller’s Year One and to me, Zero Year is playing homage all the while paving a new path for new readers. We are getting older my friends – time to let go of the past and embrace the future.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 4 - Very Good

Comments

  1. dmanness dmanness says:

    You are right this was face melting. Nice review, I had fun reading it. I’m really into this page by page stuff.

  2. ghostmann ghostmann says:

    by the way, I gave the art a 4 here because of the colors – FCO needs to reign that shit in – otherwise Capullo does a superb job here telling Synder’s new Batman origin.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      Really? I felt that the dreamy colors matched the scene JUST right.

    • ghostmann ghostmann says:

      Sup nightwing – yeah man the bright colors just didn’t feel right to me, you know for a Batman comic. I know I know the place was on fire and fire is bright and shit – but you feel me.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      I guess the palette could have darkened a bit, but I take it as a further re-visioning of Batman. This is a new origin, after all; I feel that EVERY detail contributes to the new (yet familiar) Dark Knight that Snyder and co. are crafting.

      Especially when goes to the window and the Bats are flying through him! That gave me chills.

    • theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

      seems like FCO is using Hollingsworth’s pallete from Wake. Looks the same with the teels and pinks and all that.

    • ghostmann ghostmann says:

      I’m wondering why the sudden change in pallets? Previous issues haven’t been this colorful. It was a little jarring at times.

  3. theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

    You got it right with the silent scenes. Less words would serves Snyder well when it comes to Batman.

  4. ghostmann ghostmann says:

    ADDENDUM: after reading the issue again I clearly got the whole “red hood is talking about the joker” thing wrong. When the hood mentions the gang fighting someone that is a real CARD and reminds of Bruce Wayne, it’s not the joker but Bruce he’s talking about. Sorry the whole “card” thing threw me there for a bit. :)

  5. ToddFrazier ToddFrazier (@toddfrazier) says:

    I agree with your points concerning the Riddler, a good treatment of the character. Synder has got me on team Edward now. (cheesy I know but could not resist)

    • ghostmann ghostmann says:

      Yeah I was never that “into” The Riddler before. Snyder has peaked my interest in the character and it will be cool to see just what kind of Riddler Edward has become once we get back to the present day (in 9 more issues).

      Go Team Edward! (did I just type that? fuck) ;)

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