Saturday, June 15, 2013

New 52 Batman #21 Review Or the very good year


Just before the New 52 reboot, DC comics had a horror writer by the name of Scott Snyder penning most of the Batman stories and adding his unique brand of scary goodness to the mix. When the New 52 started, he became the full-time writer for the main title and since then he has made Batman feel fresh and new again, so when he started the Year Zero story arc I decided to give it a whirl hoping to see more of that freshness.


We open up six New 52 years’ past, with Batman wearing something I feel would be better suited on Green Arrow. Bat’s saves a kid from some unknown gang and in turn, the kid tells him that "He" thinks Batman is dead and that this mysterious "He" killed the city. Five months earlier, Bruce Wayne (in disguise) has been pissing off the Red Hood gang by stopping their leader from executing several business people who refused to join. Afterward, we're privy to Bruce testing out some new boots that allow clinging to ceilings before his uncle, Philip Kane, visits him about running Wayne Industries. Bruce declines of course and goes about his way; the last few panels introduce a staple Bat villain, before he was an actual villain, talking to Philip about how Wayne Enterprises should continue.


I enjoyed this issue even if the time difference from this and that of the New 52 don’t make any sense. The conversation between Bruce and Philip about the company, with Bruce stating that he and his uncle are strangers that want completely different things. I like the idea of the Red Hood Gang, a man who blackmailed rich people into joining him in corporate sabotage. The fact that no one from this gang knows who the leader or each other really are makes them more of a threat and harder to take down. I also love that since Snyder has started writing Batman he's been saying that rich people are evil, and that is awesome in my book. The backup story was a nice touch, in which we learn where Bruce Wayne picked up his crazy driving skills, adding another piece to the puzzle of how Batman was born. This, like Snyder's other Bat stories, has the makings of a great mystery. I just hope it ends like Night of Owls and not Death of the Family.



The Pictures

Greg Capullo has been rocking with Snyder since the New 52 started and I hope he never leaves. In the past he’s had some issues with consistency, but he’s been killing this Batman. So far, my only complaints are that Bruce Wayne looks aloof all the time especially in front of Alfred and Gotham City is just New York with a giant penny in front of a building. FCO Placenia colored this wonderfully from the vivid reds of the Red Hood Gang’s helmets to the envious green of our surprise villain’s shirt popping off the page.

The Real

For the first issue of a new arc it's looking good, and as long as DC's editorial let's Snyder steer it in the right direction we should have another Black Mirror on our hands, from which we can all walk away satisfied. If they don't, we might have another Death of the Family on our hands where we went in expecting a large shake up and instead nothing happened at all. I'd love Snyder to really take the reins on this one, adding that suspense we love and bringing the detective elements back to character as he does so well.

Rating 4/5

 All images credited to Comic Book Resources

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