Review: Batman #1

Written by Scott Snyder, Art by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion, Cover by Greg Capullo

Solicitation Info (from Previews): Be here for the start of a new era for The Dark Knight from writer Scott Snyder (AMERICAN VAMPIRE, BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn)! A series of brutal killings hints at an ancient conspiracy, and Batman learns that Gotham City is deadlier than he knew.

Bias: I’ve said several times that I generally don’t care for Batman books…and yet, the cover to Batman #1 and 2 really captured my attention (Greg Capullo is an awesome artist), and buzz about the book indicated that Scott Snyder was an amazing writer. So I went out and picked up the first two HCs of American Vampire and the man’s run on Detective Comics. Both were highly impressive, and I find myself really looking forward to Batman, and expect that I’ll actually be collecting a Batman book – two, now that I’ve read Detective Comics #1 and was so impressed by it.

What I liked: It was beautifully illustrated (as I knew it would be), and the story was great. There were several times when my reaction was akin to “Oh, come on! You’ve got to be kidding me!” but then it would be explained and I was suitably impressed – it all added up and made sense. Toward the end, there were a few things that didn’t, but I’m assuming that’s because they’re waiting for a future issue to explain the situation.

What I disliked: Still, for all that I liked, there were a few points that kinda irked me – and these aren’t the kind that can be explained away later. What amazed me the most was that I consistently felt that, while it was definitely a great issue with the promise of more to come, I couldn’t help but feel that Detective Comics was a superior title…

Verdict: I’ll probably collect this title.

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Review: Batman #1

  1. My favorite scene was in the bat-cave. The two page spread was awesome, and I absolutely loved how everything was incorporated, and I really think this will be the image I have in my head whenever the bat-cave is referenced from now on. Having multiple batmobiles was a good decision, in my opinion – it let’s different artists draw whichever batmobile they prefer. Beyond the visual, I loved Nightwing’s joke about “So it’s true…you do actually practice brooding. I always suspected.” Most importantly was the reveal that Nightwing had been working undercover as the Joker. Now the fight scene in which the Joker was fighting alongside Batman made sense, and that was the crux of this issue, I think. We saw something so outrageous (Batman teaming up with the Joker) that we (at least, I) couldn’t help but go “really?!” And yet, here was the explanation, and it made sense. I really think this was the creative team saying “we’re going to do some pretty crazy things, but don’t worry – they’ll make sense when it’s all said and done.”

    Having said that, I disliked the contact lens monitors. The concept makes sense, but if you think about it – it was Oracle that Batman always relied on for this kind of research and computer referencing. DC reps had previously said that Batman relied too much on Oracle – she was too much of a crutch for writers to rely on – and they wanted to return to Batman being the detective. Unfortunately, this direct connection to a computer feels like they’ve replaced Oracle with the bat-computer, and that doesn’t sit so well with me. From a story standpoint, I would rather have a human connection in between Batman and the computer. I just think this was a poor decision…

    I also wasn’t very impressed with the end reveal. The DNA under John Doe’s fingernails is Dick Grayson’s? I have a very hard time believing Nightwing is the killer, especially since he’s got his own book right now, so the last page “big reveal” didn’t feel like one. It felt like it was done for shock value, but wasn’t so shocking – more of a mild curiosity of “how did the bad guy frame Dick like that?” I think they would’ve been better swapping it with the “Bruce Wayne Will Die Tomorrow” message, as that has more of a weight to it (not that he’ll die, of course, but that we can see that whoever the bad guy is will be gunning for Bruce tomorrow.)

    Anyway, those were my two gripes in an otherwise great issue. As I said, I didn’t think it was as good as Detective Comics #1, but it was certainly a solid first issue, and I have faith that this creative team will have more good in store for us in future issues.

    As for the mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5, she appeared on the first panel of the very first page. She standing next to the homeless in front of the trashcan fire.

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