Batman Still the Crown Jewel of the New 52

by J.D. Cook

Since no comics I really read came out this week I thought I’d return to last week’s awesome titles for this week’s Comic Book Commentary!

When DC started the New 52 I have to be honest I was a fan. I thought the positives far outweighed the negatives and I still like a lot of what I’ve seen. Unfortunately Villain’s Month was the first glaring negative that stood out to me. Essentially because DC started an entirely new DC Villainscontinuity they needed to introduce all of their villains for the first time. So they came up with this villains month idea, where for a whole month DC published their villain’s origin stories in all of their regular books. They even did a cool 3D cover for some of them although not all of them due to some mix up with demand. Anyway the problem here is that while I love villain origins I’d much rather simply pick up another issues of the one book I love in the New 52; Scott Snyder’s Batman. I also don’t have the money to spring for all of my favorite villain’s comics. I mean I barely have enough to follow the small amount of titles I am now. The worst part was that Snyder’s Batman had an issue release in early August so it felt like a million years between issues and what did I do with all that time I wasn’t reading Batman? Well I went over to Marvel and caught up on Infinity, which is just as good as the hype suggests. So the next time DC decides to do a month long event they should really re-consider for the sake of their wallet.

That said the wait on Scott Snyder’s Batman was COMPLETELY WORTH IT! I mean WOW I don’t know if I’ve read a single issue as good as Batman # 24! Capullo’s recreation of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics is spot on and the way the early costume looks retro Batmanand cutting edge at the same time is really cool. Yes the Red Hood Batman story has been done before but I don’t know if I’ve ever read it with such heart. The idea that the Red Hood Gang can literally be anyone is wild and the moment Batman fails to save Red Hood #1 is completely gripping. Not only that but I love the fact that Snyder never confirmed that Red Hood #1 became the Joker but also left the clues big enough that you could easily connect the dots if you wanted to. The mystery of the Joker is one of the most important aspects of the character and Snyder is wise to keep it there. Oh an on the emotional side of things I really connected with the dynamic Bruce and his Uncle had. I wouldn’t even say his Uncle was ever really a bad guy just rather misguided and that’s what made his end so perfect in the story. Lastly I love that Snyder’s Bruce Wayne isn’t just a brooding Batman all the time. He actually accomplishes things as Bruce! Snyder really gets the character. They should let him write Batman in Batman vs Superman! Eh? Eh? Also I felt like Rafael Albuquerque drew Bruce Wayne to actually look like Scott Snyder a bit. Maybe I was seeing things but it really looked like him to me.

Alright on the other side of the aisle I picked up three Marvel books; Infinity # 4, Captain America # 12 and Thor #14. I liked some of the seeds being planted in Captain America but the last two issues feel a bit slim on plot because they are so focused on Rogers’ mental state. It’s not a bad thing to focus in on that but I wouldn’t mind a bit more indicators on where the plot is going. That said who doesn’t like surprises!? Over in Thor Jason Aaron is writing one of the coolest books on the market. His approach is almost completely lifted from good old fantasy fiction and I love how vibrant the art is throughout. The current arc is basically re-introducing Malekith to Marvel audiences and that is smart of Marvel but sometimes it feels too much, like I’m getting hit on the head with a character. Thankfully Aaron knows just how to balance Marvel’s corporate demands with an awesome plot and it all works flawlessly. Finally Infinity #3 had one of the best single word endings ever “NOOOO” and the follow up battle between Black Bolt and Thanos rocked but the issues seemed to take the petal off the gas just a tiny bit even though so much happened. I guess that just means Infinity has been so great that a good issue feels like a letdown. It was pretty amusing that Hickman borrowed Loki’s Avengers quote on ‘is this not simpler’ in reference to bowing. Of course Thor had other ideas about that. Can’t wait to read the next issue!

Until Next ‘Thor’s Day!’

Past Comic Book Commentaries
The Superior Spider-Man
The 1st Comic Book Commentary
Defending Remender and Attacking Racism