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26 of 52: Batman #1

by on September 23, 2011

It almost feels like a copout to pick Batman #1. I mean the new DC Universe is supposed to be about recreating old heroes, establishing new universes, creating new heroes and villains. It’s a brand new universe filled with excitement and potential, where each title has the potential to surprise or disappoint you.

And I go with the safest title out there. Batman is being changed the least in the DCnU, and they are choosing Scott Snyder to write Batman, who already cut his teeth on a Batman limited series earlier this year.

Well, looking at the titles available in Week 2, this seemed like the most pleasant option. And It’s hard to fault someone for wanting to read something good, no?

Batman #1: Knife Trick
Writer: Scott Snyder | Penciller: Greg Capulo

In recent history Batman was presumably killed by Darkseid during Final Crisis, sent plummeting through time, restored to the mantle of the Bat, and launched a campaign to create an international Batman agency across the world globally committed to fighting crime

That’s where I think we stand upon beginning this issue, let’s see what is kept and what is lost.

Synopsis:

  • Batman goes into Arkham Asylum and fights several of the inmates, but when he is thrown to The Joker. The Joker helps him battle the inmates.
  • Comissioner Gordon questions Batman about the fight. A guard let the inmates loose, because he is on the take.
  • In the Batcave, Bruce is testing out a new contact lens that allows him to access the Batcave computers. The Joker reveals himself to be Dick Grayson.
  • Bruce, Dick, Tim, and Damien are in tuxedos to attend a social event at Wayne Manor, where Bruce announces his plans to help rebuild Gotham’s poor sections.
  • Vicky Vale introduces Bruce to Lincoln March, Gotham Mayoral Candidate. But Bruce leaves when he reads Commissioner Gordon’s lips about a crime.
  • Batman talks to Bullock at a crime scene, where a man is stabbed with knives, and a message reads Bruce Wayne will Die Tomorrow.
  • Bruce finds residue under the victims fingernails, and it points to someone very close to Bruce Wayne.

Questions and Answers:

  1. What are the relative ages of Bruce’s charges? Dick looks to be much younger than before, as does Tim?
  2. How did Batman get Dick into Arkham without being discovered?
  3. There’s still a case in the Batcave of a Robin costume (presumably Jason Todds

Analysis:

Okay, lt’s see how many villains I can see in the early pages of Batman: Mr Freeze, Professor Pyg, Scarecrow, Two Face, Black Mask, The Riddler, Killer Croc, Clayface, and Zsasz. There are 3-4 others I don’t recognize.

The narration used throughout this story is a very effective one. You can tell that it’s Bruce, but you’re thinking it is some inner monologue. Only to find out that it’s Bruce Wayne putting his money where his mouth is at a benefit for his beliefs.

Did anyone else notice the building that looks like a Bat on page 1?

I love that Batman trusts Alfred even more than Dick, Tim or Damien. I’m not sure I like it, but I love the depth that it gives Bruce.

I didn’t like the size difference between Bruce and Dick, especially when the mayoral candidate, Lincoln March is even bigger than Bruce. I mean Dick is supposed to be a man at this point. Even if he is 19 years old, he should be the same height as Bruce. Minor quibble though.

Did anyone else like the fact that Jim Gordon was smoking? I know we shouldn’t promote smoking as cool, but it makes sense that a Gotham City Police Officer would need a vice.

I don’t think that I have ever seen Harvey Bullock written any better than I have in this issue. EVER!I

The art was great in some places: Batman against the red night, The Batcave, The look on Alfred’s face at the end; but I didn’t think it was awesome in others. Joker was too manic. Dick too child-like. Bruce too silly looking. Gordon too cartoonish.

Verdict:

This was good. This was very good. After a week where several titles have gotten slammed for unnecessary controversy, it’s nice to have a solid Batman title to fall back on. I liked it, and I definitely would read Issue #2.

A (Excellent Work)

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From → Comic Books, DCnU

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