Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Batman #23 Review

I shall become a bat

There were people who cried foul when zero year was announced.  "Why do we need another retelling of Bruce Wayne's transformation into Batman?" They yelled (and typed) to all who would listen.  Well, to them I give them Batman #23 as the answer.

Bruce continues his battle with the Red Hood Gang and in particular its charismatic leader. If in fact he is the Joker, this issue gives some great background material to the character.  He also beats Bruce to a bloody pulp.  I really mean that...Bruce gets the living sh** kicked, punched and bludgeoned out of him.  Luckily, Alfred has the skills and money to buy gauze and stitching and Bruce survives.  He searches his soul and memories of his Father and utters the words that every Batman (and Frank Miller) fan loves..."I shall become the Bat."  It is as chill worthy as the original and a great homage to the greatest Batman origin story ever. 

The backup by James Tynion shows Bruce in an endless death match against wave after wave of enemies.  You see his code of honor being formed and tested right before your eyes.  Great stuff.

Greg Capullo's art is amazing.  Everything looks great, even the mangled face of a beaten Bruce.  However, Danny Miki's inking and FCO Plascencia's colors steal the show.  Everything just pops off the page.  It's not just the simple look of the color and ink that is so impressive either.  They are used in the way the narrative unfolds.  Pay close attention to the style and palette of the colors in order to follow the chronology of the story as it unfolds.

With Zero Year, Scott Snyder is not just giving us his personal take on the Batman origin, but making it fit in the New 52.  We are seeing the transition from Man to Bat in a way that fits the time frame and new continuity of the universe he inhabits.  But what makes it so grand are the little nods to the readers that love the old stories and the old continuity.  Snyder shows he wants to be known for his new stories, but loves and respects everything that came before him.  He is truly standing on the Shoulders of Giants and letting us see the new view he is creating.


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