Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Batman #26 Review

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Greg Capullo
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 11, 2013

Give us dirty laundry

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have struck gold with Zero Year.  Not counting the unnecessary tie-ins, each issue has been better than the last.  Those afraid of a full out reboot can rest assured, this is more like a special edition with all the great bits tweaked just a bit and new ones added that not only fit, but become some of your new favorites.  Batman #26 continues this by being less about Bruce becoming Batman, but more about the beginnings of Bruce and James Gordon's relationship.

The issue starts of with Bruce seemingly drugged by Lucius Fox last issue, fighting off Doctor Death. Things are not going well for the young Billionaire and without Lt. Gordon's intervention would most defiantly be dead.

As we've seen so far in Zero Year, Bruce doesn't really like Gordon...even after being saved from sure death.  The meat of this issue gives us a glimpse why.  You see, when Bruce was a young boy he played hooky to go see a movie (of course it's Zorro.  He has a real thing for Zorro) and Gordon  busted him. What happened during the ride home in the police car seemed to have helped change Bruce from a hopeful and happy boy into the jaded young man that would end up fighting crime as a vigilante.  The incident is left in a grey area which makes it all the more powerful, for now.  Also, keep in mind that when this is going on, Bruce has Gordon on the wrong end of his own revolver.  It is such a powerful image.

Oh yea, the issue ends with Bruce in his Batman "formal wear" being shot a hundred times by the Gotham City Police Force.  Yea, it's getting real folks.

Scott Snyder is so good at what he does it seems unfair.  In my opinion, this is the worst of the Zero Year issues so far and it's still great.  This issue feels like a bridge in the story, but it has such great moments.  Of course, the Bruce-Gordon bit is the highlight.  The past issues showed that Bruce hated Gordon, but now we see a bit of why.  The super storm is about to hit and with how the book ended, Bruce is not prepared for that let alone the Riddler's plan.  I can't wait to see how it unfolds.

Greg Capullo's art is great as usual.  Doctor Death looks so creepy and gruesome, but my favorite is a couple of panels that show a haggard Bruce in what appears to be a Middle Eastern Prison on the verge of death.  It looks stunning and heart breaking, telling more with a closeup than any words could.  Bravo.

Batman #26 continues the excellent Zero Year story.  Snyder and Capullo keep giving us little tweaks and nuances to make this origin story their own.  I keep saying it with each issue, but this is a book that needs to be read by everyone.


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