Overview

Batman #1

Review

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Batman #1

Credits

  • Words: Scott Snyder
  • Art: Greg Capullo
  • Inks: Jonathan Glapion
  • Colors: FCO Plascencia
  • Story Title: Knife Trick
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 21, 2011

The true Dark Knight returns to Gotham.

For those who have paid attention to the DC line for the past months, even before the announcement of the New 52, it is quite clear that Scott Snyder has become a well-respected creator in the industry.  The hype surrounding the New 52 could have easily set expectation too high for a creator to reach, especially when that writer is relaunching DC’s most beloved hero.  It is with great pleasure to see that Batman #1 written with such admiration, respect, and care, that the book surpasses every possible expectation.

Batman #1 is subtle, cerebral, yet greatly pushes the Bat-mythos forward in many directions.  There are no retold origin sequences, nor quick flashes of Thomas and Martha Wayne being gunned down in Crime Alley; on the contrary, Snyder turns his back on the brooding and shattered Bruce Wayne in favor of developing Bruce as a character.  Snyder pushes Bruce and Gotham forward, whether that means an actual economic rejuvenation of the dark city, or evolving Bruce beyond a quest for vengeance, it all results in a more complete, believable, and relatable setting for the new volume.

Batman #1 is far from only a Bruce-centric book.  In fact, through a creative and high-tech method, readers are reintroduced to Commissioner Gordon, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, an extended rogues gallery, and other high profile Gothamites.  Snyder’s method of introducing the well-loved characters is a treat, and far from a “by the numbers #1” issue.  For the more observant readers, Professor Pyg and the monstrous James Gordon Jr. make an appearance, putting to rest any fan's lingering fears regarding Batman’s history and continuity.

When it comes to Bruce’s extended family, each of his former sidekicks and his son maintain their trademark voices, making their brief instance of playful banter quite fun to read.  As DC ran headfirst into the New 52, one definite concern was that Dick Grayson would be pushed aside, or his growth as a character during his tenure as Batman would be erased.  Happily, the former Dark Knight is anything but worse off, and in fact exudes more confidence as a hero than ever before.

Greg Capullo’s art serves up some of the most brutal and detailed pencils in recent memory.  His renditions of Two-Face, Pyg, and the Joker are all maniacal and disturbing, especially the loose scar tissue that hangs from Harvey Dent’s skull.  His take on Batman, moreover, is like a perfect hybrid between Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and Jim Lee’s new style.  Capullo’s art is more than typical superhero flair, moreover.  A true and honest sense of hopefulness is captured in Bruce and his extended family, most obviously seen as Bruce gives his “future-first” speech about Gotham.  This theme is further reinforced by the coloring of FCO Plascencia, who uses a more vibrant and warm palette when Bruce is the lead, while a grittier and a more grey tone takes the stage when Batman stalks the night.

Batman #1 is a fantastic start for Snyder, Capullo, and Batman himself.  Snyder’s respect for the Dark Knight shines through each and every page of the issue.  Batman, his family, his villains, and his home all take center stage and grow within Batman #1.

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Comments

  • Jason Wilkins

    Jason Wilkins Sep 22, 2011 at 6:50pm

    Have to admit Capullo's art is some of the best he's ever produced. Nice to see him move out from the shadow of Todd. Finally get a sense of his own artistic sensibilities. Light years ahead of his Spawn/Haunt work. Might actually pick this up in the trade.

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