Overview

Batman #3

Review

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Batman #3

Credits

  • Words: Scott Snyder
  • Art: Greg Capullo
  • Inks: Jonathan Glapion
  • Colors: FCO
  • Story Title: The Thirteenth Hour
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 16, 2011

Snyder and Capullo read between the lines and unveil more of the secret history of Gotham City and it's connection to the Wayne family.

Bruce Wayne has two new situations to deal with. On the heels of revitalizing Gotham City, he's got a political person of interest to make sure things go as planned. In his Batman persona, he's having to deal with the mysterious, owl-designed cult that has haunted both this city and his family for years. As soon as he thinks things are looking bright for the city, someone just has to go blow up the 13th floor.

Greg Capullo, bringing elements from his Spawn and Haunt runs, proves to be a great addition to the artist stables of Gotham City, but FCO knocks it out of the park. The book has a large orange/brown/blue palette that uses the coloring to its advantage. This Gotham City is much more in line with the one in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight than Batman: The Animated Series or Batman Beyond. It's realistic, it's somber, and it seems to be at permanent dawn and dusk, and the whole book lets Batman play in the shadows and Bruce Wayne be overly bright in the dawn of the new age of Gotham. It's coloring that takes the work to a new level.

Scott Snyder, one of the newer faces to the cowl of the Bat, has sharpened his teeth on the world with the previous volume of Detective Comics and the miniseries Gates of Gotham. His Batman is sharp, strong, intimidating, and the "Great Detective" all the way through. While choosing to focus on home-grown villains and supporting casts in this series (instead of relying on the extended Batman family as he did in Gates of Gotham, only Bruce and Alfred factor in this book), he introduces new subsets of crime left and right, and they all feel very natural for Gotham City; they're creepy, they can get away without saying much, and visual design sets them out, even if the Owl is reminiscent of certain Supreme Power and Watchmen characters. When you bring both Capullo and Snyder together, you get the quiet menace of a character that may only be seen in one panel of the book, but reverberates throughout.

Part of the great nature of this book so far is that it's not an event book; it's just a solid, enjoyable Batman tale. While there may be lasting repercussions down the road for the characters inherent to the story, and chances are we'll see the owl-themed characters return to plague Batman once again, there's no major life events, deaths, or changes, and that's what the DC Universe needs after such a revitalization akin to what Bruce wants to do for Gotham.

Snyder and Capullo are a great team with this character, and provide a nice, more hopeful Bruce Wayne and Gotham City in comparison to the face-slashing antics or mass destruction in the other books. This Bruce Wayne is more likely to actually solve a realistic crime than fight a super-powered Two-Face or stop a cult focused on body modifications. If they keep this run of Batman going, we'll have one of the most solid books of the New 52 to rely on.

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