Thursday, February 16, 2012

(REVIEW) Batman #6

Written by Scott Snyder
Artwork by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion

Batman is the best title from DC's 'New 52'. By and far, Scott Snyder has created one of the most engaging Batman stories in years. And he didn't even need to kill Bruce Wayne! For quite a while, DC has used a host of gimmicks to tell more compelling tales of the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, these gimmicks have quickly faded away and brought us back to Bruce, Batman, and the Gotham way. That's why the Court of Owls is ingenius. As a threat that has been operating under Bruce's nose for so long - and throughout the past 200 years - the Court is the best kind of 'evil' for a character like Batman; one that represents the unknown and familiarity at the same time.

After multiple visits from the 'Talon', a bunch of group photos through the years, and a short TV screen appearance, the Court of Owls comes out of the shadows. Broken and defeated, Batman is presented to the Court by their steadfast assassin. The Talon inquires how he should kill Batman, to which they reply "Hurt him, more." It's a haunting scene and one that Snyder nails from beginning to end. The ever-loyal Talon's complete obedience is extremely well written and the Court's own traditions are conveyed as the perverted, sadistic rituals they are. It's fantastic.

Greg Capullo has also been pulling his weight. The artwork in this issue is so smooth and flows so well that you sometimes barely notice the subtle changes from reality to Bruce's dementia. The Court's shift from suit-laced to talon-handed is great, truly showing just how far Bruce is gone and how much effort he must exert to fight back.

After hearing that the first arc of Batman would lead into the "Night of the Owls" crossover event, I knew DC was finally getting it. Good crossovers and events happen organically and come from intuitive ideas. Unlike their mega-event craziness over the past ten years, DC has opted for lower-scale crossovers that enhance the mythos of these characters instead of throwing them into unbelievable situations that are supposed to 'change everything.' And with the final pages of Batman #6, we're given a great prelude to this summer's crossover event as the Court decides to unleash their army of (seemingly) hundreds of Talons across Gotham City, all because Bruce escaped their talons clutches.

This was one of the best issues of any Batman-related books I've ever read, and it's one of the best issues I've read ever. Keep up the good work, boys.


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