Scott Snyder always has big plans for Batman. Whether it's the multi-layered "Court of Owls" saga, the vicious "Death of the Family", or the sprawling "Year Zero" that begins in a few months, Snyder seems to be producing quality, long-form narratives on a regular basis. That being said, it's refreshing to get a quick story that's only going to last a couple issues. Much in the same way a haiku challenges poets to express more with less, Snyder tweaks his style to fit this tale in just a few issues.
In multiple interviews, Snyder has stated that this two-part arc would be his homage to Batman: The Animated Series, a fan-favorite TV show that proved a cartoon version of the Batman could be dark, action-packed, introspective, and fun all at the same time. Clayface was a regular villain in B:TAS, making it a wise decision on Snyder's part to unleash an evolved Basil Karlo upon Gotham City.
Batman #19 reflects the pacing and imagery of Batman: TAS fairly well. Most episodes featured a small opening vignette that made way for character and emotional development before segueing into a situation where all the dots begin to connect and Batman has his final showdown with the villain of the week. It's interesting to see how Snyder mirrors this style, but alters it for a two-part tale.
Greg Capullo's artwork looks cleaner here than it usually does -- more crisp and less hurried-looking. I've always loved the artwork in Batman, but it really feels like Capullo drew things less rounded and more utilitarian in an effort to mirror Batman: TAS's art style like Snyder was mimicking the narrative style. If not, the art is still fantastic. If so, that's just a whole new level to the way Snyder and Capullo produce this book and work together.