Monday, May 13, 2013

Batman #20

(w) Scott Snyder     (a) Greg Capullo

"Nowhere Man" -- Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's homage to Batman: The Animated Series -- wraps up this month in the pages of Batman #20. It's been nice to see a shorter tale from Snyder, whose epic stories have, for the most part, outlined Batman's overall narrative in the 'New 52'.

It's hard not to like this issue if you were a fan of Batman: TAS in the late 90s. The series was good for presenting excellent fight scenes and highlighting that fact that Batman and Bruce Wayne were always at odds. "Nowhere Man" hits all the right beats that the show would, it included a generous amount of panel time for James Gordon and Lucius Fox, and keeps with the idea that Batman has a more adventurous side that's not always shown.


Then there's the Batman Beyond suit.

I'm gonna nerd out for a moment. Bear with me.

Snyder and Capullo like to play head games with readers, but this bit of fan service is not only another great nod to the DC animated universe, but also just really damn awesome. And it's 20 years away from being financially viable? That fits (generally) into the timeline of the animated Batman Beyond. Also, the suit shown in Batman #20 is far more robotic and encapsulating than the one worn by Terry McGuinness in Batman Beyond, suggesting that even though it's 20 years from being viable, it would be at least 50 before it could be slimmed down to body-fitting size.

Nerd-out over.

Thus, Batman #20 isn't the most memorable issue of the series, but it's still a great comic book. And really, that's what ongoing series are all about. Even when the story isn't world-shattering or life-changing, it can still be high quality and have meaning beyond it's plot. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo understand this and work the principle into "Nowhere Man" seamlessly.


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