Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

BATMAN #1 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, & Jonathan Glapion

I really enjoyed THE NEW 52 Batman #1. Scott Snyder reeled me in from the first pages, and then he ended everything on a cliffhanger that left me dying for the next issue. I was astounded by the fresh takes he’s doing on the character, as well as the ever-changing Batworld of Gotham City in general.

According to all the hype, Batman was going to be one of the least made-over books of the new series. That said, we now have Barbara Gordon once more walking and starring as Batgirl, and Dick Grayson is Nightwing again. I’m really kind of irritated that Stephanie Brown is being given such short shrift. DC has already killed her once, then brought her back as Batgirl. Now she’s what? Expunged?

But that’s a question for another review and another comic.

I like this new Bruce Wayne. The foppish playboy seems to be gone and a new industrialist leader is emerging. Bruce is going to helm some new projects in the city and offer hope to Gothamites as a civilian as well as patrolling the shadows as Batman. The computer-chipped contact lens is perhaps a bit much (although that is technology that’s being played with). I don’t know how that interface can exist without interfering with his vision. But it is cool!

Greg Capullo, the artist, opens the pages on a spooky, somber Gotham that I instantly fell in love with. He’s got mad skills when it comes to rendering the Gotham that fans know and love. And I love his vision of the Batcave. That two-page spread would look awesome as a wall poster. He does bang-up action scenes as well.

Snyder’s also working magic. When Batman broke into the criminals’ hideout to confront a bevy of his most dangerous foes, I really wasn’t expecting the joker to come out of the shadows and lend him a helping hand. That particular twist was followed by another, and I could only shake my head and wonder why I hadn’t seen it coming. Then again, the story and art are frenetic at that point, so I was rapidly turning pages to see what would happen instead of concentrating on what was really going on.

Throw in cameos with Commissioner Gordon and Detective Bullock, add in a murder scene death threat aimed at Bruce Wayne, shake well with a handful of dangling mysteries and plot threads, and you’ve got a well-executed first issue. I’m definitely looking forward to more.

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