A new Bat blossoms
THIS was meant to be a different review altogether. But after watching Zack Snyder’s dark, steely and terribly dull Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice last week, I decided that more attention should be given to another Snyder instead – Scott Snyder, to be exact.
While one Snyder has been trying to launch a brand new expanded DC cinematic universe in possibly the most convoluted way ever, the other Snyder has been busy adding some exciting finishing touches to his and artist Greg Capullo’s brilliant and often epic four- and- a- half- year run on DC’s flagship Batman title.
After almost a year with Jim Gordon as Batman ( or rather, RoboBatcop), with Batman # 50, Snyder and Capullo not only bring Bruce Wayne back to the cowl, but give him a new suit to go with it as well. Capullo nails the new look with a sleek- looking design, mostly black and grey, of course, but with yellow trimmings around a brand new Bat- logo and utility belt that gives the whole costume a sporty but classy look.
This being Snyder and Capulo’s penultimate issue, it naturally wraps up the 10- issue Superheavy story arc, giving them one last issue to say goodbye to the title properly.
And what a finale this is for the story that introduced Jim Gordon as the new Batman, in place of an amnesiac Bruce Wayne who, after his devastating battle with Joker in Endgame, could not remember that he’s Batman.
With a giant- sized Mister Bloom ( arguably one of the most visually striking additions to Batman’s rogues gallery in recent times) rampaging through Gotham, it’s up to Jim Gordon to stop him. Unfortunately, the former police commissioner’s out of commission, having been given a beating by Mister Bloom earlier. So it’s up to the original Batman to save the day and inspire Gotham to fight back against Mister Bloom’s control.
This may seem like it’s another “Batman returns to save the day” sort of issue, but it isn’t. Yes, Bruce is back under the cowl ( he even cracks one hell of a joke upon his arrival!), and yes, he does get into a giant ( in all senses of the word) smackdown with Mr Bloom, but this issue is not just about how the Dark Knight returns, but also about giv- ing RoboBatCop a good sendoff.
Jim has been a willing and able replacement in Bruce’s absence, but there was always a sense that the real Batman would return. This issue, however, not only gives Jim a chance to let his version of Batman shine, it also, rather poignantly, gives him one final mission in that Robobunny suit that has been his “rookie partner” for the past year.
The excitement doesn’t let up throughout this double- sized issue ( it’s a # 50 after all), with the action almost unrelenting, and almost every single major character having a say in the proceedings. Capullo’s art throughout the run has been excellent, and in this landmark issue, he keeps up the great work with some stunningly scary panels of Mister Bloom’s rampage, as well as some great splash pages and panels of the new/ old Batman in action.
And when the dust finally settles, and Snyder finally allows us to breathe, there is a poignant epilogue where Jim and Batman chat about what comes next. It’s a moment that allows us to contemplate the new/ old status quo, and ponder what will happen after Snyder and Capullo leave the title. One thing is for sure – whoever takes over from the Dynamic Creative Duo has big shoes to fill.