Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DCnU - Batman #1 from DC's New 52

Batman #1 was written by Scott Snyder, and features pencils by Greg Capullo and inks by Jonathan Glapion.

In this comic, Scott Snyder shows us both sides of Bruce Wayne/Batman and how they help Gotham. We start off with images of Gotham, and with a speech in the background about what Gotham is. From there, we move into Arkham Asylum where Batman is putting down a breakout attempt withe the help of the Joker(?). All the while, the speech continues.

Batman meets Commissioner Gordon on the roof of Police HQ, and they talk. Gordon asks him about the fact that the closed circuit footage seems to show Batman and Joker fighting alongside each other. Batman assures him that would be ridiculous, and Gordon says, "That's what I figured... Just a simple trick of the light."

We then step into the Batcave, and get a great two-page spread of it, showcasing the different vehicles Batman keeps, as well as some of his trophies. We also see the Joker in the Batcave, talking to Batman, who has his mask off.

By now, I assume something is up, and all is revealed - it is a member of the Bat-family in disguise.

We are then treated to several more pages of Bruce Wayne giving his "What is Gotham" speech, which was present through the opening sequences. I'll be honest - this could've been a little shorter. From there, we move to Bruce hosting a party as a fundraiser for an urban revitalization project. He meets a mayoral candidate, but flakes on him because the lip-reading software in the contacts he is wearing reads that Commissioner Gordon has gotten a call to a murder that seems like something of a mystery.

When he gets there, he smells linseed oil, and uses Bullock's cigar to light it. In burning letters on the wall is the message "Bruce Wayne will die tomorrow." A message made even more unusual by the fact that the body has been there for a week. Did he know when he would be found? Is, maybe, someone watching to see when it was discovered? And who is targeting Bruce Wayne?

And in a twist, Batman scans skin tissue he finds under the victim's fingernails, and finds it to belong to Dick Grayson - Nightwing.

Overall, the writing was good on this book. As mentioned, the speech might have been a little long, but it does help to establish Bruce Wayne's character well.

I really liked the art. The fights are very kinetic, the story telling clear, and I like his take on Batman. There was one little issue I had - In this picture of Bruce and his boys, Dick Grayson looks like he still has some growing to do.

I did really like this issue. I have concerns - primarily that the twist could lead to mistrust between Batman and Nightwing. I like the idea that Bruce has a (relatively) healthy relationships with The Robins Three (Hmmm... I feel like that should be a miniseries) and feel that will help to keep him more human, and less "Batdick" as we were starting to see him almost exclusively pre-relaunch.

This is, by the way, the least interesting insertion of the Mysterious Lady in Red so far - standing around an oil drum right there on the first page.

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