If you’re havin’ comic problems, I feel bad for you son, I’ve written 99 bad reviews but Batman ain’t one.
Each issue of this book looks better than the last. I’m always amazed by the dark, moody atmosphere that Capullo, Glapion, and FCO have created. The unique, intricate design of every Talon soldier, the simple yet oh so creepy Owl masks, the exhaustion on Bruce’s face, the shadows, and, of course, the places! Every location stands out. Batman’s world is one that’s dark and dirty and that appears to be something that FCO does incredibly well. Grimy sewers with rust coated fences, the cool blue electric glow on the rock walls of the batcave, a blood red night’s sky, a freezing cold nowhere blanketed in white– it’s all fantastic.
As for the story, well it’s still quite good but the last two issues are a tough act to follow. This installment works as a stepping stone from one arc to the next, ties the events of “Batman” and “Nightwing” together, and makes a nice jumping-on point for new readers. On the other hand, those who have been following this run from the beginning might get a little bored during the exposition heavy dialogue.
I really enjoyed a different take on a classic “Batman: Year One” scene (which arouses even more questions about what’s still canon and what isn’t since this scene still exists and yet Sarah Essen apparently does not), you’ll be happy to know that Snyder is writing a scene with Dick Grayson again here (he really captures that character’s voice well), and the ending really has me pumped for what’s to come in issue #8. Overall, another stellar issue, but not as powerful as the previous installments.
So what problems did I have with this book other than the exposition-heavy dialogue? For one, the first couple of pages show Batman being revived in the back of a van with a few jumper cables. The girl reviving him is named Harper and Batman apparently has a history with her. Being the Batman nerd I am I rushed to my Batman Encyclopedia, then my copy of The Batman Files, then I checked the interwebs and…nothing. Until I checked out Snyder’s twitter.
Turns out, she’s new and I’m sure Snyder will explain who she is, how she knows Batman, and how exactly she found Batman in time to resuscitate him (before Alfred, even though Alfred found Talon’s body?) in the first place but that’ll come sometime later. For now though, it was a bit of a jarring moment.
Another complaint I have is the same as I had last time: Batman is healing much too quickly. The guy was poisoned, starved, beaten, gutted with a blade, drowned (in a frozen lake), and now he’s standing upright crunching a few numbers on the bat-computer. I’m not saying Bruce should die of an infection, but at least have him resting in bed or something for at least a day.
The next few problems I have are spoilers, though. So…you’re forewarned.
It’s another entertaining issue and it looks incredible, but whereas issue #6 felt like a dark conclusion to “The Court of Owls” arc, this issue, seemed to serve as a prologue setting up “Night of the Owls” and as a jumping-on point for new readers who need to know the events so far. And if you enjoyed the twist at the end of this issue, then you should probably check out issue #7 of “Nightwing” as well. That book has the same final pages as “Batman” but it’s all taken from Dick’s perspective.