My local comic shop opens at 11AM, but the chain store in the mall puts their comics on the shelf at 10 so I went there first and read “Batman” #10 in the middle of the store. That’s how excited I was to read this. Of course, I put the book back on the shelf and waited until 11 to buy the book at the local shop (it and the jaw-dropping variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque) but it has taken me about 12 hours now to settle down and collect my thoughts. The revelations in this book are that HUGE.
The artwork of team Batman: Capullo, Glapion, and FCO is as flawless as ever. For some reason all Batman ever seems to do in comics is swing, but anyone who has seen a Christopher Nolan Bat-flick or played one of the Arkham Asylum games knows that watching Batman glide is absolutely breathtaking and you get that here in issue #10. For two pages you see some incredibly creative angles filled with detailed, dynamic images of Batman gliding across the city skyline and zooming through alleyways. And you know what else we rarely see? Batman threatening mean old ladies–BOOM! Right from page one you get that. It’s dark, it’s dank, it’s very moody stuff and that’s the #1 thing I loved about this issue. The atmosphere. The dingy colors and excellent pacing of the first 3/4 of this book delivers a level of tension unlike anything I’ve read in quite some time. My heart was pounding as I scanned the page watching Batman walk toward the man in the shadows and this saga’s conclusion.
Is it a must-buy? Absolutely. Just like the “Batman Annual” last month, “Batman” #10 is highly controversial and you’ll want to get in on the discussion of this dramatic reveal 10 months in the making. Will I give it a 10/10? No. I won’t. What’s to come in issue #11 might change my mind but as it stands issue #10 is only one half of a grand conclusion. It promises answers but offers no closure. And the answers that it gives me–for now–go against my view of elements that make up the Batman mythology’s very foundation. But other than that qualm which could very well pass by this time next month, there are moments in the book’s final pages where the dialogue grows a bit tedious as the villain prods Batman over and over again to connect the dots–it felt like the book was stalling just so it could save the final fight for issue #11, there were two rather annoying typos that should have been caught by editorial (those aren’t biggies and I wouldn’t deduct a point for them, but the misspelling of a character’s name and double “you you” should have been caught by someone, especially when it’s chapter as important as this), and the fate of the court itself has overly simplified what was an epic tale.
Now that you’ve heard all that, let me get into the spoilers:
The last act had some definite problems and I have major issues with big reveal, but this is an absolute must-read and in that way it’s a 10/10. If you’ve been reading the Owls storyline this long then you might as well see how it wraps up and if you haven’t, then you’ll want to give this a gander just so you can see what everyone is talking about. The artwork of the main story combined with the back-up story’s art by Albuquerque might be worth the price of admission alone.