New 52 – Batman #1 review

It seems we can always get a Batman comic with action. That’s the easy part. You draw a few panels of Batman throwing a punch and the reader’s imagination fills that space in with a perfectly choreographed fight scene that’s the perfect balance of grace and brutality. But what about the other staples of Batman lore? What about the new, imaginative gadgetry that we know isn’t possible today but one day…it could be? What about the mystery? He’s the world’s greatest detective, after all, yet we rarely see Batman do any detective work. Even on film the only detective work we saw was Bruce researching Penguin’s life story on microfiche in Batman Returns and then again in Batman Begins when he looked through newspaper clippings on the floor while drinking some OJ. The Dark Knight was the first live action film that truly showed him working a crime scene for evidence and then doing research. It even earned a montage. A montage! Well, I’m happy to say that this Batman does his homework. Scott Snyder’s Batman knows combat, he has toys we’ve never seen before, and he’s clearly the smartest guy in the room. And let’s not forget the villains. Batman has the best villains and several of them get a cameo in the first few pages that doesn’t feel gratuitous.

When a comic is bad, I typically bash it and bring up tons of spoilers because plot points have no real value in a terrible tale. But this is one of, if not THE best #1 issue in all of DC’s New 52 campaign. I don’t want to ruin the surprise! This is the fun, energetic read that the New 52 line is all about. Snyder even used a new gadget of Batman’s to ease first-time readers into the story, giving bits of exposition regarding the newer characters so no reader ever feels lost. The dialogue is natural, the plot is perfectly paced, and the art is gorgeous. Several images here would make a great poster or at least a desktop wallpaper.

There’s plenty of adventure in the first half of this book, but it’s not a stand-alone episode. No, it is clear by the end of Batman #1 that Snyder is building a mystery that’s going to span across a few issues. Which is a good thing because if it’s anything like #1 we’re in for a heck of a ride! Snyder and Capullo’s Batman earns a 10/10 from me because it shows off everything I love about Batman and gets me excited about the future. This is a definite buy. I even picked up the variant cover!

SCORE: 10/10