It sure did take a while for me to get a Batman #3 review up, right? Why is that? It’s the most popular, most well-received comic featuring the caped crusader and one of the most popular, most well-received comics, period. So why did I dilly-dally? Well, it’s because it’s the most popular, most well-received Batman comic and you all already bought it anyway. Writing a review for Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman #3 was comparable to writing an editorial piece titled “Bacon: Still Delicious”… I’m not telling you anything you don’t know already. So when I write a Batman #3 review I have to look for stuff that’s not been said before…which is hard. Alright, I’m done explaining myself so let’s take this thing apart…
Yep, the analysis starts with the cover, but it’s more of a criticism of covers in general: Why is it that the most bad-ass Batman covers in the New 52 don’t actually happen in the comic? First was that super-cool Detective Comics #2 issue with Batman flying some kind of rocket ship…which didn’t happen, and now we have Batman in a knife fight with Talon…and apparently punching through Talon’s stomach or something. Look at Talon’s back—it’s bursting! Really awesome, but it doesn’t happen. And it’s way better than the variant cover. Way to be original, Reis.
Batman swinging one-handed through the city, how much sleep did you lose coming up with that? And isn’t that the wimpiest grappling gun you’ve ever seen Batman wield? I’d put more faith in a laptop duster can and a paperclip. DO YOU SEE HOW I AM HAVING TO REACH FOR CRITICISMS ABOUT THIS BOOK?!
I’ve decided I really like Capullo’s art. I like how scraggily some characters look and how cartoony others appear while still having plenty of detail to give it an authentic appeal that isn’t childish whatsoever. It’s this nice blend of creepy, dirty details and a Batman: The Animated Series quality. Still, like the last issue, Lincoln and Bruce look too similar and I sincerely hope that Lincoln becomes a close friend of Bruce rather than having some twist at the end in which Lincoln is just as corrupt as everyone else or an all-out villain. Batman has enough enemies, what the character needs is a friend that doesn’t wear tights…or wash them (I’m referring to Alfred, of course).
As for the story, Snyder once again manages to hit all the staples of a great Batman story: Cool action scene? Check. Cool new gadgets? Check (see the cool action scene), Detective work? Check, and the paneling and how every investigation scene is drawn gives this great feeling that Batman is both observing and being observed. Basically all of the last half is Batman uncovering a mystery in a creepy montage that literally ends with a bang. And he hits all the key notes while adding to the history of Gotham itself. That’s sort of Snyder’s thing, he has a genuine interest in building an ever stronger foundation for how Gotham began and how it became the cesspool it is today. And I had mixed feelings about the Talon costume design in the last issue, but it’s growing on me. Especially since we get to see a glimpse of the greater Owl society and just how creepy owl masks can be. Turns out, the simpler they are, the scarier they are. Alright, I’m gonna go into a few spoilers here so if you were on the fence about this book, I can whole heartedly recommend this to you.
Batman turned a train into a magnet. How cool is that? I don’t know how the gadget works and it took me off guard a bit since Capullo just drew it as a little silver button, but it somehow turned the whole train into a magnet and that’s awesome. Sort of makes you wonder how they’re going to pull those guys off that train though. I mean, the authorities first thought isn’t going to be “Everybody look for a silver button…looks like your average rivet. That’s our magnet-maker.” They’re gonna have to torch those masks off their faces. Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time, kids!
And another gadget, Batman’s HUD scanned to see if some perp was lying or not. Which I felt kinda iffy about. Batman should be able to tell if a guy is lying or not anyway, but at the same time if Batman’s got the technology to implement something like that he would so in the end I was fine with it.
And with that, I’m all out of pedantic criticisms. How creepy were those white owl masks, by the way? What do you think the Court of Owls is up to? How will Batman survive the explosive finale? Tune in next time! Same Bat-time, same Bat –channel.