New 52 – Batman #4 review

What a wonderful month this has been for Batman comics. I’ve given out quite a few 9s and eve a 10, already. And now what has become each month’s main event: Snyder & Capullo’s “Batman” which has consistently delivered the goods every issue. You’d be hard pressed to find a team that’s writing and art complement each other as well as the squad working on “Batman”. Even the colorist FCO and inker Glapion really stand out in this issue.

See, this chapter in the Court of Owls saga slows things down and focuses on what’s been at the heart of this story all along: Bruce’s confidence. Why is he so damn certain that there can be no Court of Owls? His skepticism is going a bit far, especially since the last chapter had Batman uncovering secret Owl base after secret owl base, after secret owl base. Carbon dating on the relics inside these hideouts has even verified that these lairs have stood for decades. Yet, Bruce still doubts the existence of clandestine cult that has controlled Gotham for over a century. Really, you can’t blame the guy! He’s been fighting gangs and secret societies in this city for a years, so it stands to reason that he would’ve found them by now or they would’ve tried to stop the Batman from the beginning.

But the real reason Bruce doesn’t believe in the Owls is finally revealed and it goes to the very core of his character. It goes all the way back to his origins. And although I was a bit scared that Snyder was going to try and change history here and ruin a great story, the outcome is very satisfying. The entire flashback segment required Capullo to turn the volume down on everything from his pencils to his page layouts and let the colors and ink work create the atmosphere which works to great effect.

I hope that I haven’t turned you off from this issue by using phrases like “slow” and “turn the volume down”, because by the end of this issue, it all gets cranked up to 11 and you’ll be left very excited for what is to come.

Issue #4 is yet another fine issue of “Batman” from Snyder and Capullo who work extraordinarily well together. If you’ve been reading the story so far, there’s no reason to walk away now and if you haven’t gotten on board yet, this is a fairly good jumping on point since there are a couple of fine moments that give thorough exposition to catch you up. Oh, and if you just so happen to love the way that Snyder wrote Dick in “The Black Mirror”, you’ll be pleased to know that Dick makes an important cameo in this as essentially Bruce’s foil, pushing the often reclusive, tight lipped Dark Knight to explain what he’s thinking right now and what his motivations are.

Plus, if you’ve been reading Capullo’s Twitter account, it sounds like things are about to get crazy-awesome so you better come aboard now before you miss out on something spectacular.

SCORE: 9/10