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Batman #24 Review

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Batman #24 Review

Postby LOLtron » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:31 am

Batman #24 Review

Batman #24 is the best issue of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's run yet and proves why this is the best book being published.




 

Batman #24 is representative of why Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are already legendary comic book creators. These two are not afraid to take risk in telling ambitious stories. The duo’s first arc was a hefty 11 issue arc that introduced an entire library of ideas into not only the Batman mythos, but the mythos of all the DC Universe. Their second major story reinvented the Joker and his relationship with Batman in a way that has never been seen before. Zero Year however, is their most ambitious yet.

 

Batman #24 is ,without a doubt, the best issue of Snyder and Capullo’s Batman run so far. Batman #24 acts as a major hinge point of the Zero Year storyline. After four months of build-up, Bruce Wanye has finally put on the suit and become the Batman. 

 

When the Batman finally comes into being, it is as much as a perfect moment as you could ever want it to be. The buildup with the billboard declaring “Welcome to Bat County” and the silhouette reminiscent of the Batman:Animated Series logo acts only as the begging of nods to other things from the Bat mythos. Long term Batman fans will instantly smile when they see the glorious two page spread of the Batman in flight with a Red Hood gang member in a headlock, a homage to the cover of Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of Batman). Other fun easter eggs include the Nolan-esque birth of the Bat-signal, the use of purple gloves in Batman’s design and Alfred commenting on installing a fireman’s pole in the Bat-Cave.

 

However, what makes Snyder a legendary writer is not his ability to draw upon years of Batman history but his ability to write Gotham. In an absolutely fascinating speech, Bruce Wayne ask the citizens of Gotham why they choose to live in a city that constantly threatens their lives and challenges them. Wayne concludes that people must do it because they enjoy the challenge and know they will be stronger if they can survive Gotham. I’ve never seen a writer address the issue as to why people would live in Gotham if psychopaths such as the Joker, Two-Face or Poison Ivy operate there. Snyder provides an honest and well thought out answer to this debated question. Snyder has added a lot of history to the city of Gotham itself in his Black Mirror, Gates of Gotham, and Court of Owls story lines. Snyder reveals that Gotham has an ugly beating heart under its’ bedrock and makes the city come alive. Say what you will about his ability to write Batman, but without a doubt, Snyder is the best Gotham City writer ever.

 

My favorite subplot of the Zero Year story so far has been the relationship between Bruce and the leader of the Red Hood gang. This issue provides full confirmation that the Red Hood leader is indeed the Joker and that the codependent nature of the Batman and the Joker had existed long before there was ever officially a Batman or a Joker. It is only fitting in the issue that Bruce finally dons the cape and cowl, does the Red Hood leader take the all to familiar dive into the vat of ACE chemicals. As the issue reaches its’ crescendo there is a close up of the Red Hood’s eyes as he is simultaneously horrified, mystified and  aroused by the appearance of the Batman. It is clear that in that one single moment, the Joker is born. It is only fitting that since the issue marks the debut of the Batman that it concludes with the birth of the Joker. The climax of the book has a wordless splash page in which the Red Hood slowly starts to dissolve into the vat of chemicals in order for the Clown Prince of Crime to emerge. Hopefully before this story concludes, we will be able to see the Joker in all of his glory. 

 

Not to be overshadowed, the Riddler finally makes his move against Gotham City this issue. The Riddler’s city wide power outage sets up November’s “Zero Year” crossover but reestablishes the fact that this story is not about the relationship between Batman and the Joker, but Bruce’s first year as the Batman. The Riddler has always been one of my favorite comic villains and I am very excited to see what Snyder can do with full control of the character.

 

When Zero Year was announced I honestly thought it was going to be a waste of time- that it was too daring to attempt to replace Frank Miller’s genius Year One. However I am glad that Snyder and Capullo are doing this story. It celebrates the entire history of Batman while updating the origin of an icon. Where as Frank Miller made Gotham seem like the New York of the late 1970’s and stressed realism, Snyder and Capullo embrace the fantastic aspects of comics. While Zero Year does not have the same gritty feel as Year One does, it tells a realistic story set in the fantasy world. There is a sincere love of the character, the city and the mythos from the creators of this book and you can really tell it each and every month.

 

 

The work these two guys two is unparalleled in not at DC, but to the rest of the comic industry. (The closest comparison I can make is Jason Aaron on The Mighty Thor for Marvel, but that book is still in its’ infancy stages compared to Batman). If you love Batman and you are not reading Zero Year, then you are doing something wrong with your life. Batman by Snyder and Capullo remains to be the gold standard of what damn good comics should be.



Written or Contributed by Steven Harris


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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby HNutz » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:18 am

So... it's worth the 7 bucks?

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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby GHERU » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:30 am

your knees get bruised writing this?

Batman is a better than average super-hero book, but best comic on the market, not even in the top 10

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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby Porcelain38 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:45 pm

I honestly feel like it is the best book on the market right now. :smt102

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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby Johnny Smith » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:44 pm

HNutz wrote:So... it's worth the 7 bucks?


It's worth $8 :-D

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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby GHERU » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:07 pm

Porcelain38 wrote:I honestly feel like it is the best book on the market right now. :smt102

then you are not reading enough comics
its not even the best Scott Snyder book
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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby Zechs » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:38 pm

I really want to read this but my hatred toward what DC has done cannot allow me to read this book. It's for the best.
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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby Punchy » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:02 pm

After taking the month off for those pesky villains, Zero Year is back, and it’s back with a bang, as this issue is over-sized and full of eventful action. And it should be a big deal, because this issue features the first appearance of Batman! Well, no, not really, but you know what I mean.

In this issue, Bruce Wayne finally dons the famous cape and cowl and takes to the streets of Gotham in order to really take it to the Red Hood and his gang. The opening few pages, where Batman attacks those Red Hood goons and ties them to the ‘Welcome To Gotham’ sign in the shape of a Bat-Symbol were just fantastic, and it’s only the first of two times that Scott Snyder does something awesome and iconic with the Bat-Symbol. Batman and Alfred are mapping the Red Hood Gang’s crimes, and are struggling to find a pattern, that is until Bruce reveals himself to his Uncle Philip, and gets him to betray the Hood and help his cause. Batman figures out that the Red Hood plans to unleash a deadly gas across Gotham, and enacts a pretty awesome plan.

As Bruce Wayne, he calls a press conference outside of the Red Hood’s secret base of operations, ACE Chemicals (Hmmm, that name sounds familiar), where, after giving one of Snyder’s patented speeches about what Gotham means (these are kind of tiresome, but also kind of cool), the Red Hood is goaded into attacking. Just as Red Hood is about to execute Bruce Wayne, the building is hit by a blackout, and not only that, but the whole surrounding area is, in the exact shape of the Bat-Symbol. Just so awesome, I actually said ‘Oh shit’ as that happened. Batman hacks into the Red Hood Gang’s night-vision goggles, so they think they still see Bruce Wayne when he’s Batman (it’s a bit iffy, but the explanation in the back-up story was good for me), and then the action is on.

I really enjoyed this first extended Batman fight sequence, especially because Greg Capullo’s artwork reached new heights of kinetic awesomeness here, the pacing was excellent, and you really got a sense of just how bad-ass Batman is. In the course of this battle, Philip Kane turns on the Red Hood to try and save Batman, shooting his boss, but paying with his life. I was actually surprised by this scene, I expected Kane to be much more of a villain than he ended up being. But I think a surprise is good, this is a retelling of a story we all know, so anything Snyder can do to keep it fresh is great.

What’s not surprising is the fate of the Red Hood. This being him and Batman facing off in ACE Chemical, we know what’s coming, as at the end of the story he falls into a vat of chemicals, and is presumably dead. Only of course, he’s going to come back as The Joker. Again, I was surprised by this, as I was expecting Snyder to not be so straight-forward and zig-zag a bit, perhaps have one of the random Hood goons turn out to Joker, but nope, it’s as expected. But I shouldn’t become one of those people who is wedded to their own theories and has that turn them into a serial complainer. This origin worked for Alan Moore, so it fucking works.

The back-up story does play with the idea that we don’t know who the Red Hood is a bit, so hey, perhaps I am right. The back-up story, co-written with James Tynion IV and with art by Rafael Abuquerque as usual was a great addition to the story, as I said, it cleared up the Red Hood’s identity (or rather muddied it up) and explained how the goons saw Bruce Wayne, and also provided a good explanation as to why people won’t immediately figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Because they want to believe in the myth that is Batman basically, that people will suspend their disbelief. It’s comic-book logic, but it does work. In the end, another famed Batman villain makes his proper debut, as Edward Nygma appears on whatever the Gotham equivalent of Times Square is, and reveals himself as The Riddler, causing a citywide blackout. It looks like the main plot of Zero Year is actually going to be this ‘Dark City’ and not the Red Hood, which is interesting.

I still think this is an unnecessary story, but with this issue, it took a big leap forwards in quality. And come on, Batman has his classic purple gloves, how cool is that?

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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby HNutz » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:24 am

This sounds good. Like that some big things are happening now.

How many more issues of Zero Year are there?

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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby syxxpakk » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:32 pm

Loved this. "My bat needs a head." Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are essentially my favorite creative team ever. This is hands down the best Batman has ever been, IMO.
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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby Zechs » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:35 am

syxxpakk wrote:Loved this. "My bat needs a head." Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are essentially my favorite creative team ever. This is hands down the best Batman has ever been, IMO.


I'm surprised that wasn't nominated this week.
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Re: Batman #24 Review

Postby HNutz » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:10 pm

Punchy wrote:As I said, it cleared up the Red Hood’s identity (or rather muddied it up) and explained how the goons saw Bruce Wayne, and also provided a good explanation as to why people won’t immediately figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Because they want to believe in the myth that is Batman basically, that people will suspend their disbelief. It’s comic-book logic, but it does work.


That part was a little weird.

Arrow did it better (the hero disassociating himself from his civilian persona), IMO.

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