This Clayface story has been really fun, and a nice break in between the massive Bat-Epics Snyder has been doing. Seriously, this is the first time we’ve really got a standard Batman story from him, he started out with the massive ‘Black Mirror’, and then the Court Of Owls stuff, which was even bigger, and then finally ‘Death Of Family’, which whilst not as long as the other two stories, was just as big of a deal and crossovered into other titles. This was just a normal, well-done, Batman story, and considering Snyder is about to kick-start another big story next issue, it’s very welcome. If everything’s an epic, then nothing is, and we need these smaller stories sometimes. That’s not to say this was a story in which nothing happened, I thought the way these last 3 issues have dealt with the death of Damian Wayne has been very effective, it is odd to see plot elements from Morrison’s Batman appear in this book, because they are very different tonally, but it works.
You really feel the pain that Bruce is going through here, and it’s heart-breaking. It’s also cool how this arc has revitalised Clayface as a villain and made him a much bigger threat than he was before, but I was annoyed at the number of hoops the story had to go through to avoid anyone figuring out that Bruce Wayne is Batman, it’s just ridiculous at this point, but I suppose I have to accept that this is one secret identity that will never be undone. Greg Capullo’s artwork continues to be excellent, I think he’s probably one of my favourite Batman artists at this point.
The back-up story was pretty solid too, I like how it developed the Batman/Superman relationship, it’s been under-served in the New 52 and I’m glad that it’s back and am looking forward to Pak’s book about it. I still can’t understand why Alex Maleev’s name isn’t on the cover of these books, he’s a massive name, DC are shooting themselves in the foot here. Oh yeah, and it was pretty damn cool to see the Batman Beyond costume show up here, it’s fan-service, but it’s good fan-service. It’s not like Snyder is going to have Terry McGinnis actually show up is it? I’ve always preferred Terry to Bruce (basically because Terry is Spider-Man and Spider-Man is better than Batman), so I appreciated the nod.