Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Batman #26 - A Review

I may stand alone in feeling somewhat cheated by Batman: Zero Year so far.  Don't get me wrong - it's a fine story!  I'll not deny that!  Yet it is a far cry from what I expected when Scott Snyder spoke of his renvisioning of The Riddler (one of my favorite Batman baddies) and his first major joust with The Dark Knight.

The Riddler's role in Dark City thus far has been a supportive one.  True, The Riddler's presence looms ever-large in the background, with everyone's favorite genius having cut the power to much of Gotham City as the hurricane of the century closes in on Gotham's shoreline.  Yet most of the action of this issue is concerned with a new villain called Doctor Death, who is nowhere near as interesting as Edward Nygma despite a truly gruesome gimmick. 

Despite this, Snyder does find ways to keep things interesting.  Perhaps the biggest change in this retelling of the Batman origin is a novel twist - that Bruce Wayne might not trust the police of Gotham City, disbelieving the idea of any honest cops like Jim Gordon existing.  Given Bruce's background, it makes sense that he might have issues with authority and it answers the question oft-asked since the Silver Age - why didn't Bruce Wayne try to become a police officer or some other kind of lawman?

Greg Capullo and Danny Miki do their usual stellar job on the artwork.  Capullo was born to draw Batman and his character designs, while differing from the classic characters in some degree (i.e. Bruce Wayne with a Marine-issue hair-cut and The Riddler with mutton-chops) are memorable and unique.  Likewise, Danny Miki bucks the trend so common among Batman inkers of slathering shadows on every page, limiting his inks to astonishing effect.

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