It blows my mind, but apparently we've barely discussed the DCnU Batmanseries by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, despite it being one of the best superhero books on the shelf right now. Let's see if we can correct that.

 

After reading the most recent issue (#10) and its surprise twist, I've started going back and re-reading the first few, and boy, does it hold up to a second reading. Snyder knows how to bring you in from page one, and keep you going to the last page — which he expertly ends with a cliffhanger.

What I've noticed going back is how he laces things in so early; even the first issue, which is mostly a done-in-one to introduce us to the post-FlashpointBatman universe, sprinkles in the beginning pieces of the arc that has traced through these 10 issues: Lincoln March, the Court of Owls, the battle for Gotham's identity...all those are there in these first 22 pages.

People often complain that Batman keeps going to the well of its same old villains — the Joker, the Riddler, etc. — which is another striking thing about this run. After starting the story with a seven-page slugfest between Batman and all his baddies in Arkham Asylum, Snyder doesn't return to any of them. Following his work on Detective Comicsbefore the relaunch, I think Snyder's demonstrated with that title and this that he really knows how to build the Batman mythos.

And let's not ignore Capullo's art — I think this is one of the only books in the DC relaunch to have not had a single fill-in artist*, so he's really been able to match Snyder's tone and contribute to the story. It really struck me with this most recent issue, where what had been a seemingly weak artistic choice turns out to have been a relevant clue! (I'm trying to avoid spoilers here...) From page one, there's been a dynamism to the visual storytelling that has matched what the story brings.

 

Anyhow, I'll post my specific (spoilerific) thoughts on issue 10 a little later, but I wanted to get the ball rolling so we can talk about this book!

 

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* - I suppose the annual had an artist other than Capullo. Do we count that? I don't think we should count that...

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You're not the first I've heard say that, Martin. I may have to read Detective more now.

Martin Gray said:

You've a treat in store, Alan, the Detective issues are even better than the Batman stories. I do enjoy 'em, honest - it's just that as with most mainstream comics these days, a stronger editorial hand couldn't helped a writer work through some of the weaker spots.

Anyone have any thoughts as to the reasoning for shifting Batman to ship week 2?

I don't have any deep insight other than I'm excited that I can read it sooner in the month rather than later.

A crossover even maybe? Were the Batman chapter needs to come out before something else? Outside of that, no idea.

Border Mutt said:

Anyone have any thoughts as to the reasoning for shifting Batman to ship week 2?

Possibly the introduction of Batman Inc to the shipping schedule in week 4 last month prompted them to consider spacing out their two highest profile Bat-books a little more. Or maybe they felt that Batwoman could use an extra week in its production schedule; it's the book that moved back when Batman moved forward. 

I didn't realize Batwoman had also switched, that would probably explain it, although it still seems weird that they left a week without a Batman title.

Yeah, that is weird. But they do have Batman Beyond, Batwoman, Catwoman, Birds of Prey, Nightwing, and Red Hood and the Outlaws that week... so unless it's specifically a Bruce-fix people need, they'll be able to find *something* batty.

Maybe that's the plan? Cluster a lot of Bat-related titles on one week and then remove the prime Batman book... and then see which books the weekly Bat-fans jump to?

And I bit on Batman Beyond and Nightwing that week...my "boycott" of DC did not work...at all.  I missed these books way too much.  

Those are both great books. I really love Batman Beyond. So much bang for your buck. Plus Breyfogle. And Nguyen.

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