Monday, April 23, 2012

Exfanding Review: Batman in the New 52

First off, a quick apology for the weirdness with the posting times the last few days. I guess it started on Thursday or Friday, when a post of mine that was scheduled for 1:00 just...never posted. Nathaniel noticed it and manually published, but it seems like things continued acting strangely over the weekend. Sorry about that, folks, but (for once) it wasn't our fault!

With all the strangeness we've been experiencing with the new Blogger, I'm just hoping this will actually post today, at the time I've set it for. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Right. So...

Anyone reading Batman lately? Because I certainly am. Reading Batman, I mean.

While it's true that the Dark Knight has had a couple of rough years in the comics universe--including his long and drawn out "death" and eventual return--it's safe to say that The Bat is back in top form, thanks to writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo.

Snyder, who's now arguably become DC's top writer thanks to his success on Batman and American Vampire, had a nearly one-year-long stint writing the Dick Grayson Batman. That run was met with critical and fan acclaim, and it cemented Snyder's place atop DC's next wave of creators.

When the publisher relaunched their books with the New 52, Snyder teamed up with artist Greg Capullo to reintroduce Batman to the fanbase. Just eight issues into their run, Snyder and Capullo have delivered what I think is DC's best superhero book, bringing a younger, more thoughtful version of Bruce Wayne into the DC Universe.

This Batman is analytical; a true detective in every sense of the word. He's also incredibly skilled and resourceful, as one might expect from the Caped Crusader.

What sets this new version of Batman apart, though, is that he's still learning. He's still figuring things out, from how best to curb Gotham's crime rate to how to deal with the city itself.

Right off the bat (ha!), we're introduced to The Court of the Owls, an ancient and secret society that has been around since Gotham's earliest days.

The Court is exceedingly dangerous and they aim to shape Gotham exactly to their liking. Despite the claims of Gothamites that The Court is nothing more than a fairy tale, weird signs have been popping up since the book's first issue, leading to the first "event" of the New 52: Night of the Owls.

While I'm not exactly the biggest supporter of event books (especially lately, as Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men has hit all the wrong notes with me), I am a big fan of events that are fairly contained. And, with Night of the Owls, I feel like I can get away with just reading the main Batman book.

However, I enjoyed the first issue of the event so much, that I ended up buying a Bat-title I'd never before picked up. Now that is what an event should do for readers--give the main story in one book, but make things interesting enough that the reader wants to pick up ancillary titles, but doesn't necessarily need to do so in order to follow the story.

Marvel, take note.

Anyway, Night of the Owls kicked off in Batman, issue 8, and, boy, did things escalate quickly. Tons of intrigue and tons of action, right from the start of the issue.

And the best part? You don't need to be steeped in any kind of continuity to get what's going on. All you need is the following, conveniently provided by DC on their website:

The wait is over, and the war for Gotham City is about to begin. Pitting Batman and the extended Bat-family against the Court of Owls and their sinister agents, the long-awaited “Night of the Owls” crossover kicks off this week.

A shadowy secret society with deathless assassins known as Talons to execute its malevolent will, the Court has roots that reach back into Gotham’s deep past – and now this cadre of killers has mounted an all-out assault to exert its influence on the city’s present. It’s the Court of Owls versus the Allies of the Bat to determine once and for all who will rule the shadows of Gotham City.

Seriously, that's all you need to know io order to enjoy this book. If you've been looking to try a Bat book but have held out for precisely the right moment, I'd say that moment has arrived. So go ahead--check out Batman, and tell 'em Exfanding sent you!


JoeReviewer said...

Da na na na na na na na na na na da na na na na na na na BAT MAN!

Now I sing it 52 more times for the New 52 launch.

Da na na na na na na na na na na da na na na na na na na BAT MAN!

Da na na na na na na na na na na da na na na na na na na BAT MAN!

Da na na na na na na na na na na da na na na na- spam recognized. Deleting.

JoeReviewer said...

Okay but seriously, sounds cool. If I can manage to get to one of these, I'll be sure to pick it up =)