Story- Scott Snyder & Gerry Dugan
Writer- Gerry Dugan
Artist- Matteo Scalera
Colors- Lee Loughridge
As we’re coming off the impressive and wildly successful year long Zero Year arc, most of Batman fans (myself included) couldn’t wait to see what Scott Snyder had in store for us next. However, as Snyder has done before after closing a long arc we have a shorter story, to in a way cleanse the palette before the next big thing. What better way then to tell a story about a serial killer who has somehow eluded Batman for years in this excellent one shot.
I was surprised to open the cover and see that it was Gerry Dugan scripting Scott Snyder’s story here. You wouldn’t notice it otherwise. It’s been a good long while since were seen proper Batman in his own book with Zero Year going on but Dugan doesn’t miss a beat here. There’s a two page spread here where Batman, gorgeously drawn, swings above Gotham and gets us caught up to what’s been happening. I haven’t been reading Batman Eternal so it was enlightening to see everything that’s transpired in that book. Apparently it’s been a lot. While the catch up was welcomed it wasn’t really relevant to this single story, which made this a wonderful jumping on point for new readers. Snyder has shown us during this entire run that while Batman is incredible, he’s still human and can make mistakes, and sometimes he outright misses things. It was an entertaining read that was completely enhanced by the visuals.
If there is one hero I enjoy seeing different artists take a crack at, it’s Batman. So when I saw that Matteo Scalera would be drawing this issue I couldn’t wait to see it. Fans of Black Science are already familiar with his work and he doesn’t disappoint here. I would have bought this issue with no text. From the amazing two page spread I mentioned earlier to making the antagonist look downright creepy, Scalera’s distinct style fits this world more perfectly than I had imagined. Lee Loughridge adds to what Scalera brings by giving those distinct pencils a muted color scheme. Dark, moody, and completely atmospheric the art is worth the price alone.
Buy it. A good story + incredible art + Batman = must buy. If you’ve somehow not been reading Batman but have been looking for a good jumping on point, this is your issue.