Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Danny Miki
Colors by FCO Plascencia
Letters by Steve Wands
Edited by Mark Doyle
Review by Logan Anthony Rowland
Gotham belongs to the Caped Crusader. It’s streets, it’s people fall under the care of the Dark Knight, their protector. Whether it be a bird who preys on bats controlling history or a riddling maniac darkening the city, one thing is certain: Gotham belongs to Batman.
Here there be monsters. Monsters who laugh.
Welcome to Gotham.
History. Glorious and satisfying history. From the beginning of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s groundbreaking run on the worlds most broody of superheroes, they have been setting up a city with a history. Gotham is known almost as well to the world as New York City. Speak its name and people understand, they can place it in their minds, they can see the bat-signal in the sky. Each time we see this famous fictional city, whether it be on the page or on the screen, we are often left wanting in the realm of history that we know the gothic and stylized walls are dripping with.
From the New 52’s Batman #1, Snyder and Capullo have been stepping back and exploring Gotham and it’s history. It’s terrible history regarding a specific clown, or the rise of a secret mega-crime organization governing the path of the people and taking us back to a time that the lights were turned off, purple gloves were worn and a man dressed as a nocturnal creature brought light to Gotham. We understand the struggle of Bruce Wayne and his drive through the dark, grimy and utterly tormenting narrative that is Gotham City.
Snyder eases us into the pages of Batman by presenting us with not only a history lesson drenched in hero hope, but into a scene that is profoundly familiar if not drawn and painted a little differently: Bruce Wayne in bandages. When it comes to characters that are 75 years old, it can seem daunting to try and write them in a compelling and emotionally poignant manner and that demands the writer not only knows the characters, but understands them in all of their strengths and flaws.
When Bruce speaks with Alfred, the dialogue is full and striking. One can see in the magnificent faces drawn by Capullo that these two men care very deeply for each other. The team on this book knows what they are doing. They are passionate about this character, this book—the way they championed the fans concerning the price-point of the book shows this—and it lifts the panels off of the page and delves into the minds and the hearts of the readers.
That passion can be seen in the intricate art littering the pages where, like a certain character in the comic, no punches are pulled. The cover was enough to excite me as I have been patiently waiting to see Greg Capullo’s take on each of the DC Universe mega-heroes and he doesn’t disappoint. The trope of everyone turning on Batman isn’t a new one but it is very loved by both the studio and fans. Batman always has a plan but the downfall to his plan can be summed up by one word that can mean many different things, and because Scott Snyder is a genius, it does, and that word is: Him.
Welcome to Gotham.
Step into the ring.
Buy it—Scott Snyder and Co. have been killing it with this book since the beginning and it is only getting better. DC is stepping out of its comfort zone with new books like Gotham Academy and Batgirl being books that are light-hearted and terrifically wonderful. One thing is certain, DC’s comfort zone—where the lights are off and the darkness is thick as blood—is all but comfortable.
The Pale Man
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Kelley Jones
Colors by Michelle Madsen
Letters by Dezi Sienty
The back up story from James Tynion IV follows up a big reveal at the end of Batman #35 and is profoundly creepy and wonderfully realized with frightening art from Kelley Jones coupled with haunting prose and disturbing dialogue. It complements rather than derails and so much more than that, it enhances.
Truly, do yourself a favor: add a little Gotham into your life. Sometimes we need gargoyles and lightning.
Sometimes we need a Batman.