Batman #52 is a turning point for the Batman character. Yet again, DC is going over a revamp, rehaul and readjustment of its famous characters. While Scott Snyder has run the ropes for the character, issue 51 was his (and Greg Capullo’s) last work on the ongoing series. His final issue, which left off on a somber (but well written) note, will have him at the helm of his own new series for Batman.
So, Batman #52 in a lot of ways is a send off. Unfortunately, the issue was an incredible letdown. It lacked the well written word of Scott Snyder, and the fantastic imagery of Greg Capullo.
For starters, the issue does a weird flashback set up. It features Bruce Wayne, catering to a book gifted from Leslie Thompkins. The book is a list, created by Bruce, to help him get over his parents’ death. This, going through a step by step setup, matches his night as Batman, while investigating a robbery. The main plot tries to interweave with flashbacks, as well as the steps that Bruce created to get over the death of his parents. The idea presented is okay, but the execution fails.
Scott Snyder did so many things well with Batman. Not only was the character more interesting than ever, but he was compelling, with a solid narrative structure that weaved so many things together. Unfortunately, writer James Tynion IV cannot seem to get a hold of the character, nor the narrative. The plot meanders, trying to desperately tell multiple interesting stories, while failing to even deliver one whole. Tynion’s portfolio speaks for himself, but his best work, usually involves catering to a better writer (often times being Scott Snyder). Nothing sells in the story, including the incredibly lackluster, and dull villain.
Art is incredibly subjective, especially in comic book terms. Riley Rossmo with the help of Brian Level do the pencil work for Batman #52. Besides a few well done panels, everything is lacking. It doesn’t help that the colors are so drab, but the character body builds is a bit off. Bruce Wayne’s character design is uninspiring to say the least. Maybe it isn’t great, or maybe Capullo spoiled the DC fandom with his work. Whatever it may be, it isn’t here with the visual styling. Originally, the new suit design took a bit to get used to. Capullo did it justice, and Batman #51 looked fantastic. In #52, it just looks off, with bad character proportions, lighting and coloring.
Batman’s final send off is a letdown. While I do understand what Tynion was going for in his initial setup, paving the way to the road to Rebirth, it wasn’t well executed. Instead, the plot meanders for pages, and bounces from flashback to flashback with no rhyme or reason.
TWO out of FIVE