Bruce deals with the Talons in the cave and begins to [try and] save Gotham City and it’s figure heads in Batman #9. Bruce makes it out alive (that’s not a spoiler) but the Wayne/Pennyworth history takes a big punch.
An attack on Batman happens in just about every issue, an attack on Bruce Wayne happens about every other issue, but an attack on Wayne Manor (while it’s been done lots of times) happens less frequently and always raises the stakes, at least for me. It’s about as personal as you can get; it’s the birthplace of Batman, his sanctuary, and home to the historic Wayne Family – and props to Scott Snyder and his team for tapping into this and keeping this story always personal, about Bruce more than Batman.
The moment where the Talon’s knife breaks the glass of Bruce’s beast-mode suit, getting centimeters away from his face is a perfect example of how this story constantly comes back to Bruce.
And those awesome bad ass Batman moments. Thank you for those too.
Last week we got it in the form of getting into a beast-mode suit and this time it was getting out of the beast-mode suit. And as stoked as I was last month, I think I liked Batman’s breaking out moment here more (any time you have a cowl-less Batman kicking butt your going to get a fist pump out of me).
Greg Capullo’s Batmobile is pretty sweet as well.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the entire issue though is returning to [and ending] Lincoln March. It had been awhile since his appearance (issue #2 I believe) and just as I was beginning to wonder what had happened to him his story comes full circle. While I love the action and those bad ass moments Scott Snyder and the art team keep giving us I think Snyder’s natural talent for suspense and crime writing along with Capullo’s stellar framing and pacing always stand out; I mean, it’s tough to pull off a true shocker in some superhero comics now and this I did not expect. It also appears that Lincoln March’s death will play it’s own role as he passes off some pretty important information.
Man. I really thought he would be more involved, maybe a member of the court or something.
All that being said, this was far from my favorite issue of the series so far. The crime drama and great Batman moments more than make up for it but this story still seems to be moving at breakneck speed (Talons attack Wayne Manor and within 10 minutes they’re disposed of) and the gap in the story, Batman “going to Arkham Asylum first,” which takes place in Detective Comics #9, seemed a little jarring. It oddly places a separate issue smack in the middle of this one and comes off as a bit of a pitch, which might make sense if Detective Comics #9 hadn’t come out before this issue (also makes for odd placement in the eventual collected format). Even the art at times was a bit hard to follow, especially in the beginning with all the close combat. Beautiful. But it all sort of blurred together at times.
The backup also started it’s own story, Part 1 of 3 to “The Fall of the House of Wayne,” an interesting and gorgeously drawn issue by Rafael Albuquerue, story by Snyder and James Tynion IV. Interesting, yes, because it details the journal of Jarvis Pennyworth, Alfred’s father, who witnesses an attack from a Talon but more noteworthy is the reveal that Jarvis is there during Bruce’s childhood (and Alfred is not). Seemingly around the age (maaaybe a little younger) where Bruce loses his parents. Now, we have known that the New 52 would bring on continuity change (even to Batman) and we’ve even seen a little of this hinted at in [Batman #4] previous issues of this run but none as significant than this.
At the risk of this putting me in the “grumpy old fan” category I can’t say I was thrilled. I understand the reasons, respect the risk, and am more than open to keep reading and see where this story goes, but it’s going to be hard to rewire my brain to think that Bruce wasn’t raised by this monther, father, and Aldred Pennyworth. Mostly Alfred. In fact, I don’t want to rewire that part of my brain, I like it too much. So it can change, I don’t mind, but I’ll just pretend in my own head that it’s not real.
As far as I’m concerned in my own heart and head this never really happened.
I don’t know, maybe I’m jumping the gun.
So no, not my favorite issue but that’s like picking my least favorite peace of work at the Smithsonian, it’s all good. I’m still biting at the bit to read the next issue.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great Batman moments, great art, Snyder at his best with crime drama, can’t wait for the next issue||Hard to believe continuity change, jarring plot that’s moving really fast|