The Action Scenes Are Worth Paying Attention To
Most Bat-writers seem to tune out when it comes time to write the punchy/kicky stuff. Most Batman fight scenes go something like this — Batman shows up, karate kicks and punches a few guys and then the bad guys either get one-up on him and escape, or Batman gets an extra dramatic punch in on the big bad guy and wins. Batman punching guys should be the greatest thing in the world, but more often than not it just feels like filler.
Not in Snyder and Capullo’s Batman — so far every action scene in New 52 era Batman has felt purposeful and important. These are creative, well-staged action scenes not just mindless kicking and punching to move the plot along. Batman’s fight with the Talon in issue #6 is among my favorite one-on-one fights Batman’s ever been involved in. Just more evidence of the level of thought and care that’s gone into this story.
Greg Capullo is Kicking Ass
Like a lot of people I wasn’t so sure when I heard Greg Capullo was going to be taking over art duties on Batman. “You mean the guy who drew Spawn? Hmmm, well…I guess he has some experience drawing capes.”
At first I was even a little put off by his somewhat cartoony-style, but issue-by-issue I’ve grown to love his art more and more. As of issue #7, I can confidently say Capullo is doing my favorite Bat-art in ages, which is saying something, because while I haven’t loved the writing on the Bat books for a while, there has been lots of great art by the likes of J.H. Williams, Chris Burnham, Andy Kubert, Francesco Francavilla and many more.
Personally, I think Batman actually benefits from a stylized, slightly cartoony approach. The more realistically he’s rendered, the more he just looks like a guy in a suit as opposed to the terror-striking living shadow he’s supposed to be in the comics. Capullo’s art over the past few issues brings to mind Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns work, which is about as high a compliment as you can pay a Bat-artist. It’s so good it retroactively makes me want to track down Capullo’s old issues of Spawn. Think about that.
What the Hell — I Actually Want to Buy a Crossover?
Finally, the ultimate proof that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman is awesome — I don’t resent that they’re doing a crossover. In fact I’m actually excited for the upcoming “Night of Owls”. I mean, not excited enough to buy Catwoman or Red Hood and the Outlaws or anything crazy, but still more stoked than I’ve been for any Batman crossover since, I dunno, Knightfall? No Man’s Land? It’s been so long.
So yeah, to sum up what I’ve been subtly hinting at for the last 2000-words — Batman is very, very good right now. You should probably be buying it. For those that already are, let me know what you think of the Snyder/Capullo run so far in the comments.
images courtesy DC Comics