jonesdeini's Batman #1 - Knife Trick review

Gotham Is...?

Bruce returns to Gotham refreshed and with a new sense of triumph and confidence. But if there's one thing he's should've learned about his by now is that it loves nothing more than raising you up just to tear you down at your most settled.

The Good

When I saw Capullo's pencils in previews I was very disappointed, but having read this issue it absolutely works and perfectly fits the tone of the narrative. Glapion's colors really make everything pop of the pages and feel vibrant. These two have worked to together in the past and always deliver topnotch work. Seriously, how many souls did Snyder Sacrifice to continue working with amazing artists like this?

Snyder has a knack for setting the mood in his stories and the "Gotham is" monologue perfectly sets the atmosphere from page one. Starting the issue in Crime alley was ever so fitting. One of Capullo's biggest strength is his ability to draw detailed characters and architecture that really lives and breathes. And when it comes to Gotham, Snyder always makes it a main character. That two page spread of the cave is absolutely breath taking. And the little touches like having Damian wear Chucks to a high class event are the subtle things that make his art great.

This issue jumps right into the action which I really liked. I'm not a fan of the "BatGod" approach to writing Bruce, and Snyder manages to make him as efficient and lethal a combatant as he should be without going too over the top.

When I first saw Bruce's rogues in previews I was very put off, but in context they work great. And before I go into why I've gotta say I can't wait to see more of Capullo's Two-Face, the way he renders Dent's beautifully ugly! Each of the rogues having makeshift costumes was ingenious! Them trying to maintain even the tiniest semblance of self in the asylum is a very intriguing concept and definitely reminded me of The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. And the cameo by James Jr. was a lovely little easter egg.

I loved Snyder's writing of the Joker here. His approach in his recent (and superb) Detective run just didn't do much for me but he nails the Clown Prince of Crime here.

Snyder absolutely excels at dialogue and character moments. He has such a firm handle on all the characters that populate Bruce's world and his interactions with each of them is spot on, pitch perfect, excellence! Gordon, Alfred, Dick, Tim, Damian, Bullock everybody here is written with perfection. Snyder does a great job of introducing each of these characters in this issue and giving them each a moment to shine without making new readers feel overwhelmed or boring longtime fans like myself.

I love all the new tech that Snyder's whipped up for Bruce to play with. This may be my favorite iteration of the Batsuit I've ever seen.

Snyder writes Bruce as a detective first and foremost and that's how I like my Batman.

Despite crafting a story with heavy atmosphere (especially towards the end) Snyder injects plenty of humor to balance it all out.

Writers have really been landing last page hooks nicely in this reboot, but none do that quite as consistently or well as Scott Snyder and here he delivers another one of his infamous last pages.

The Bad

This is something so minor that I can't even let it affect my score but Tim looks a little too young. With Damian being 10 (ish?) and him being 17 there should be a greater height difference between he and Damian. Then again maybe they were all de-aged a bit?

The Verdict

If you didn't know that this one's a buy then I'll assume you're blind, deaf, and from another dimension. Snyder delivers everything you could ask for in a Batman comic. He pulls off the incredible feat of writing an issue that satisfies longtime readers and makes it easy for new readers to jump on board and join the party. Capullo and Glapion's art perfectly gel with his writing. Snyder proves that his Detective run with Dick Grayson was no fluke, in fact, it was just the beginning of what I hope is a long tenure as Gotham's chief architect. So to answer the Gazette's question "Gotham is in great hands!"


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