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Batman #1 - Knife Trick Review

5

This issue delivers the familiar Dark Knight we all know while completely setting the stage for a new era. An amazing combination of a new and old feel seamlessly meshed together in a stunning first issue.

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo give you what you expect, a Batman book that will make you happy to be reading comics. If there were any concern over the future of the Batman Universe in DC's 'The New 52,' they are all wiped away here.

The Good

Gotham City is a force to be reckoned with. Scott Snyder has stated that Batman's relationship with the city will be a focus in the series. We all know it's not just a regular city and it's about time we fully see that. Are there any changes made to Batman's character as part of 'The New 52'? Yes but Batman is still Batman. From the opening scene brilliantly illustrated by Greg Capullo, you will see Batman fighting the inmates at Arkham Asylum.

Within a few pages, Snyder and Capullo give us a very clear indication of what we can expect from them. Seeing the way the pages unfold will surprise you that this is the first time the two have worked together. We see Batman's rogues gallery, Arkham Asylum, the Batcave, Wayne Manor, Commissioner Gordon the Robins (past and present). All of this while making a clear statement on the direction of the series.

We see old villains, but what about new ones? Read the issue to find out. It is a great jumping on point. Snyder is determined to make it accessible to even those that have never read a Batman comic. It's hard to try to look at the issue from that standpoint but I'd have to say he succeeds.

Capullo's art oozes out the excitement that he and Snyder have over creating this issue. There is a big flashy vibe while we also have some very dark corners present throughout. It's the superhero book you want but will have elements that just might give you shivers.

And there is a crazy cliffhanger. It's insane.

The Bad

Seriously? There's nothing bad. After Snyder's run on Detective Comics, this is exactly the Batman book I wanted.

The Verdict

It's another home run for Scott Snyder. He showed us what he could do with Dick Grayson as Batman and now we're seeing the beginning of what he has in store for Bruce. Batman is in safe hands with Snyder and the addition of Capullo adds a new element to Gotham City. Capullo's art is big and over the top yet has elements showing that Snyder has no plans on easing up on the darker stories. Within a few pages, Snyder and Capullo answer pretty much every question we might have on the state of the Batman Universe while introducing elements that are clearly going to change and take Batman to a new level. Reading this issue made me giddy as a kid reading comics for the first time. With Snyder, you know there is so much underneath the surface and even if you can't see what's there, knowing that they're there will amp up your level of excitement. Readers that have never picked up a Batman issue can easily step in here and know what's going on. It's great for both new and old readers. Neither should feel frustration as the issue appeals to both. I could go on some more but I think I'll just give the issue another read instead.

50 Comments
Posted by ninjacommando

I am very much looking forward to getting this issue tomorrow! It's on my pull list :)

Posted by EnSabahNurX

Hate that i have to wait a week for this comic to arrive, darn internet T___T great to know it's a solid issue

Posted by Om1kron

I AM SO GODAMNED EXCITED FOR THIS!!!!

Posted by Eyz

Sounds pretty kickass!

I need to get my hands on this one :P

Posted by Tally_Pants

Here is a quick question. Is there anywhere online that I can sign up to have DC comics delivered to my home? So I don't have to go to the store and buy them... Thinking about subscribing to the new Batman.

Posted by Gambit1969

Really looking forward to Snyder and Capullo on Batman. Snyder's work on Detective was awesome and I've always been a fan of Capullo who also happens to be a great guy.

Posted by G-Man
Staff
Posted by msavo

I can't find any of the new 52 on the the iPad app. Are they going up anytime soon or am I looking in the wrong place?

Posted by msavo

Never mind I fixed the problem, it was on my end. I've never been into comics but the New 52 and them being on iPad has got me extremely interested. Read your review Tony and this will probably be the first comic I've ever purchased in my life, digitally though :P Looking forward to following Comic Vine more now.

Posted by G-Man

@RE_Player: That's great to hear. Comic Vine and Batman thank you.

Staff
Posted by Billy Batson

Snyder the man.
BB

Posted by mikeclark1982

getting it! plus, the logo looks a lot like the logo from arkham asylum. WIN! just my nerd knowledge coming through.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Knife Trick?

Online
Posted by BatUniverse

This is awesome!

Posted by CBattles6

It's too bad that Capullo's cover is so horrible. Van Sciver's isn't that much better, but I'll probably end up going with that one. It's more iconic a la Jim Lee's Action #1 cover.

Posted by MrUnknown

Great! Can't wait to read this tonight!

Posted by JonesDeini

Days like this makes me wish I had a car, or lived in a city with better public transit!

Posted by Eyz

@Tally_Pants said:

Here is a quick question. Is there anywhere online that I can sign up to have DC comics delivered to my home? So I don't have to go to the store and buy them... Thinking about subscribing to the new Batman.

There's a lot of comic book stores that does that.

Heck, I live in Europe (Switzerland!!) and did that for some comics a while ago through "My Comic Book Shop". (<-google it!)

I can't recommend a good one though. It all depends on the shipping cost for you. My Comic Book Shop was good for us living across the sea :P

(dunno about their cost in the continental US)

Posted by Or35ti

I am pumped!!

Posted by hajime76

Great review Tony. The little partnership in the beginning had me surprised but anything is possible with Scott Snyder. I did like that one panel reference to his recent work in Detective Comics. This is my first Batman title that I have gotten into (mainly for Snyder's work) and I am enjoying the buildup. The Gotham column section on the first page was a nice way to introduce the city and some of its cast of characters both good and bad especially the nod to Jim Gordon. I hope that means Snyder will be writing more stories involving just Gordon like he did in his recent run in Detective Comics. Or Snyder can just keep up what he's already doing by putting more emphasis on Batman's skills as a detective.

Posted by longbowhunter

Should I really be suprised this was great? Nice cliffhanger as well. Take a bow Scott Snyder.
Posted by CombatSpoon86

Shouldn't be surprised how good Snyder writes Batman. It's a given hit automatically. I give it 10 stars.

Snyder's Batman> Morisson's Batman

Posted by LadyBleez

I'm so glad Scott Snyder is writing this.

Posted by batman_begins

YEAH!!! it's here!!!

Posted by emmeteeny

Hey guys. Aside from a few graphic novels (mostly because were adapted for movies). I never bothered with comics but with the New 52, I've been buying 1-2 every week on the Comixology iPhone app. All I can say is that this is my favourite that I've read so far - sorry Batwing.

This had excellent pacing, no shock tactics (didn't like the Detective Comics #1 ending) and a final panel that hopefully a major arc rather than a red herring. Huge recommendation from me.

Posted by Daveyo520

Huh, I wonder which of the many Batmans I will read.

Posted by msavo

@emmeteeny said:

Hey guys. Aside from a few graphic novels (mostly because were adapted for movies). I never bothered with comics but with the New 52, I've been buying 1-2 every week on the Comixology iPhone app. All I can say is that this is my favourite that I've read so far - sorry Batwing. This had excellent pacing, no shock tactics (didn't like the Detective Comics #1 ending) and a final panel that hopefully a major arc rather than a red herring. Huge recommendation from me.

I'm in the same boat as you. Never bothered with comics but with the DC app on iPad I've been scoping out the New 52 comics I want. I literally just bought this 5 minutes ago because the store just updated and loved it. I'm going going to wait to get some of the other 52 I'm interested though, the policy for DC's online initiative is same price as the print version for the first 4 weeks than it drops a $1. I'm going to wait and pick up stuff like Deathstroke and Nightwing #1 when they drop to $1.99.

Posted by MartinNL

Can't wait to read this tomorrow. I always get to my LCS on Thursday, because on Wednesday and sometimes even on Thursday morning they're still unpacking (I live in Europe). This is my most anticipated book of the whole new52 relaunch. I'm even tempted now to just download it on comixology and get the hardcopy book tomorrow.

Posted by johnny_spam

While I liked the portrayal of Bruce Wayne as well his use of new technology. Nothing really happened allot of it felt too familiar and nothing new. Much of what happened had happened before in other comics and didn't feel very entertaining. I did like Greg Capullo's art more then I expected but he had some terrible designs for the Joker and the other Arkham inmates.

Edited by ChernobylCow

When I was in school our University newspaper had one student comic that was probably the best to grace it's pages...it's premise was "Jesus is..." "...raiding your fridge." "...hang-gliding." and so forth.

Anyways great issue, but I feel like the art was better in Nightwing and Batwing. This is just too dark and I was having trouble distinguishing Lincoln from Bruce Wayne since they're both dark-haired dudes with big chins. Snyder does a lot of neat tricks as a writer to keep us informed and up to date. I'll be following this series for a while.

Posted by KainScion

THE ENDING: PRICELESS.

Posted by Benzo

@Om1kron said:

I AM SO GODAMNED EXCITED FOR THIS!!!!

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Glad to see that Batman got a great review. Can't wait to read it

Edited by Wattup

Every time I see a panel with Bruce and his boys in comics, I always think that Cassandra Cain is missing from the group. 8(

Posted by Booster_Bronze

Two things: I hate Riddler with the mohawk (so out of character) and the contact lenses are a really cool idea. Otherwise, I felt this comic was more "Detective-y" than Detective Comics #1 was. Is it too late to swap the titles on them?

Posted by fenixREVOLUTION

I really wish this would've came out the first week of the revamp, because I loved this book. Scott Snyder still doing no wrong in comics and it's great to see and read. The city is definitely a prevalent theme here and I'm glad to see Bruce is still a bit lighter as he was portrayed in B&R. While I'm sad to see Jock and Francavilla go, Capullo's art is just ridiculously fitting for this book, I enjoyed the hell out of it. I do like where the story looks like it's going and who the villain could be, which could be obscenely great.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

I loved the heck out of the issue, but one thing really made it hard to buy into the thing.  In many of the panels Bruce barely looks older than Dick, and I kept having to push aside questions like "How could he have grown up, become Batman, eventually met, trained and raised Dick Grayson to adulthood, and still look that young?  I like the somewhat older Bruce more.  I can believe he did those things, but this Bruce seemed far too young in many (but not all), of the panels.
 
...but again, I really liked it.

Posted by stratesfear

I've only read a handful of comics (and I got them all at once, years ago), but I was really interested in reading some of the New 52. I felt like this was my chance to jump in, so I did.

I've always liked Batman (I'm a big fan of the animated series, movies, etc.) So, I picked this up today and I thought it was a pretty awesome way to get into comics. I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to continue the story.

Posted by Scodiac

Simply amazing. The best #1 I've read so far. Snyder and Capullo are knocking it out of the mother effin' park. I cannot wait for #2. SO GOOD!

Posted by keithmoon316

Fantastic! I have been pleased with most of the new #1s but this one set the bar extremely high.

Posted by MrUnknown

I loved how this issue incorporated so much in so few pages. That "Planet of the crepes" line was brilliant!

Posted by hippiehop

I've been a huge fan of Snyder's run on Detective so I was looking forward to this despite the fact that I think that a few of these books should keep their numbering. It did not disappoint. I love the focus on Bruce as Bruce and the city of Gotham. And cool new tech. The opening scene was fun.

The art is fantastic, great layouts, a few of which reminded me of Frank Miller. The inking is so good, I love the thin lines. Great coloring too. Very well done overall. I love when an artist can draw a cocktail party and make it look so dynamic.

The only minor thing that bugged me was that Gordon seemed so young without the white hair. Slight continuity confusion for me because of the cameo of his son which doesn't make as much sense as a story if he is so young. Gordon seemed like the version from the movies so I guess that makes sense. Alfred seemed young too. And Bruce doesn't seem to have been Batman long enough to have four Robins, one of which was Batman for a whole year.

Also as someone pointed out Bruce looked too similar to the guy running for mayor.

Who cares though as long as Scott Snyder is writing Batman.

Posted by entropy_aegis

Fantastic,ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.

Edited by RiddlingGambit

@Booster_Bronze: I don't see how the mohawk is technically out-of-character, as you say. Riddler does have an obsessive-compulsive need for attention. Since he is an inmate and can't wear an outlandish costume/suit, it makes sense he'd find some other weird way to flaunt his established criminal identity (a green question marked mohawk). Once he is out of Arkham, he will likely ditch that hairstyle.

The design for Jeremiah Arkham was weak though. A white painted skull for Black Mask? That made no sense to me. And who is the female inmate with the pigtails?

Great first issue though. I really liked Scott Snyder's run on Detective, and I will likely love this run on Batman.

Posted by shrmntnk62

I loved this issue. Can't wiat for more!

Posted by new_killer_star

So far Scott Snyder has delivered the two best books of the New 52. I can't wait to see where his Batman is going!

Posted by MrErbac

The artwork sucks. After the great looking art in Detective comics #1, and Batman and Robin #1, plus the upcoming Batman the Dark Knight, I didn't pick this up. That Van Schiver cover is cool though, he should've done the artwork.

Posted by darksoul7th

Next Big Thing on MY WISHLIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by redwingx

@Xenozoic Shaman said:

I loved the heck out of the issue, but one thing really made it hard to buy into the thing. In many of the panels Bruce barely looks older than Dick, and I kept having to push aside questions like "How could he have grown up, become Batman, eventually met, trained and raised Dick Grayson to adulthood, and still look that young? I like the somewhat older Bruce more. I can believe he did those things, but this Bruce seemed far too young in many (but not all), of the panels. ...but again, I really liked it.

Bruce is 31 and Dick is 21.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman
@redwingx said:

@Xenozoic Shaman said:

I loved the heck out of the issue, but one thing really made it hard to buy into the thing. In many of the panels Bruce barely looks older than Dick, and I kept having to push aside questions like "How could he have grown up, become Batman, eventually met, trained and raised Dick Grayson to adulthood, and still look that young? I like the somewhat older Bruce more. I can believe he did those things, but this Bruce seemed far too young in many (but not all), of the panels. ...but again, I really liked it.

Bruce is 31 and Dick is 21.

I've heard similar comments to that effect before, but it would be great to see an official source.  I've read all sorts of differing comments regarding their age.  One states that in Batman: Death and the Maidens, it was mentioned that Batman had been fighting crime for 25 years.  (I haven't had a chance to read Batman: DotM yet, and confirm this.)  Yet, even if one discounts that, and simply calculate the events I mentioned above, added with the time he spent with Jason Todd, then Tim Drake's time with Batman, the time that Tim spent as Red Robin, and the more recent time span with Damian.  It makes it nearly unbelievable that, all that happened by his 31st birthday, especially if Dick is 21.
 
Now normally, I just say "It's only a comic.", and move on, but the sheer number of events coupled with what seemed like inconsistant artistic representation of his age (in this issue), made it a lot more difficult.   ...but really, given how the New 52 universe seemed so changed, perhaps it all works out fine, and once they all get into the swing of this new series, we'll have things explained more, and the art will be consistent enough to back it up.
 
In any case, it was a fine issue.  I don't think the new 52 is about looking back, so much as looking forward, and I look forward to more.