Comic Vine Review

33 Comments

Batman #34 - The Meek Review

4

There's a killer on the loose and no one has noticed...except Batman.

The Good

Zero Year is over and it's a return to the present. Sort of. Scott Snyder and Gerry Duggan are actually bringing the Dark Knight forward a little to right after the events of BATMAN ETERNAL. The story is by the two creators with Duggan doing the writing for this issue. As much as I loved Zero Year and will miss that time period considerably, there is something nice about seeing our familiar Batman on the hunt for a deadly killer.

We've seen Batman track down criminals and killers before. This time, there's a different feeling. It might have a little to do with Matteo Scalera's gritty and detailed art. You definitely feel a different vibe going on. Batman usually goes up against the big and colorful enemies in his rogues gallery. With the Meek, we have a a small time killer on the loose. But being 'small time' doesn't make him less dangerous. It could be the fact that he's been able to operate for so long unnoticed that makes him more of a threat. Seeing this villain and this other side of Gotham, it is a refreshing change from you typical Batman story. This is exactly the type of story we need after the epic nature of Zero Year. Being able to see Batman using his skills to track down a lesser known threat reminds us what we love about Batman's character.

As for the story taking place after BATMAN ETERNAL, it's an interesting move. Granted, there aren't loads of spoilers that will prevent you from enjoying the rest of that series. In a simple two-page spread, we see little updates about where Batman will be and the fates of certain characters, such as Catwoman and Jim Gordon. If anything, it makes you look forward to how that series will play out even more. There was also a minor thing in this issue that shouldn't be overlooked.

The Bad

It's always hard to go to a smaller scale or self-contained story after a big Scott Snyder arc. We get a pretty fascinating story here but having it limited to a single issue lets you know it will be resolved neatly by the end of the issue. There are some that want shorter stories while others enjoy the longer formed ones. Coming off an almost year-long arc, this is almost a bit of a shock. But it's still a story that can be enjoyed.

It's interesting to see this series go from Zero Year to the immediate future, after BATMAN ETERNAL. It makes sense to not focus on the current ETERNAL storyline time period so this story can have a separate feel but it's a little jarring to go from the past to the near future. It's not fully clear that this issue takes place in this immediate future but Snyder has mentioned this in interviews.

The Verdict

Batman is back in the present and is on the hunt for an unknown killer. Anytime we get to see Batman hit the streets and use his skills to track down a threat is a treat. Scott Snyder is joined by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Scalera in bringing us this story focused on a single killer. Those that have complained about the longer story arcs should rejoice in seeing Batman get to the bottom of this mystery. Scalera's art perfectly fits the story and definitely leaves us wanting more from him. Despite the story being a self-contained one, you get a sense that there is something else going on. Don't miss out on this one.

33 Comments Refresh
Posted by Squalleon

One of the best issues of Snyder's run and Scalera's art was a treat to look at.

Posted by DcNoobReviews

yay no more zero year, yay no more cappulo

Posted by DrellAssassin

yay no more zero year, yay no more cappulo

This man was either wrongfully informed that it's opposite day or he's on crazy pills.

Edited by MrTummyTumms

yay no more zero year, yay no more cappulo

Silence!!

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Edited by MadeinBangladesh

YES!! Can't wait to read this! Zero year is over for good!!!!!!!

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Posted by NightFang
Edited by longbowhunter

I always enjoy these smaller bumper issues between lengthy arcs. Duggan has a good handle on Batman and seeing Matteo Scalera draw the Dark Knight is like having a wish fulfilled. Good issue.

Posted by MuyJingo

yay no more zero year, yay no more cappulo

Only a short break.

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

@nightfang said:
@dcnoobreviews said:

yay no more zero year, yay no more cappulo

About Zero Year being over, not Greg Cupallo

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Posted by fil123

One of the best issues of Snyder's run and Scalera's art was a treat to look at.

actually snyder only got co-story credit, as duggan helped with the story and actually did the writing.

still an amazing stand alone issue

Posted by Radx_Konkin75

Is this a good jumping on point?

Posted by obsidian_raindrop1

Yeah detective work!!!!

Also did anyone else find it weird that Batman was able to pretend to be Leslie Tompkins and the killer couldn't tell or feel the difference between a two-hundred pound guy in a bat-suit and a hundred and ten pound doctor.

Posted by DcNoobReviews

@drellassassin: cappulo wasnt on this issue, and zero year is over, im right about everything i said.

Posted by Owie

I personally loved Zero Year, but this was a nice fill-in issue before the next arc.

Posted by Jayc1324

Very refreshing. This is what we needed after zero year and I'm more excited than ever for endgame to begin.

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Posted by CaptainHoopla

This was an excellent filler issue. I just love Scalera's art. It made me think, if Buccellato and Manapul weren't doing such a good job, Duggan and Scalera would be a great team on Detective Comics, although I don't want him to stop drawing Black Science anytime soon.

Posted by soumya

I just want Scalera to draw for an ongoing title where his art fits perfect.I wish him to see on Detective Comics one day.

Posted by IDontLikeBirds

Finally glad Zero Year is over. I liked it at first, but it felt too long, and I decided to skip on the last few issues. Glad to finally be able to jump back in.

Posted by bennyq

I didn't realise Leslie knew Batman's identity

Posted by RustyRoy

This is the best characterization of Bruce/Batman I've seen from Snyder's run, great issue, loved it. I know I said that last issue was favorite from Snyder's run but I liked this one even more. Can't wait for the next one.

Posted by RustyRoy

And the art was also amazing.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

This art was awesome

Posted by CaptainHoopla

@soumya: You reading Black Science? His art with Dean Whites coloring is otherworldly, no pun intended.

Posted by entropy_aegis

@rustyroy said:

This is the best characterization of Bruce/Batman I've seen from Snyder's run, great issue, loved it. I know I said that last issue was favorite from Snyder's run but I liked this one even more. Can't wait for the next one.

Agreed but this was Duggan's baby,now I'm sold on Arkham Manor.

Posted by RustyRoy

@rustyroy said:

This is the best characterization of Bruce/Batman I've seen from Snyder's run, great issue, loved it. I know I said that last issue was favorite from Snyder's run but I liked this one even more. Can't wait for the next one.

Agreed but this was Duggan's baby,now I'm sold on Arkham Manor.

Didn't notice his name when I read the issue, he's good.

Posted by bennyq

I didn't realise Leslie knew Batman's identity

Posted by Batman404

Yeah detective work!!!!

Also did anyone else find it weird that Batman was able to pretend to be Leslie Tompkins and the killer couldn't tell or feel the difference between a two-hundred pound guy in a bat-suit and a hundred and ten pound doctor.

Yes that was simply stupid. The frame where the killer slams his arms down around her doesn't make sense once Batman is revealed. There is no way he could have done that with it being Batman, he's twice her size in all directions. Giving Batman all of the over the top tech is ruining it for me.

Edited by arkay74

Digital Face Mask??? That was super lazy and also ruined it for me.

Posted by Jphu8414

I instantly became of a fan of Scalera's art after this issue, blew me away.

@arkay74 said:

Digital Face Mask??? That was super lazy and also ruined it for me.

Well this isn't the first time he's used it, and hey he is Batman after all lol

Posted by Harryvine

Here's a spoiler for you fickle Batfans:

Batman has THE BEST GADGETS. Wanna know why? He's a brilliant paranoid crime-fighter who "has 5 contingency plans for everything". He thinks of everything and then builds an answer. That's why he's Superman's equal. Enjoy the twist and continue your life. Don't come on here and post, "may drop it, dunno bout this week, felt lazy". Nobody cares. If that tech was used on Arrow we'd shoot loads over it for months but it's lazy in a comic book. Right....

Next on the docket: Zero Year. It was an outstanding story that features the origin of the Joker, the Riddler getting his due as a badass, Batman's relationship with Jim and Lucius, and Batman kicking ass without using anything other than wits and trust. If a story is long, that's a great thing...not a bad thing. Don't you want to be told a story? Unless you get a headache after 20 pages and really need that month to cool down so you can read again.

While we're at it, anything was better than Death of the Family. Here's my spoilers: Joker cut off his face! Whoa he's a superfreaky psychopath with homosexual tendencies for Batman and wants him all to himself. He also knows that Bruce is Batman but doesn't care because that's not funny. Meanwhile the Bat-Family finds out something they already knew: Bruce is a duplicitous, untrustworthy prick who withheld the info that Joker may know who we all are but won't act on it because he doesn't find it funny. Until he does and tricks the "family" into thinking he cut off their faces which he didn't...because that's funny. Get it? Epilogue: (Bruce to Team) We're still on a need-to-know basis which means I will never ever have a normal agenda-less relationship with any of you. Just because he killed Jason and paralyzed Barbara doesn't mean the Joker is all bad. Heck, he teamed up with Dick and Damian when I went missing in time so you guys should really trust my judgement. Team's Response: Nah. Joker? Joke's on you Bats because they hate you and I got what I wanted: The Death of the Family. Get it? Hilarious.

Edited by Jayc1324

I thought him pretending to be leslie was awesome. Nothing to complain about there. Kind of upset we have to wait til October for the next issue though...

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Posted by chaddum96

I thought the killer had a real Joker-looking smile, so I thought something would come up about that. Cool art and good story. This felt kind of like it belonged in Detective Comics.

Edited by Cave_Duck

Yeah detective work!!!!

Also did anyone else find it weird that Batman was able to pretend to be Leslie Tompkins and the killer couldn't tell or feel the difference between a two-hundred pound guy in a bat-suit and a hundred and ten pound doctor.

Same here, it was pretty stupid having him that close- they could've been at a distance for the same effect.

Although I did like the hologram camo on the Batmobile, that was a cool touch.