How many times have we heard how great Scott Snyder's BATMAN is? Even with the thousands of Batman stories over the years, it's easy to say with certainty that Snyder is one of the greatest Batman writers we've seen. Snyder and Capullo have hit the ground running since the "New 52" brought some slight changes to the DC Universe. Somehow, the two manage to make each issue of Batman better than the previous. With BATMAN#5, you have to be prepared to be blown away.
It might sound like a lot of hype. Snyder has been doing the unthinkable. We are seeing Batman completely thrown off guard. This is the hero that is supposed to have a contingency plan for everything. It turns out he wasn't quite prepared for his current situation. He is still surviving. Other heroes would have been broken completely in half the time that has gone by between this and the last issue.
Batman is facing an opponent unlike any he's faced before. Bane may have "broken the bat" but that hardly compares to what is going on here. The way Capullo lays out the story here is a trip. Let it be known that you won't be reading this in a traditional fashion. To mimic what must be going on, you'll find yourself getting a little more active as you follow through the story. This was completely intentional and it was a brilliant move.
Is this the best issue of Batman ever? Can Snyder and Capullo top this one next month?
It's not often I find myself re-reading a comic book more than three times before even writing a review. Even the best issues rarely get a second read immediately. This is an issue of BATMAN you won't soon forget. Snyder and Capullo are putting Batman through the ringer and you almost get the impression that they despise the character (which they don't). The first time I read this, I had a heavy feeling in my chest. It was a feeling where I had to let out my breath and say "whoah..." It's an added treat that the issue is laid out in an unconventional manner.
There are moments in the comic that are almost disturbing. Not in a grotesque way but just the sinking feeling you get. Snyder and Capullo deserve as much praise for this issue as possible. I've read it a few times already and I know I will be reading it many more times before the next issue arrives. This is what great comic books should aspire to. I can easily say without having read the rest of this week's comics that this will be the best of the week. I'd even be willing to say that this has a damn good chance of being my favorite issue of the year. Reading Snyder and Capullo's BATMAN is like being on the best roller coaster in the world and not wanting to get off. Each issue is better than the last. How they will top this is going to be so incredibly great to see.