Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo’s take on Batman is fantastic.  The story glides with seemingly minimal effort to a cliffhanger ending that has me very much anticipating issue #2.

The issue starts off by taking a broader look at Gotham City and what it means to the people who live there, and then it quickly moves into a massive fight between Batman and some of his greatest enemies within the walls of Arkham Asylum, where it appears that one of the workers is involved in some less than legal activities.  During the course of the melee, Batman seems to recruit a very unusual partner to help him fight off the villains.  From here the story moves away from Batman for a short time and focuses more on Bruce Wayne at a dinner party, where he reveals to Gotham’s elite his plans to rebuild and revitalize the city from the decrepit condition it is currently in.  However, in the midst of the party he is pulled back into his detective work as the Dark Knight when he gets word of a grisly murder across town, and it only gets better after that with some key clues he finds at the crime scene.

Scott Snyder writes a brilliant first issue here, with wonderful pacing and just enough action in the first few pages to completely hook readers for the rest of the issue, if not the rest of this story arc.  The writing flows so well that I just kept turning pages and was actually surprised when I reached the end because I had lost all concept of how far I was into the issue.  Snyder has written Batman stories before, so it’s obvious that he feels very comfortable and at home with this character and his supporting cast.

Greg Capullo’s art isn’t incredibly realistic, but it is able to portray movement and action very well.  The large fight scene from the beginning of the book is a perfect example.  People are getting punched and kicked and generally just thrown all over the place, and even though they are just still pictures on a comic book page, at some points you really do get the impression that they are moving and there are bodies flying around in front of you.  The pages with less action do have a tendency to look somewhat cartoonish at times, but it still fits well into the story and the art seems like it belongs.

There really isn’t much more to say about this issue, except that I hope all of them are as good as this.  It’s fantastic; go pick it up as soon as you can.


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