Stuart's Pick of the Week for 12.11.13: Batman #26

Stuart's Pick of the Week for 12.11.13: Batman #26

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No doubt what this pick would be… I had a few things to choose from this week for my pick of the week.  I pulled Batman, Batman: Black and White, Justice League and Justice League of America.  Black and White was pretty awful, and the Justice League titles were not too bad, but whenever Snyder’s Batman comes out, you can bet that it will be the best thing I read that week!   The art is, as always, top notch and it starts with the opening panel.

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Coloring Batman’s World…

I love the art in the panel; the coloring, the retro feel. Just beautiful. Greg Capullo’s pencils really shine in this issue as he shows these grotesque images of the villain and his handy work later in the issue.  What has stood out over this “Zero Year” run is the coloring.  The Zero Year has been done by FCO Plascencia.  The colors are very vibrant, sometimes trippy in nature.   Bright blues, greens, purples and pinks are the order of the day. This is a big departure from those deep blacks that are so associated with Batman titles.  The older Bruce we read about in the Court of Owls is much more tainted by the evils of Gotham and Gotham has become a place of shadows and darkness.

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Many have speculated as to why the colors have changed, but I believe it is because Batman has yet to be tainted.  He has yet to discover all the awfulness that Gotham has to offer.  Bruce is still young and full of hope, almost naive.  He has been seen in the suit fighting during the day.   He has the old school suit (complete with purple gloves that he had in his earliest appearances) and a buzz cut.  Capullo was asked about this decision and he said it was done because Bruce is going to war and shaves his head like any soldier would.

A New Villain…

In this issue we are introduced to a new villain named Dr. Death.  He has a scary injection he gives people that causes their bones to grow and grow until they die a very painful death.  He alludes to knowing Bruce and his past, but there is only a hint.  I’m interested to see where they are going with him because he isn’t grabbing me the way the Court assassins did.   He is visually striking but not much else so far.  I know Snyder has something up his sleeve, I just can’t quite see it.

Bruce v Gordon…

What I liked the most was the scenes between Bruce and Gordon.  So often we see this relationship as Gordon being suspicious of Batman and his intentions.  Here we see Bruce being suspicious and angry with Gordon, questioning his character.  Bruce confronts Gordon with the memory he had as child in the back of Gordon’s police car.  Bruce accuses him of being crooked, of being paid off with the iconic trench coat he wears the night that his parents were killed.   This is quite a revelation I feel because that means that every time Bruce has ever seen Gordon in current times, he has associated him in some way with the death of his parents, whether it was warranted or not.  Now I think this will be cleared up when we see the big picture, but it still has to be in the back of his mind whenever Gordon comes around in current times.  Things between Bruce and Gordon get physical quickly.  Bruce pushes him, grabs Gordon’s gun and points at him, saying that what he remembers most vividly about when his parents were killed was “this view.”  Striking.  Bruce with a gun.  That says it all really.

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The accusation that Bruce levels is a very serious one.  Bruce often gets angry it seems but when it comes to the death of his parents, he takes it to a new level.  Gordon responds only by saying that “we all have things-dark things.”  We can only guess at this point as to what he was going to say. This is the dynamic I want to see most explored and Snyder has been handling it masterfully as he turns it on it’s head.  How will Bruce and Gordon make up and become the team that we all remember in the later years?  It ends with Batman walking into a trap and things don’t go well in the end it would appear.

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So do yourself a favor and pick up Batman #26, the continuation of Zero Year.  You won’t be disappointed!

An Infinite Source for Source Materials

An Infinite Source for Source Materials

Phil Noto

Phil Noto