Thursday, 18 May 2017
Batman, Volume 10: Epilogue Review (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo)
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo weren’t just the standout creative team in DC’s New 52 (to be fair that wasn’t especially hard), even managing to outlive the poorly thought-out reboot, but are also arguably the finest creative team Batman’s ever had (Grant Morrison is the greatest Batman writer but he had a revolving door of artistic talent during his run from Frank Quitely to Tony Daniel to Andy Kubert whereas Snyder had a consistent collaborator in Capullo). The Court of Owls, Death of the Family, Zero Year - all amazing Batman arcs.
So it’s disappointing that their fantastic run ends on such a weak note with Batman, Volume 10: Epilogue. I can see why DC dunit though - Batman’s a moneymaker, Snyder and Capullo’s names sell, etc. But be warned: Epilogue is essentially a dumping ground for the remaining Batman issues from that run that haven’t been printed elsewhere and only one is by Snyder/Capullo.
And their issue is definitely the best: Gotham Is… references their first book, The Court of Owls, from Batman fighting his rogues in Arkham to knocking out some Owl people. It’s not their best work but I thought it was a nice way for Snyder/Capullo to round out their run.
There’s a Future’s End issue by Ray Fawkes that’s readable but feels pointless (though I successfully avoided that event so I wouldn’t know if it’s relevant or not - probably not knowing DC!). Batman steals Lex’s Bizarro/cloning tech to make a new Batman and has to navigate Lex’s various traps. Eh. Snyder co-plotted it which is probably why it’s the only decent Ray Fawkes comic I’ve read!
There’s an extended, and unnecessary, postscript to the garbage Arkham Manor storyline by James Tynion IV. An amnesiac, pre-Bloom Bruce Wayne has to fight Riddler, Mister Freeze and Clayface for a certain number of pages before wrapping it up. Boring, stupid, forgettable: sounds like Arkham Manor to me!
Also by Tynion IV is The List, an issue about some list a juvenile Bruce made after his parents’ murders. Snooze. And the first first (because there were two #1 issues for money reasons) Rebirth Batman ish is included with Snyder’s input before handing over the reins to Tom King. Calendar Man is reimagined as a mutant who lives and dies according to the seasons. Pee-yew! Oh boy. Well, thank goodness Tom King came along when he did because Snyder was clearly losing it at that point!
The legacy of the New 52 may be largely shitty but by far the diamonds in the rough were Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman books. Most of them are definitely worth checking out for anyone looking to read some quality Batman, though it might be an idea to stop before Endgame, Bloom and this rubbish Epilogue stuff come around!