Batman: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia, Richard Starkings, Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt, Andy Clarke, Tomeu Morey
The Fall of the House of Wayne: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Rafael Albuquerque, Dave McCaig, Dezi Sienty
Alright, so this is it: the showdown. The fate of Gotham. The fate of the Court of Owls. The fate of Batman himself. Here comes the issue #10 spoiler…the identity of the Court…the person who’s been behind it all this whole time: Lincoln March, mayoral candidate…and Bruce Wayne’s brother. Alleged! Alleged! We still don’t know for sure if it’s true, at this point.
He says his real name is Thomas Wayne Jr., and he’s as convinced that he’s the son of Wayne as Bruce is. That makes him a truly dangerous character. Scott gives us some GREAT writing as March takes Batman around the city, showing him the sights he saw as a boy from his bedroom at the orphanage. He mentions seeing the city through the reflection of a high-rise window, “reversed and unnatural.” Oh man, I think I just peed my pants with how awesome that is. He literally is the reflection of Bruce Wayne, his goodness, his sense of right.
March confirms a lot of what Alfred’s father was saying in his letter in The Fall of the House of Wayne second-issue at the end of last ish, what with Martha Wayne visiting the young, comatose boy in the hospital. March says it was him she visited, and he believed her to be his mother…just as Alfred’s dad was saying Martha visited her second son. He wraps it all up with a brilliant metaphor of being trapped in Gotham as he always heard planes arriving at the airport, but never leaving because of the directions the runways faced.
Batman ends up falling from the sky, and he admires the city from on high, thinking it’s okay to let go now. To let it end. But, and here’s the absolute brilliance of this book, you ready? He says, as he falls back, that the city calls to him, and tells him there’s still work to do. And he says this as he sees a building under construction! Work to do? Incomplete? A building under construction? And it ends up being his salvation. Outstanding work, Snyder and Capullo.
We get an EXCELLENT wind-down scene with Bruce and Dick, and I swear with the dialog and the facial expressions, I can hear Loren Lester’s voice as Dick, like from the Batman cartoon. It just fit so perfectly for me, I laughed.
I have to comment on the art team here. There are so many beautiful images in this issue. Capullo’s just the perfect fit for Batman, and I’m so happy we have him. The COLORS are amazing. The glowing city at night, the lights in March’s owl suit eyes, the hover effect on his suit, all of the dust that flies around in this issue…it never gets boring, and it never looks like too much. That takes talent, to make DUST look unique from itself. Everything looks exactly as it should.
The finale of The Fall of the House of Wayne concludes the arc with a very powerful scene where Alfred and Bruce talk about their families before them. It’s really poignant, how Alfred talks about how little he knew his father, and how he believes his father wanted him to become the man he is today…whereas Jarvis Pennyworth actually wrote to Alfred saying to NEVER come to Gotham. Interesting, as when we lose a family member, we often wonder and assume at what they wanted for us, when we don’t know for sure. I thought this was very well represented here. I wonder if Snyder or Tynion feel this way about someone they loved, because it feels very real.
Batman #11, the verdict: Wow, almost a year later, and we’re finally to the end of the first story arc. Ha! So much for DC’s “one story per issue” plan for the relaunch. But, in all seriousness, this was the most outstanding Batman story I think I’ve ever read. There are Batman stories that I love, there are novelizations that I’ll always reread, and story arcs from the comics that I enjoy…but this is one for the history books. This is a story, a run of issues, that will always be used as a comparison. One day, people will be talking about Batman books, and they’ll lovingly refer back to the “Snyder issues.” The “Capullo art.” This is what makes timeless Batman comics, is the talent found within this year’s worth of books. All I can say is, with the most heartfelt of sentiment, thank you, Scott, Greg, Jonathan, Plascencia, and everyone who’s worked on this title since #1. Thank you for giving us the best Batman comic book that’s ever existed.
(Photo Source: Talking Comic Books)