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DC New 52 Review: Batman #2
Review for Batman (2011) 2-A

Comic Book by DC, Dec 2011

     
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October 20, 2011
DCUReview

DC New 52 Review: Batman #2

From the DCU Review:

Batman started last month as the strongest of all the New 52 offerings with its prominent and refreshing presence of Bruce Wayne, fantastic artwork by Spawn veteran, Greg Capullo, and dramatic (but not over-the-top) cliffhanger that implicated Nightwing in a brutal murder.

Scott Snyder's character development on a more sociable, lighter-hearted, but still tough as nails Bruce Wayne continues strong in this issue, as Bruce and Mayoral candidate, Lincoln March, discuss their vision for the future of Gotham City. We learn the motivations, intentions, and goals of each man, setting a stage for long-term mutual collaboration and possibly friendship between the two. Bruce and Lincoln share similar pasts and this is where the story really shines.

Lincoln explains the impact Gotham had on his life after the death of his parents at a young age: "Gotham saved me. It gave me a purpose when I was alone. Just like I'll bet it did for you." Lincoln assumes Bruce's determined investment in creating a better Gotham means that they shared similar paths in life. Obviously they didn't. Lincoln's parents were killed by a drunk driver. Bruce's parents were gunned down by a man who knew exactly what he was doing, which puts Bruce in a much darker place (like a cave full of bats). Lincoln is correct, of course. Gotham gave Bruce purpose. Not so sure it saved him though.

Another terrific aspect of this series is the Gotham legends angle behind the Court of Owls — the mysterious emerging villain of the story. After defeating an agent of the Owls, Batman says: "He tried to use Gotham's legends against me. But I'm the only legend this city needs." This is brilliant original concept, pitting the "legends" of Gotham against one another. It creates such atmosphere and character in the city itself. Gotham is coming alive, manifested by its various legends, and that concept is strongly reinforced by the strong connections Bruce and Lincoln hold to the city.

As much as I loved these elements of the story and can't wait to read issue #3, there were two significant letdowns in this issue.

First, last issue's cliffhanger with Nightwing had me craving issue #2 like crazy, but this issue's follow-up is incredibly anticlimatic. The reason Nightwing's DNA is under the victim's fingernails is because of some completely unrelated, uninteresting event. Felt a bit like a bait and switch. Thought there's be more to it than that.

Second, the fight scene at the end is ridiculous. It starts off great with Bruce consciously attacking in a way to be both effective but conceal the extent of his unique talents. Then he gets kicked out a window. And he falls halfway down from the top of Wayne Tower and lands on a gargoyle statue without the slightest bit of discomfort. How? He's just a guy in a suit, and in this case not even the Batman suit. So how does someone fall halfway down a tower — not just a building… a tower that is crazy high in comparison to the surroundings (as seen on the opening page) — and not, you know, die? Or at least break his legs, and probably his back, and probably… well, everything. Bruce Wayne isn't Spider-Man or Superman. He's a guy.in a suit and tie.

Now I know this is a comic book and it's supposed to be exciting, but I still expect there to be story logic. I expect a mortal man to have limitations. In this issue, Bruce Wayne doesn't.
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