Review: Batman #35 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

batman35cover

Review: Batman #35
“Batman: Endgame Part One” (“The Paleman”)
Published by DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder (James Tynion IV)
Art by Greg Capullo (Kelley Jones)
Coloured by Fco Plascencia (Michelle Madsen)

(Note: I’m staying very light on spoilers for this review).

The Plot

The story begins with Bruce talking about the reconstruction of the Gotham Royal Theater after the Zero Year incident. There were concerns with the project going over budget until Wade (the architect) explains why it was necessary. Batman is having visions of him and others being overwhelmed, but awakens to find that he just suffering from some side effects of a previous attack. Bruce, Alfred, and Julia are having a discussion until they are interrupted by Wonder Woman. The attack is vicious, which forces Bruce to take some drastic measures. The attacks continue from other members of the Justice League. Batman continues to wonder what is making them so aggressive and seeking to kill him. Suddenly he comes to a terrible realization about who is behind everything, which marks a shocking return!
In the backup story, Mahreen (a doctor) is searching for five patients that are missing from Arkham. She goes home only to find them waiting for her there. They speak about who is guiding them and refer to him as the devil while maintaining that hell is located underneath Gotham. They have their orders and want to take Mahreen to speak with their boss. Each of them have stories to tell and then they reveal the sinister nature of their game.

The Breakdown

I had no idea what to really expect for this issue as Zero Year just wrapped up during issue #33. I was expecting an arc smaller in scope so I was pretty shocked at the cliffhanger. This is especially because nothing during the course of the issue was really leading into it. It’s nice having one of those “holy sh**” moments. DC could have telegraphed this far in advance and probably boosted their advance sales as a result. Therefore, I really have to commend them for holding back and actually allowing the reader to experience a genuine surprise. I liked seeing Batman use his defense/offense plans against the Justice League. It’s typical Batman utilizing weapons and ideas against them by using his analysis of them, but it’s still fun to watch. I also liked how he created a diversion in order to clear the area of bystanders for his fight with Wonder Woman. It was good to see him frantic when she was attacking. He could’ve been calm and all badass about it, but him being genuinely scared was much better. The moment between Bruce and Alfred was nice as you rarely see them laughing and joking with one another. The part with the Gotham Theater was good too as it showed how people have their own ways of dealing with the danger of Gotham City. It was brief, but I enjoy the little things that show us the spirit of Gotham. I was glad that even though we find out who is behind everything, we are still left with questions because we don’t actually see the character. As a result, this will be at the top of my reading list next month. The art had its good spots such as the theater and the final page with Superman. There was a lot of action in this issue and it was very easy to follow, which is the most important part for me with these types of sequences. Another thing that I like about Capullo’s work is his backgrounds. They often contain a lot of detail and it’s often overlooked. The colours were well done and really made some of the pages look richer. The backup story was effective at building up the mood of what’s coming Batman’s way. It also provided a renewed sense of danger with this arc. The price tag was high at 5 bucks, but there were also 30 pages of story so I was okay with it this month. Overall, I enjoyed this issue.

BUT…

During the part with the construction of the theater, it was stated that the building began over four years ago (close to Zero Year). This part kind of stopped me from reading in my tracks because I started to do the math in my head. I thought that Justice League #1 started five years in the past from the rest of the number 1’s. It’s not a big deal, but it took me out of the story right off the bat. When Wonder Woman attacked, she shoved his face into the floor (or wall) and he really should’ve looked more messed up after that. I actually wondered if that panel really happened because it was pretty vicious and I would imagine his nose would’ve been busted up at the very least. There were some things about the art I didn’t care for in some spots, but it really wasn’t enough to take away from my enjoyment of the story overall.  I ended up getting one of the Monster covers, but I really wanted the regular one with Batman fighting the Justice League. Oh well.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It. Kudos to DC for not spoiling this one ahead of time for the sake of drumming up sales. I was heavily leaning towards buying this one, but after Grey told me that it was well worth it I decided to grab it for sure. I’m glad I did, it’s not often that I’m allowed to be surprised these days with the Big Two (even Valiant telegraphed a Renegade dying in Harbinger). The tone of this arc makes it seem that this may be a game changer and this is what has me sold on reading it. I will elaborate more upon why I am looking forward to this arc on the next review because by then there will be less to spoil. This was a fun read that actually made me go a bit fanboyish this month.

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