Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dynamic Duo Review - Batman #11 and Batman and Robin #11

 Batman #11
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo

It's all been building up to this. For the better part of a year, Scott Snyder's bestselling book has put Bruce Wayne through the ringer, culminating with the reveal that he could possibly have a long lost brother. Thomas Wayne Jr. aka Lincoln March is the beak of the Court of the Owls. He claims to have been abandoned by the Waynes and is here to reclaim his city.  The book is fast paced with huge set pieces, delivering a brutal fight between Batman and what seems to be the new incarnation of Owl Man. This makes sense as Owl Man was Bruce's evil doppelganger from another world.

Greg Capullo is on top of his game here with his somewhat dark, murkier pallet still achieving a vibrant, animated quality. His Batman is tired and fed up with March showing no signs of quitting until the end.

I'm sure we have not seen the last of the Court of the Owls or Lincoln March. There is a nice moment between Bruce and Dick after it's all said and done. It just adds on to the mystery of whether or not Lincoln is actually Thomas Jr. This run has been a roller coaster ride, and now we are heading back up the slope as Snyder prepares to reintroduce The Joker into the New 52. Batman is constantly a must read and I hope Scott stays on for a while. He's kept the universe fresh and exciting since he's been given the reigns. 

Batman and Robin #11
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

This issue starts off strong, continuing with Damian's plan to take out all the previous Robin's, proving he's the best. I love Damian. He's possibly my favorite character in comics right now. The audacity of leaving a crow bar in Jason Todd's bed is one of those things that lets you know he's screwing around, but he's not. After Damian is through putting Jason through an exercise in tolerance, the story begins to go downhill as a ton of nobodies begin branding the citizens of Gotham with the bat logo. This is all part of some grand scheme by Terminus who was introduced last issue. We're no closer to figuring anything out about this villain as things just get whackier and whackier.

Patrick Gleason's layouts are ballin' in this issue and most of his scenes are rendered beautifully. There are some odd faces and expressions littered throughout, though, making it seemed rushed. I would really like to have a print of Damian riding around with the Red Hood's helmet as a hood ornament.

This story arc has seemed to veer away from the personal conflict of the first eight issues in favor of traditional super hero flare. I hope they will get back to the heart of the new direction of this book; the relationship between Bruce and Damian. The issue is worth it for the Damian and Jason brawl at the beginning, but there's not really much else to get excited about.

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