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Is It Good? Batman #9 Review

Scott Snyder made a name for himself back in March 2010 with his exquisite creator-owned book American Vampire and shocked the world with The Black Mirror storyline in Detective Comics starting later that year in November. Many readers, me included, loved his take on Batman. Lo and behold, DC picked Snyder to write their first New 52 Batman comic. If you’ve been reading our ComiX Weekly column, you’ll know I’ve liked and sometimes loved the first 8 issues of this series. Chances are I’ll like Batman #9, but Is It Good?

Batman #9 (DC)

This issue opens with Batman donning his Iron-Bat suit and giving the Court of Owls hell in the Batcave. But I’m getting ahead of myself; it actually opens with a little fun-fact history lesson about the first Wayne Manor owners having to get rid of the bats in the caves under the manor. What did they use? Owls. Fitting, then, that a giant Iron Bat gets rid of a new infestation in the cave. An infestation of a whole lot of Owls, only this time they are brain dead reanimated bodies with ninja skills. Not much of a change, really.

Love this suit.

The issue continues from the main story set up in issue #1, but instead of Wayne feeling powerless and alone as he has the entire story, this issue does a good job symbolically and emotionally showing Bruce Wayne/Batman coming to grips with his enemy. It’s an empowering issue for his character and the turning of the tide as it were.

Batman is so deep. His psychologist must be a fortune.

Readers also get a quick recap of where all the other bat-centric heroes are at as far as fighting the Court of Owls. The story feels a little thin, but as story arcs go this is the end of act two. Time for the climax. It isn’t a whole chapter or even a whole act. The new way of storytelling in comics it seems.

Not sure I like the pincers on this Batmobile.

You’ll note Batman takes a price hike this issue from $2.99 to $3.99 although it does come with an additional 10 page booster story. The story follows a letter written by Jarvis Pennyworth to his son Alfred. The art is very moody and dark, which helps set the tone of the haunted mansion that is Wayne Manor.

Great place for a kid to grow up.

I’m not sure how I feel about this booster story. I understand the New 52 is changing these heroes, and it’s clear Snyder is trying to instill the Court of Owls into Batman’s history, but to what end? Based on the quality of writing he’s delivering I suspect it’s going to be very good, but it’s always touchy when the history of something you love is played around with. Then again, another argument could point out Batman doesn’t have much of a history. People might as well tinker with the toys, as they say.

This guy has been watching Avatar too much.

The problem with rewriting Batman’s past though, is you could potentially change the hero enough to make everything flawed. It’s a very delicate thing.

This is a good issue, but not necessarily a great one. The pacing is a bit off, and again the trade waiters will probably think it’s the perfect chapter in the series. But as a single issue purchase? Find out in today’s ComiX Weekly, our weekly comic review roundup, to see if this good issue can make it into our ten dollar budget.

Is It Good?

Yes, with some reservations.


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