Scott Snyder’s first story arc ended with issue #11 and I’m going to wager most folks were happy with it. I for one thought the overall arc’s pacing went from great to good, and finally to way too fast. Batman #12 serves as an epilogue to that arc and the beginning of the next one. Snyder has stated that Joker is his favorite villain in all of fiction and judging by the preview material he’s going to get to play around with his favorite soon. This is the column where I read and review the hottest comic of the week and answer the question…is it good?
Batman #12 (DC Comics)
This issue follows a girl named Harper Row and her relationship with Batman. Told over the course of the first few issues of Snyder’s series, Row discovers a little electric trick Batman uses to not only sustain the Gotham grid but also control cameras in his vicinity. This prevents any clear recordings of himself from hitting the Internet. It appears as if she’s going to be an important co-star of Batman’s as the issue reveals Bruce Wayne had invited her to his party that occurred in issue #1.
Harper has a gay brother who is tormented by classmates and what appears to be a gang. It’s a little strange how he reacts though; he’s almost unconcerned with their violence. I understand it’s to protect Harper, but if you’ve got a slash on your arm that requires bandages it’s getting pretty serious.
Pulling the old Master comma Bruce on Alfred doesn’t work!
Snyder has captured the voice of these characters quite well. I’m curious if he’s hung out at the mall snooping on teenagers, or maybe he’s just a great writer. By issue’s end you feel for Harper and her brother and actually want to know more about them.
Good old multi-paneled ass whooping.
Batman makes fleeting appearances in this issue and for the most part he’s a force that flashes in and out. Probably how he’s viewed by the public and Harper. Essentially Harper is a way for Snyder to show the public’s—and by extension the reader’s—perception of the Dark Knight. If he can sustain Harper in the series that will add a layer to the character you don’t normally see. That is, when we see Batman hanging out with Robin, we see less of his mystique, and more of just a really crazy man who knows karate.
Becky Cloonan is an inspired choice for this issue. You can tell she feasts on the scenes of normal people talking. When Batman does show up it’s a little awkward, but that awkwardness might actually be intentional. Unfortunately it makes it a shock when Andy Clarke’s pencils take over on page 22. His hyper detailed style might not have been the best choice, especially considering how soft Cloonan’s work is.
Please don’t make her into a bat girl or some such.
It’s always cool when a writer takes a character and infuses them into Batman’s operations, though. Like Lucius Fox in Christopher Nolan’s movies, Harper appears to be his new tech savvy helper on the ground level. We’ll see if Snyder takes this further or if this is a one shot deal.
Tongues don’t make you into sharks!
When Tiger Shark shows up…it’s a little odd. It’s as if an editor required more action. I for one would have enjoyed more interaction between Harper and Batman, but maybe they’re saving that for another day.
This is a great done-in-one story which expands Batman’s universe with a new and interesting character. Check back later today to see if it’s good enough to make it into our ten dollar budget in our ComiX Weekly reviews.
Is It Good?