REVIEW: Batman #51

After last issues battle royale with Mr Bloom, it’s a more reflective Batman that takes up his gargoyle vigil as Gotham’s silent guardian.  This is the final issue of Scott Snyder’s and Greg Capullo’s massive run on this book.  As such, its more of a good-bye even as the recognition that Batman endures is metaphorically played with throughout the issue.

It has been said by many, me included, that Snyder can only write over long stories where the conclusion very rarely hits the height of the setup.  This issue proves that he can write smaller stories, although a cynic may point out that this story is all set up but waits for others via Rebirth to add to it.  As a one-off issue, it’s a great read, cementing Bruce Wayne, Batman et-al in their rightful places, in a mostly satisfying reset button manner, even if the return of an appendage seems to get little panel space.

Despite the over blown stories of the past issues, one thing has been abundantly clear.  Greg Capullo is a fantastic artist.  Dynamic figure work, great facial expressions, driving characters through creative panel structures have made this run fantastic to look at and potentially made Capullo the premier Batman artist.  Sure, it can get a tad overcrowded even action orientated but there is a strong underlying ability to tell the story.  Regardless of which characters are featured in the book, Capullo treats them with respect, never short-changing their time in the pages.  Adding in to the mix is the fantastic colors from FCO Plascencia giving this issue a motion picture like quality.

This issue looks back at various points of the run, remnants of which still survive in Gotham.  It’s good to see the Court for example, still out to retake Gotham as their own; Gordon checking to see it the status quo has returned to his clandestine Bat meetings all add to the texture of Snyder’s Gotham.

Taking all the above into consideration, this issue is a cheesy, sugar-coated treat that if you over indulge, will no doubt rot your teeth and make you vomit.  As a one-off dessert to the multitudes of main courses that Snyder and Capullo have served up over the last fives years, its perfect.

Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Color – 5 Stars

STORY BY Scott Snyder
ART BY Greg Capullo, Danny Miki
COLORS BY FCO Plascencia
LETTERS BY Steve Wands

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