One of my favourite words in the English language is cacophony. I don’t what it is about the word, maybe its the way it rolls of the tongue, conjuring images of dark thunder clouds cascading to their ultimate crescendo. Regardless of my quirks, cacophony is definitely the word that matches this issue.
Catch up time, despite dying, coming back, losing his memory and dating the daughter of his parents killer, Bruce Wayne finally dons the cowl again to save Gotham from the dangerous Mr Bloom. For those that are screaming “spoilers” right about now, get a grip. Bruce was always going to be back in the cowl in time for the movie. So, if the journey is more important than the most obvious of destinations, how was the journey?
This whole storyline started of well; Scott Snyder taking the slow road and letting us care about Gordon as Bats. However, somewhere along the way, the book fell into a kind of holding pattern, as we waited for the return of the Dark Knight. Pacing has always been a bit of a problem for Snyder’s work. Every story moves into multiple parts and historically, the punchline very rarely matches the quality of the set up. In this case, this punchline seems to be a rehash of everything that has gone before, with Bat-bots and Joker-bots to boot. Dialogue wise, it’s a heavy read especially the final part including the epilogue.
Greg Capullo provides the art for the majority of the book and as always delivers quality, if over complicated in places. In some eyes, Capullo leaving this book is a greater loss than losing Snyder and I would tend to agree. Panel structure is all over which has come to be a bit of a trademark of this book. With that in mind, all this quality is negated by the last couple of pages from the usually splendid work of Yanick Paquette, which unfortunately pales in comparison to Capullo’s work when placed side-by-side. This in turn does leave a bitter taste in my mouth. Inks are supplied by Danny Miki, working better with Capullo than Paquette. Colors by FCO Plascencia and Nathan Fairbrian again, edge towards the better work being done on the main story.
Cacophony. There is just too much going on in this issue, both from a story point, dialogue point and the inevitable “reset” point. I have said previously, on the Capes podcasts, that Rebirth is a lazy way to get out of the corners that various writers have written themselves into. For example, Lex knowing Batman’s identity, the world knowing who Superman is. One of the quieter pieces, not addressed in this book, Wayne Enterprises is still Wayne-Powers. What is the point of a new bat-suit, if in two months time everything gets a re-shine anyways?
With Snyder and Capullo both leaving this book, I would have liked to have a swan song issue, an issue that just blows me away. Instead, I get an issue that makes me glad, this run is finally over.
STORY BY Scott Snyder
ART BY Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, Yanick Paquette