***Miss last issue? Check out issue #51!***
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
This is the last issue of this volume of Batman. Because, you know, it’s the New 52. And this is issue #52. Oh, and Batman makes a list, and the important item is number 52.
I’m almost glad all these New 52 books are relaunching. They’re getting a little too cute with their number games…
A short time after the Waynes are murdered, Leslie Thompkins asks young Bruce to compile a list of things he needs to do to move on with his life. It’s not an easy list to compile, however. Years later, the things Bruce wrote down resurface in a manner that requires the attention of Batman. But what exactly is on that list?
A few quick words on James Tynion IV: His contributions to this Batman run should never be looked over. Scott Snyder may have been in the driver’s seat, but Tynion was a hell of a co-pilot with his back-ups on a lot of those issues. One that immediately comes to mind is issue #15, in which he and Jock put The Riddler over really well (and this was pre-Zero Year). Another amazing little story was “The Pit” with Rafael Albuquerque from issue #23. There are moments in this Batman series where I wondered Tynion actually understood Batman better than Snyder did. So if Snyder isn’t going to be the one to close this chapter of Batman’s career, Tynion damn sure deserves it.
That being said, Riley Rossmo’s art is awkward at times. He’s by no means a bad artist. He draws a pretty good Alfred. But there are panels where Batman’s eyes get a little too big and buggy for my taste. At different points he also looks a little too stringy, particularly on the final page. Part of that is Rossmo’s style, which is fair enough. But c’mon, this is Batman we’re talking about.
Also, what exactly is up with Leslie’s hair (shown left)? Is that supposed to be a retro hairdo? It’s more distracting than anything else. Why does Leslie have a cat sleeping on her head?
On the plus side, Rossmo draws what seems to be a nice little tribute to Batman: The Animated Series in this issue (shown below). He incorporates it into the story nicely. Artistically, it’s one of the highlights of the book.
The idea of Bruce creating a list like this is interesting. We don’t get to see a lot of it, which is fine. It’s probably best left to the imagination. We do see a few entries however…
- #1. Disappear.
- #7. Feel nothing.
- #21. Let go of everything.
- #33. Make them feel what I feel.
- #45. Don’t let anybody else leave me.
What’s great about these sentiments is that while these feel like things a child might have written, in different ways you can apply them to both Batman and young Bruce Wayne. Tynion, Rossmo, and the team do a lovely job of illustrating that. They also hit us with a really good tearjerker in the second half of the issue when Alfred makes an addition to Bruce’s list.
Batman #52 is a serviceable conclusion to this volume of The Dark Knight’s adventures. Thankfully, Tynion returns to Batman’s world next month in Detective Comics #894. I’m pleased to see him getting the top billing on a Bat-book. He’s earned his stripes in Gotham City. While this may not be his best work, he’s got a chance to make some great comics going forward. That’s good news for both Tynion and Batman.
Image 1 from gamespot.com. Image 2 from comicvine.com.
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