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Batman #42

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By Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia

Despite the slow start, the new status quo of Batman has been really special. Snyder’s Batman has always been about symbolism. With Capullo’s help, said symbolism is both subtle and beat-you-over-the-head obvious. Issue #42 offers both kinds, but the obvious kind is just as great.

Throughout the entire issue, Batman as a symbol and legacy are brought up and discussed. Even when it’s not the topic between characters, Snyder and Capullo manage to sneak it into the action and basically everywhere else. What is Batman? Snyder’s Batman is often about hope. He represents the best Gotham has to offer. Without Batman, can Gotham rise above the ashes and become something self-sufficient?

As far as plot goes, a few “seeds” are being planted (there’s that symbolism again). Gordon is still adjusting to being Batman and what being the Dark Knight means. He manages to have some very touching conversations with Julia Pennyworth and Maggie Sawyer (the new commissioner). Julia has recently been in Bruce’s life, thanks to Batman Eternal and Endgame, meaning that she has managed to see him at his lowest, as well as his most triumphant. She offers a wonderful outside view of what Batman represents, thanks to Snyder’s stunning insight.

The bad guys are starting to pop up, just as Gordon is trying to settle. Criminals previously put away by Gordon are suddenly loose and with superpowers. They also have “seeds” implanted into their ankles that are radioactive and put there by a mysterious villain. There is definitely a rabbit hole to go down, but Snyder is setting things up before we start spiraling.

As always, Capullo is on-point. His action scenes are always a treat, although this issue’s highlights are the more intimate settings. Capullo excels at these scenes as well, with powerful facial expressions to make great scenes even more impactful.

Gordon and his Batsuit require a different style of fighting compared to Bruce’s. That means the fighting is messier and can sometimes resemble a Power Ranger Zord fight. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. This Capullo guy is pretty good.

Snyder and Capullo have a truly intriguing concept on their hands. Instead of ham-handedly throwing said concept at the wall and applying zero depth (like the whole Superior Spider-Man story), these guys have managed to change things up and provide new insight into a character that has been around for over 76 years. That’s not exactly an easy feat to accomplish.

Batman 42 cover

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