Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Paul's Picks!

Well, it's that time again folks: Wednesday! And you know what Wednesday is?... Well, of course you do, you're reading a blog about comics, so you obviously know it's New Comics Day, a.k.a. Paul's favorite weekly holiday! And in celebration of this weekly, well, celebration, Paul is here to give you his favorite book of the week.

Batman #3 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Get 'im Bats. 
When I picked up this weeks pulls, I didn't have many books to choose from. With only a handful of books at my disposal, surely this week's favorite would be an easy pick, right? On any other week, perhaps; but not this week. With Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman, the Johns/Lee Justice League, and Snyder's Batman, I knew from the get-go that this was going to be a tough one. I instantly found myself struggling with that age-old dilemma: which book do I read first? Do I lead out with the best and then read the rest, or do I put my favorite on the bottom so that I'll get through everything else and have it to finish strong? Decisions, decisions...

So I started with JL. I figured with three heavy-hitters, it didn't matter which I started or ended with; they would all be good. While JL was great and all, I'll admit it didn't do for me what issue #2 did. Then it was on to Wonder Woman. Man, does Azzarello know how to write this character! I love where he is taking the Themyscirean Princess. However, Scott Snyder arose victorious once again with this month's issue of Batman. When the New 52 rolled out, I'll admit I was a bit skeptical of the tentpole series. Tony Daniel has written some good stuff in his day, but I was all but burnt out by the time we got here. Ever since Morrison had moved on to Batman and Robin (which was absolutely AMAZING! If you haven't read it, go do so now), Bats' solo book was "meh" at best. With so many Bat-books to choose from in the DCnU, something had to get cut.

Tell me this guy doesn't creep you out.
Boy, was I wrong. Scott Snyder has swooped in on his very first arc and won me over whole-heartedly. My co-blogger Seth said to me early on, "This could be the next epic Batman story of our time." I couldn't agree more. This book has everything we know and love about Batman: cool/creepy villain (but not too creepy, Dollmaker), mystery solving, awesome action, and a tough-as-nails Batman. I mean, in issue #2, he was stabbed multiple times! Then what does he do? He jumps out a flipping window. And a day later, he's running around the city in his Batsuit. This, more than any of the others, is Batman's book. He's the star, and he wears that mantle with ease.

In this epic tale of mystery, Batman (and Bruce Wayne, separately) is being pursued by an assassin taking on the persona of an owl. This strange figure is supposed to be the Talon, an assassin employed by the secretive "Court of Owls" in Gotham City, which up until now has been seen as nothing more than a fable. However, once Batman comes in contact with the Talon in the second issue, he must at the very least consider the possibility that this Court does indeed exist. The story says that the Court has been manipulating Gotham from the shadows for decades, dating back to Bruce's ancestor Alan Wayne, who became insane in the end, claiming that he saw owls all over his home.

I love this story! Scott has created something that is his own, which I can see becoming a strong part of the Batman canon. What could be a better villain for the Bat than owls, the natural predator of bats? From the very first issue, I new Snyder was making something special here. When I read that first issue, where Batman was considering just what "Gotham is..." I knew that he would soon discover that Gotham is not what he always thought. The city has become a character as much or more in Snyder's three short issues as in any other Batman story I've read. The city is alive, and it holds secrets that even Bruce Wayne and Batman have yet to discover. There are so many possibilities with this book going forward, and I totally trust Scott Snyder to make it something unforgettable.

And tell me you don't love Greg Capullo's Batman? In a publishing lineup with A-listers like Jim Lee and David Finch drawing the Bat, one could easily face a lot of criticism, or at the very least, unfair comparisons. That hasn't slowed Capullo down one bit. He swooped in and made his mark instantly. He somehow manages to draw his Batman as gritty and tough, while also making him smooth and distinct from any other depiction of the character in a great way. There have been many occasions in reading comics both good and bad when I thought to myself, "I bet this story would look amazing at the hands of someone like Jim Lee or Frank Quietly." When it comes to Greg Capullo's Batman, there is no one in the market that I'd rather see drawing this story. I could see this book becoming iconic, and in doing so the Snyder/Capullo team could be one of those combo's you can't pass up, such as Morrison/Quietly or, as of now, Johns/Lee.

If it sounds like I have nothing but love for this book... it's because I have nothing but love for this book. Snyder and Capullo have teamed up to bring what is easily the best Batman series coming out of the DCnU. If for some strange reason you have been unable to pick this one up, whether due to a) a zombie apocalypse, b) you have no soul, or even c) you hit your head and forgot who you were, which in turn caused you to forget to swing by the comic store and grab it before it sold out, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Go and buy this book! At the very least, buy it digitally! Come on, it's not expensive, and trust me when I say you will not regret it.

And just in case you need any more convincing, check out this newly released preview cover for Issue #6, coming in February.

You know you wanna read THAT. Get on board while you still can.


  1. Paul, I love how excited you over when you write these columns. You're our resident fanboy!

    And yeah, I called this one. Knew going into it that it would be incredible and it hasn't let me down.

  2. I definitely need to start getting batman

  3. You have won a free comic, sir.

  4. This sounds great. Ill have to grab a copy soon.

  5. It's amazing, the whole series is. It's one of those books you know isn't going to disappoint when you pick it up.