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Batman: The Black Mirror (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Batman (DC Comics)) Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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"This is going to be one of those Batman stories I remember for a very long time, as a perfect marriage of story and art."--iFanboy
"Scott Snyder, with rotating artists Jock and Francisco Francavilla, has solidified the title as the place for serious crime fiction in the Bat-universe."--The A.V. Club
"Detective Comics follows the tried-and-true formula that has been working for decades, yet it also adds layers Batman with some much-needed character flaws. Not to mention, there's a heaping splash of atmospheric art by Jock."--Complex Magazine
"Scott Snyder is, simply put, doing a career-making job...this is just killer stuff here....If you're only reading one Batman book, it should be this one, folks." --MTV Geek
"The best Batman arc in years."--Omnivoracious
"From the Hardcover edition."
About the Author
- Publisher : Turtleback Books; Bound for Schools & Libraries ed. edition (March 5, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0606268413
- ISBN-13 : 978-0606268417
- Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.7 x 0.6 x 10.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #218,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I might suggest that if Miller were 30 years younger starting today, he might produce the same caliber of writing as Snyder (instead of Miller's usual .22LR) along with his often funny artwork. When I pick up a Miller graphic novel, I know what to expect and don't demand more. When I pick up a Snyder GN, I'm often surprised (again) by the depth he brings to what might be tired, old characters, abused by too many different writers. It may just depend on one's mood, whether one picks out a Miller or a Snyder from the shelf for an evening. Snyder will never shock you, only pleasantly surprise--but every so often Miller will make me spew my coffee at some outrageous costume or fight scene. In other words, Snyder is a concert pianist while Miller is an electric guitarist. With real flames and a blown amp.
I would be very disappointed to learn he came up with this stuff while high, but how else? I really despise artists who require mind altering drugs to be creative. That's no different from athletes using steroids. I don't care if you disagree, that's my opinion. I'm not accusing Miller of anything, and don't KNOW anything, just speculating because his stuff is ridiculous--like PKD's body of work (and I'm not bringing PKD into this). I'm NOT accusing Miller of drug use, just saying his art has the feel of it. He might just work in a bipolar manner. I'm NOT accusing him of mental illness, either! (Stop twisting my words against me!) However, like any "bipolar" artist, you'll get the high production quality and the low stuff off and on. Not so with the staunch professional in Snyder. Personally, I prefer consistent quality over bipolar art. In the end, isn't the result the same?
I'll say this about Miller, though, in contrast to Snyder: Miller has a sense of the ironic and understands symbolism, while Snyder is very literal and sequential. Snyder brings great depth to his stories, but they are exactly as they appear to be, while Miller's demands a second glance to see what you didn't see the first time. To use a bad analogy, Snyder's work is a pretty girl dressed for church, while Miller's work is a pretty girl in a flaming bikini (don't worry, it's fake hologram flames like Katniss wore--oh God, did I just say that?). Miller brings a huge smile to my face any time he pokes at political correctness. It's awesome to behold and might--maybe?--be why he has had a few bad runs later in his career since editorial won't let him do that anymore. So he writes crazy dystopian stories like Sin City, where it's allowed. All satire, that!
I'll admit to being out of touch with the opening of this storyline. Isn't this the Grant Morrison period for Batman? The Black Mirror is a run of Detective, and Snyder's first writing for DC. I'll admit to being ignorant of this time period. I'm aware of The Killing Joke and Batgirl becoming Oracle (in a wheelchair), but back then I occasionally read Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman, and Detective, and only random issues (like any young, untrained, broke comic fan--typical college student--and unlike Patrick Rothfuss, I didn't have a trust fund so I could sit around campus for 12 years reading and partying--but wait, where am I going with this?). Batman was broken by Bane and Dick Grayson takes over. At the start of Black Mirror, Bruce Wayne has just returned to Gotham but is playing it low-key and hasn't displaced Master Richard yet. I've got a copy of Knightfall on the way--time to rectify my lapses.
Another aspect of Snyder that I really like is that he drills down into motivations and doesn't just throw every familiar face in front of the "camera" for ratings like Morrison and others do in almost every book. The Long Halloween is one of the top 3 best Batman books, but it suffers from that need to have a star-studded cast, and the worst offender is Hush (but then, it turns out all of the stars were just a guy wearing their costumes?). Or should I eat those words? Death of the Family was a bad story with a deus ex machina ending of the worst kind. See, the Joker was just kidding, don't worry, it's all good! DotF was a play on words and it was NOTHING like A Death in the Family (the death of Tim).
While I'm on the subject, I need an aside to rant. Red Hood's argument wins: even after Joker killed Tim, Batman let him live to kill again--and Batman's argument was, if I go there, I become just like him. Tim says, NO. YOU. DON'T! You end the murder, you don't become a murderer!
If it sounds like I'm OT, all I'm doing is comparing Snyder's later work with The Black Mirror (his first). In the end, he's not that much different from prior Batman writers. They all start off with a bang and end up having to obey editorial and do their best with idiotic mandates from the DC Deities on High. The same deities responsible for letting Zach Snyder run amok with their films. And don't get me started on the WB shows. The best work coming out of DC is always when a new writer is allowed to run at full speed without mandates. As soon as that happens, the quality drops. Like any country that turns to Communism. Eventually, a reboot is needed. So why not skip the Bolshevik stage and just leave things alone? Well, in publishing, revolutions are exciting, and that generates sales. Who can blame them? It's just tiresome when done irreverently, without the creatives at the helm.
I'm probably giving it only 3 stars because I got my hopes up. I love Battle for the Cowl and I really wanted to see why Dick Grayson is the heir to the cowl other than being awesome and the first Robin. People told me "this is where he proves himself the better Batman" but the whole story was him messing up but somehow pulling it off. Which I love about him. Makes him more relatable than Batman or any other hero. We all got bad days and some tragic lives but no one actually dwells on it. Dick is a great character and this story does him justice, but I don't see it as him being the "best Batman".
3/5 for Art I dislike and a disappointing story.
The story is suspenseful and smartly crafted. Scott Snyder paints a good picture of Dick Grayson and I appreciate that because he is one of my favorite characters. He operates and thinks slightly differently than Bruce would, and it's subtle but it works well. The artist also captures this distinction. And man, whoever colored this trade sure knew their color theory! The art is extremely compelling and some pages left me staring at them just to admire the artwork. All in all super happy with this purchase.
Top reviews from other countries
I was delighted to see Dick Grayson as Batman, but the Black Mirror storyline was over too quick and the rest of the book was Jim Gordon's story.
Recommended for a good story but not for interest into Duck Grayson's character.
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