Top positive review
Batman Begins Again
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2019
The New 52 reboot of Batman by Scott Snyder has its fans and detractors, some ups and downs, some strengths and weaknesses. Even though my opinion falls somewhere in the middle, it's hard to deny that the run is an iconic take in the Batman lore.
This first volume focuses more on Batman as the technologically-savvy detective, using his mind and gadgets rather than brute strength to unravel mysteries he encounters. As with much of Snyder's run, the villain here, the Court of Owls, is by contrast to Batman, more of the gruesome, gothic-horror type of unseen enemy (which Batman sometimes, but not often encounters). What this does is not only add intensity and suspense, as it often feels like Batman is on the backfoot and out of his depth, but also makes each victory/escape/win feel more earned, because it is often achieved through Batman's keen mind, willpower, and skill. Snyder also uses the Court to reintroduce the reader to Gotham's past, including key moments in Bruce's past, to introduce a slightly altered, but consistent take about the tragedy that befell the Wayne family.
Ultimately, the implicit question that the run poses in its opening pages (and is used to frame Snyder's story) is "What is Gotham?" Its villains? Its history? Its problems? But really, the question is, of course, "Who is Batman?" And Snyder comes off with a strong start here to answer that question, by showing Batman in top form, sharp, undaunted, and relentless.