Top positive review
A swan song for Snyder, Capullo, Glapion, and Plascencia on Batman
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2020
In 2011, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo started to write and draw what would become one of the best runs on Batman. While the New 52 was a horrible era in DC for many, most comic book fans would gravitate towards the Batman run as a consistent source of quality and great storytelling from 2 creators at the top of their game. Fast forward nearly a decade later, and DC finds itself in a sort of flux. Batman has just ended his 85 issue run of depression, Superman is being written by Bendis, and Wonder Woman can't get a consistent voice/writer for more than a dozen issues. DC Rebirth started out as an amazing idea, allowing characters to go back to a simpler era before the new 52, but it quickly got convoluted due to clashing ideas and delays that led to the current status quo. It is out of this that Scott Snyder decides to return to Batman to tell what he calls the last Batman story, along with his partner in crime, Greg Capullo. And what a job this dynamic duo created. While this will not be the last Batman story written by Snyder and drawn by Capullo (as of writing this review, Death Metal is still solicited, which is a sequel to Dark Nights Metal), it damn well feels like it is. The story follows Batman at the end of the line, waking up in a post-apocalyptic DC Universe without memory of how it got to be that way. Determined to bring the world back to the way it was, Batman teams up with a surprising companion and journeys throughout the hellscape he woke up in to solve the mystery. The idea is pure Batman, giving him a mystery to solve and showing his unbroken will towards making things right. The highlights from Snyder here are the character moments he gives towards many of the DC Universe: his relationship with Alfred, Wonder Woman, the Batfamily, and many others are all given their moments to shine, and it's great, showing how Batman trusts his allies rather than building contingency plans to hurt or stop them all the time. The other cool thing that Snyder brought to the story is how the world changed and what the world is. Tons of great ideas are displayed here that I wish were delved into more detail, but the length of the book does leave more to be wanted. The final positive that I give Snyder here is that he ends the story with hope, which is what all superhero stories should end with. Batman is definitely a dark character, but that doesn't mean his story should always end in tragedy and darkness. Batman is a hero, and it makes sense that he should get a hero's ending. And of course, any Snyder Batman story would not be amazing if not for the great Greg Capullo. My personal favorite Batman artist, Capullo gets the chance to show off his Spawn side here because it's a Black Label book. His art is unhinged with all the violence, gore, and detail that a post apocalyptic world should look like. However, that doesn't mean it's gratuitous. All of the fight scenes flow well and are part of the story. And the praise doesn't go to just Capullo, but the rest of the art team, which is the same art team as the Batman run earlier mentioned: Jonathan Glapion, the inker, and FCO Plascencia, the colorist. Overall, this is an amazing read and one of the best Batman stories since DC Rebirth started (only slightly behind Batman Universe for me), and if Batman were to ever have a last story, you'd be hard pressed to find one better than this. Hats off to this Batman team, I hope Death Metal will be just as good.