Monday, 6 April 2015

Batman #6 [The New 52] - DC Comics

BATMAN No. 6, April 2012
In July 1993 a burnt out and heavily fatigued Bruce Wayne was given arguably the worst beating of his vigilante lifetime by the Venom-enhanced monstrosity known as Bane. Not only did the supervillain mentally crush his opponent but he also physically broke the Dark Knight’s back. In Issue Six of “Batman” Scott Snyder depicts an eerily similar beating. But whereas the former prisoner from Pena Dura took approximately six months to ‘take down The Bat’. The Court of Owls’ living weapon, the Talon, manages to seemingly overcome his foe in just eight days and deliver an almighty ‘smack down’ which lasts five bone-jarring pages in length.

Indeed things have never looked bleaker for the cowled crime fighter, as he suffers a potential fatal knife wound straight through his back and out of his stomach, at the very start of the confrontation. Already weary from his captor’s mind games and a lack of nourishment, it is hard to imagine many non-super-powered heroes still trying to put up a fight with such a wound, especially when the organised crime group’s hitman promptly whacks Batman around the head with a vintage camera as he tries to rise from the floor. What then follows is an insane amount of punishment and pain as the helpless titular character is first thrown against a wall and then punched and kicked so many times that eventually the partition gives way and a barely conscious Dark Knight meekly awaits his humiliating fate, apparently at the clawed hands of an owl-like little girl.

But just as Bruce Wayne did in “Knightfall”, the billionaire somehow manages to ‘dig deep’ and find both the fighting spirit and endurance to battle back against his jailers, a parliament of wretched illusionary owl-people and his masked assailant. Admittedly such ‘bravado’ is hard to genuinely relate to considering how seriously injured the caped crusader is. But there again he is “sick to death of owls!” and the strength of this animosity appears enough to provide the adrenalin needed to overcome the Talon… just.

Understandably with such a lengthy fist-fight there’s an awful lot for artist Greg Capullo to draw in “Beneath The Glass”. But not only does the creator of “The Creech” provide a plethora of mouth-wateringly good calcium-crunching pages, something Snyder has been quoted as saying the illustrator is “really, really good at.” But he also lives up to his partner’s praise by being “a master of expression” as he memorably shows precisely what is going on behind the Mantle of the Bat through the character’s countenance; most notably that of the hero’s blood-shot and visible left eye.
The variant cover art of "BATMAN" No. 6 by Gary Frank and Francisco Plascencia

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