Sunday, 12 April 2015

Batman #8 [The New 52] - DC Comics

BATMAN No. 8, June 2012
As the precursor to the first major crossover event of “The New 52” by “DC Comics”, there is little to fault with this thirty-page action-fest. To begin with Scott Snyder portrays a haunted Bruce Wayne, who despite being injured and depressed at his recent failure to defeat The Court of Owls, still demonstrates he is a formidable combatant even when dressed in little more than a dressing gown and pyjama bottoms.

Indeed the American comic book writer shows a side to the billionaire which is really seen. Despite past beatings this man is nonetheless a steely scrapper, who even though unarmed, still manages to put several of the deadly Talon out of commission by utilising the décor of his family home. Whether it be an ornately carved piece of bannister or a bat-decorated weather vane, the ‘robed resident’ leads both his would-be-murderers and the reader through a breath-taking series of fast-paced pages.

Ultimately however the ‘capeless crusader’, alongside an exhausted Alfred, is forced to seek shelter within the refuge of the Batcave’s armoury. Once again providing Snyder with the opportunity to unsettle the sanctity of the Dark Knight’s most closely guarded secrets, his identity and the whereabouts of his secret headquarters, by having both penetrated by the masked assassins with disconcerting ease; a double revelation which shows just how vulnerable the New Yorker’s version of Batman really is.

Equally as impressive throughout “Attack On Wayne Manor” is the pencilling of Greg Capullo, whose eye for detail, coupled with a great feel for the dramatic, really helps create some extremely atmospheric moments of mayhem and magic within the shadowy claustrophobic confines of the time-worn building.

Sadly the same cannot be said for the artwork of Rafael Albuquerque, the illustrator responsible for drawing this issue's ten-page secondary tale “The Call”. Competent though somewhat colourful and cartoony, the Brazilian’s sketches unfortunately jar horribly with the eye as a result of following straight on from Capullo’s sumptuous panels.

The short story’s plot, co-written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, is equally as rudimentary, with the Talon’s successful assassination of a number of prominent Gotham City officials prompting a heavily armoured Bruce Wayne to instruct Alfred to “Put the call out to the [Bat] family.” And thus the seed for the multi-title story-arc “Batman: Night Of The Owls” is sown…
The variant cover art of "BATMAN" No. 8 by Jason Fabok

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