Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Batman #29 [The New 52] - DC Comics

BATMAN No. 29, May 2014
Whilst there is absolutely no doubt that Scott Snyder has crammed every page of this “amazing, extra-sized issue” of “Batman” with as much action-packed adventure as the comic book could take. This conclusion to “the Dark City chapter of Zero Year” arguably rates as one of the New Yorker’s most illogical and unfollowable narratives ever and certainly must have made its 116,926 readers question “DC Comics” boast that the publisher had “saved the best for last!”

For whilst it fast becomes obvious that the Riddler, supposedly safe ensconced in the late Philip Kane’s high-rise office, is a very ‘clear and present danger’ to the well-being of Gotham City, and that the hideously deformed Doctor Death is essentially little more than a pawn in masked maniac’s diabolical game, it is truly hard to fathom out exactly what the madman’s heinous plan for the metropolis actually is?

Admittedly Batman does try and provide some clarification as to Edward Nygma’s intent for the benefit of both Jim Gordon and the magazine’s audience. But the Caped Crusader’s earnest explanation concerning a stolen “remote hacking hub” which can be used to “break into anything within a hundred feet of it”, coupled with the theft of a “hyper-repeater from Lucius” and “a weather balloon” soon becomes a confusing concoction of meaningless gobbledegook; “He gets the snake high enough, amplifies the bite… He can take control of the whole city.”

Fortunately for many, exactly why the Dark Knight needs to fly the “Bat Blimp” to the Riddler’s floating sky-platform and defeat its grotesque guardian, Karl Hellfern, during a horrendous electrical storm, is probably immaterial. For at the end of the day, all any bibliophile really need know about this comic’s storyline is that the crime-fighter has to place a jamming device upon the super-villain’s electronic gadgetry otherwise “thousands could die”, and he’s willing to break a lot of his immediate adversary’s formidably regenerative bones in order to do so.

Greg Capullo would also appear to have been in top form when pencilling this particular forty-page periodical, as the Schenectady-born artist’s illustrations are wonderfully dynamic; especially the panels depicting the young Batman’s fist-fight with the increasingly malformed Doctor Death. One can genuinely hear the deranged scientist’s bones snapping, and subsequently re-growing, during their lengthy conflict.
The "Robot Chicken" variant cover art of "BATMAN" No. 29


  1. I had the same problem with Riddler's motivation and endgame: the nagging question of what he was doing and why?

    I may enjoy the story when I eventually re-read it, but at present with what I have felt are the diminishing returns of the Batman run, I am a little reluctant to do so.

    1. Thanks PulpCitizen. Tbh most of this narrative has completely passed me by. I haven't a clue what is going on and have been collecting this series simply because its "Batman" and I like Capullo's artwork. Once he departs, I'm afraid I'll be dropping this title.