Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pull List Review: Batman #10

I suppose I should warn of major spoilers ahead, but I feel like the reveal of this issue has been long-spoilt elsewhere already. But just to get it out of the way, turns out Lincoln March is actually Thomas Wayne, Jr. According to him, anyway. I'm fairly confident it will end up being the truth, and my response to it, at this point, is pretty mild. I don't have any strong objections to the addition of a second Wayne boy, but I wasn't exactly wowed by the discovery, either. I am more interested to see how it effects Bruce in the long term, how it effects everyone in his world, than I am in the piece of information itself.

Everything that leads up to that reveal is much stronger, though. The very opening scene was classic Batman, getting all up in some punk criminal's face. Equally classic was the Alfred-Bruce conversation, where the poor, determined butler tried as he always does to convince his boss that it was time to call it a day, to let a case rest. And actually, I quite liked the story of Willowwood, and hope it's a location we get to revisit for some reason or other in future Gotham escapades.

The art in Batman #10 trumps anything accomplished by the story, though. Greg Capullo has gotten better and more refined with every issue on the title, and this is definitely some of his strongest work. Not just when drawing Batman, who is back to full strength and such a powerful, imposing figure, even alone in a room and seen from a distance. No, Capullo brings his A game to every page: his design for March's Talon suit, the detail he puts into the Willowwood ruins, Mrs. Powers creepy bird hand, the owl mask cracking against the elevator's a solid, spooky issue with a lot of memorable images.

Just as strong if not stronger than Capullo's pencils, though, are FCO Plascencia's colors. They struck me first on the splash page of the dead Court of Owls members at their dining table, but then came on even stronger once we were inside Willowwood. Just a perfect mix of dulled greens and reddish browns to display the rot and age of the place, and it added a lot to the eeriness of the whole scene.

I thought the back-up story was a bit stronger this month than last, but not by a great deal. Definitely helping to flesh out the main story in interesting ways. And Rafeal Albuquerque draws a truly disturbing suicidal owl. But ultimately it felt pretty disposable, which I'm never a fan of. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong in the end.

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