Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been telling some really big stories in the current BATMAN series. We just saw the finale to the fight between Batman and Joker in Endgame. Before that, we had the massive Zero Year, Death of the Family, and the Court of Owls story. But those aren't the only stories being told in the BATMAN series. There has been several side stories in between or during these arcs and now they are collected in the latest hardcover volume, Graveyard Shift.
It's easy to just get caught up in the bigger stories. There have been several other important ones that shouldn't be overlooked. If you've been collecting the hardcover releases, you may have noticed some of these stories missing.
In a lot of ways, having a collection of the single and side stories is great. While we love the long epic stories, sometimes you just want a shorter one to bite into. Scott Snyder is capable of writing these shorter stories and the collection also contains some of the back up ones by James Tynion IV.
The volume fittingly begins with the zero issue. This gave us our first glimpse of Zero Year. With the Red Hood Gang terrorizing Gotham, we saw a young Bruce Wayne attempt to infiltrate the gang before he fully established himself as Batman.
This was the Requiem issue after a Damian was gone. Each of the various Requiem told a different stage of grief. With Harper Row and her brother, Cullen, returning to the pages here, it's kind of weird seeing them back then as they, or at least Harper, has rose up in Batman's inner circle.
BATMAN #19 & 20
What?!? Why is Bruce Wayne holding a gun and why is he pointing it at Gordon?!?
This was the two-part story that had that big shocking gatefold cover. The explanation was interesting and even took that particular character to a different level.
These two issues also contained a two-part back up by Tynion with art by Alex Maleev having Batman and Superman team up against the supernatural.
Co-written with Marguerite Bennett with art by Wes Craig, this story introduced us to a character by the name of Eric Border. Little did we know the true story behind this character. It's a little weird going back and reading this story, seeing his role in the big catastrophe that takes place at Arkham. It might make you scratch your head a little.
This story was co-written by Gerry Duggan with art by Matteo Scalera. This darker story didn't feature one of Batman's colorful villains. Instead, the gritty story featured a serial killer targeting a certain portion of Gotham. We also get another look at Eric Border in this story as well. You start to see some of the pieces fall together before Endgame and ARKHAM MANOR begins.
This was the big Spoiler issue. In the midst of the Zero Year arc, this issue gave us a peek into the future of Batman with a look at what we could expect during the weekly BATMAN ETERNAL series. There were quite a few shocks contained here as we saw Harper's role with Batman, what Catwoman's new status was, and of course, there was a certain character that showed up at the end that made many cheer.
The volume also contains some of the variant covers for the issues above.
Is this volume for you? Of course if you've been buying the other hardcover volumes, you'll want to this add to your collection. Chances are, you've already read these stories in the monthly issues. It could also make a good gift for the newer comic book/Batman reader looking for some smaller, more digestible stories that can be read in small doses.
BATMAN Volume 6: Graveyard Shift is now on sale in comic shops and on sale in book stores and online on May 5.