This is the big one. This is the issue that will have a huge reveal. This review will be SPOILER FREE for the most part.
Holy Crap! Scott Snyder takes a huge leap of faith in this issue in terms of what he has added to the Batman mythos. I can't tell you how many times I have read this issue since getting my hands on a copy. I've even gone back and re-read certain issues throughout the series while reading this to see if everything lined up and to catch all the clues that were there from the beginning. There may be some that question the decision Snyder took with the big reveal of who has been behind the chaos Batman has been going through but it all fits and makes sense. It even ties into Batman's previous continuity.
Let's go back to the beginning of the issue. I will not go into the actual detail of the big reveal. You can see Snyder's thoughts on that in our interview posted on the news page here. Batman is back with a vengeance here. He's is determined to put this battle against the Court of Owls to an end. If you've seen the preview images or have read the issue, you see he has gotten to the bottom of who they are. Or at least some of them. This is Batman as we know him. He's a detective and he is also capable of intimidating the $#!& out of you. Even when it appears he may have reached a dead end, his mind keeps working to figure it all out. You can't help but be in awe of the Batman that exists in Snyder's world.
When it gets close to the big confrontation, you get chills with the setting and dread what Batman might find out. As I mentioned, it all makes sense. (I go more in depth with the history and ties to the previous continuity here. There are spoilers at that link so beware). Throughout this series, Batman thought he knew everything. There's always that hint of doubt, even when answers are being laid out. That's what has made this a great run. Snyder is telling us things but we can never be absolutely sure. How can Batman be wrong or misinformed? I understand that there may be some not satisfied with the reveal here. I don't know how that could be possible but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This issue simply blew my mind.
Greg Capullo's art, Jonathan Glapion's inks and FCO Plascencia's colors are almost enough to bring tears to your eyes. We have a variety of settings and even see Bruce in the early morning with the sun coming up. The details pouring off each page are spectacular.
The back up by Snyder, James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque continues to add elements to the main story. Seeing the pieces fit together is a blast. I have to say I love Albuquerque's rendition of Martha. She's never looked better or more feisty.
Scott Snyder continues to deliver the insane levels of storytelling he is now known for. Reading this will open your eyes to how the entire series (since the "New 52" started) has been laid out. Whenever Snyder lays his cards out on the table, you can see and appreciate how far back the story elements go. Snyder doesn't do things for shock value or on the fly. You can really see the intricate details he puts into his stories.
Everyone involved in this issue, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia, James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque deserve a round of applause. It's been a blast seeing this explosive resolution to a big mystery but of course the story isn't over yet. There still is more to come and who knows what Snyder will throw at us next.
I've enjoyed this series from the beginning. Snyder may be taking a bit of a risk with this issue but it's all brilliantly laid out and executed, I couldn't be prouder to be a Batman fan. I often get asked if I could only read one comic book each month, what would it be. No doubt it would be Scott Snyder's BATMAN.