Comic Vine Review

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Batman #4 - Face the Court, Part One

5

After an explosive finale last issue, Batman is discovering that there's a chance he might have been wrong about a previous investigation. Of course he won't admit that and that could end up costing him.

Batman is on the trail of a century-old secret organization he's certain doesn't exist. The evidence he uncovered last issue ended things with a bang.

The Good

It's no secret how much I love Batman and the BATMAN series by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. At the end, I usually find myself letting out a deep breath as I take in just how good it was. Then I think, there's no way they can top this next month. So far, each month, I've been wrong. Snyder and Capullo are like two gladiators entering the comic arena and are ready to bring the action and excitement to our fingertips.

Where we left off last issue, Batman foolishly triggered a tripwire in a hidden room. How many times have we seen tripwires go off in comics or movies? What Snyder does, it takes it to the next level. Of course Batman would know about the effects of a tripwire. "The real threat from a tripwire comes later...in the aftermath." Something so simple that you never really think about. Leave it to Snyder to fully analyze the elements and nature of the tripwire.

At the same time, Capullo's art captures the detail of the destruction and you're left almost saddened to see the items in the room destroyed. There's a lot going on and Capullo doesn't miss a beat. It almost seems the more Snyder throws at him in the scripts, the more he thrives.

Where the issue starts ticking like a time bomb about to go off is when the question is asked when specifically did Batman investigate the Court of Owls? He is adamant that they do not exist. Without spoiling anything, we do get to see that investigation and the other elements Snyder addresses along with it is such a treat. Be prepared to see a side of Batman you haven't seen before.

The Bad

Scott Snyder has made it clear he loves Batman but you almost get the feeling he doesn't like the character. There's a vibe that some bad stuff is coming. It's good to see things get shaken up but no one wants to see the main character beaten down. But whatever doesn't kill Batman will make him stronger.

The only real complaint is there are some strange transitions between scenes. There's a lot of story to tell so it's really not a problem. Perhaps Batman is simply so focused that he doesn't take the time to say, "See ya later."

The Verdict

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are taking us and Batman to a place he's never been before. Reading each issue is like walking on thin ice. There is so much intensity sitting beneath the surface. We have been seeing things that Batman hasn't, such as the Talon and possibility of the Court of Owls. This is something Batman refuses to accept and you know it's going to explode in his face, just as the tripwire did at the end of the last issue. Batman is so focused and sure he knows what's going on, the thought, for us readers, that he could actually be wrong is a scary one.

You can see that Snyder has a grand plan for the Dark Knight and it's just possible that Batman will have to face something he's not prepared for. Capullo's art is top notch and you can feel the aggressive energy he pours into each page. Despite seeing flashback scenes in the past, Snyder delivers one that is unexpected and such a joy to read. Each issue has been better than the last and it's not hard to believe that next issue will somehow be even better. This is exactly what I want in a Batman comic.

17 Comments

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cacarl

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Edited By cacarl

The variant cover is AMAZING!

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Roldan

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Edited By Roldan

@cacarl said:

The variant cover is AMAZING!

Not as amazing as the one Capullo did but it's nice. And it as owls which i don't think none of the others had.

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Or35ti

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Edited By Or35ti

I want that variant! I wonder if this series will ever not get a 5-star review haha, can't wait to read it!

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gmanfromheck

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Edited By gmanfromheck

@Or35ti: I keep thinking I have to find a way to give an issue a 6 out of 5. They keep getting better.

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mattydeNero

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Edited By mattydeNero

For a lot of people, including myself, this has been a must-read title in the New 52. I totally agree with you, Tony, it keeps getting better and better. I especially like knowing yet another thing about Bruce Wayne's childhood--his first detective story. Capullo was almost meant to draw this character. He and Snyder have been top notch.

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Booster_Bronze

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Edited By Booster_Bronze

The thing I like most about this series so far is seeing how Batman isn't infallible in everything he does. For too long he's always been prepared for every little eventuality and it gets a little eye-rollingly convenient at times. While nowhere near as bad as "Bat Shark-Repellant", it still ruins that sense of danger that a comic should convey. Seeing that there's a chink in Batman's armor is a GOOD thing in my opinion, especially because sometimes heroes are made TOO good and TOO superhuman, and it's nice to keep them humble and grounded every now and then.

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longbowhunter

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Edited By longbowhunter

Bruce Wayne, boy detective. I loved that. Bruce's childhood is still a bit of an untapped area teeming with stories.

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RainEffect

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Edited By RainEffect
@Booster_Bronze said:

The thing I like most about this series so far is seeing how Batman isn't infallible in everything he does. For too long he's always been prepared for every little eventuality and it gets a little eye-rollingly convenient at times. While nowhere near as bad as "Bat Shark-Repellant", it still ruins that sense of danger that a comic should survey. Seeing that there's a chink in Batman's armor is a GOOD thing in my opinion, especially because sometimes heroes are made TOO good and TOO superhuman, and it's nice to keep them humble and grounded every now and then.

I totally agree with this. It is also nice to see how he responds to the fact that, maybe he doesn't have all the cards in his hand?
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danhimself

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Edited By danhimself

so the Court of Owls have safe houses located on the 13th floor of Wayne buildings and the Cleaners in Birds of Prey have hideouts located on secret floors of buildings....coincidence?

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AngeTheDude

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Edited By AngeTheDude

Greg Capullo's art reminds me of the animated series and that makes me happy.

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CombatSpoon86

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Edited By CombatSpoon86

Bruce Wayne starting his Detective ways as a boy. Love it.

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Daveyo520

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Edited By Daveyo520

Picked it up but I still need to read last issue.

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nbradsher

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Edited By nbradsher

did Dick talk to Gordon as Nightwing about Bats? or as Dick about Bruce? I'm a bit confused, sorry.

Check out this passage

"Bruce, we're all worried about you, all right?

Twice this month you came close to getting killed, and some of us think it's because you're underestimating your enemy here."

"Jim said that?"

"Yes, He did."

So....if Dick in his Nightwing guise met with Gordon and talked about how Batman is underestimating the court, I could understand that. (though it wouldn't be hard for Jim Gordon to connect Batman to Wayne after all of this.)

But the way it reads, it looks like Dick talked with Gordon about Bruce underestimating the court, and that Gordon ALSO knows that Bruce was in the building most recently exploded. That seems a bit much for Jim to know, at least without raising some suspicion.

So... what went down? Nightwing met gordon about Batman? or Dick met with Gordon about Bruce?

Aside from that vague section, it was a fun issue.

p.s. Bruce was a good shot as a kid....and a bit mean with that owl. But I suppose I understand, dead parents and all.

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xScorchedx

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Edited By xScorchedx

@nbradsher: I thought exactly this as well, I hope someone can shed some light on this.

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jrock85

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Edited By jrock85

I want that variant!

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GamerGeek360

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Edited By GamerGeek360
@nbradsher I paused while reading this issue and tried to piece that together. Could one of the New 52 things be that Gordon is in on the Bat-Family's identities? That seems just a bit too much, I think.
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soccersss

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Edited By soccersss

Another excellent issue from my must have new 52 title. This series has been so good that it's almost criminal. Thank you Snyder & Capullo for that. I loved that we got some insight into Bruce boy detective. The Talon & the Owls could go down as classic villains if this keep up. Only if Oliver got villains like the Talon