(DC Comics, 2013)
Review by Zakk Saam
Written by: Scott Snyder
Pencils by: Greg Capullo
Inks by: Danny Miki
Color Artwork by: FCO Plascencia
“Dark City” begins as Gotham City is plunged into total Darkness by the Riddler just days before superstorm Rene is posted to hit Gotham. With thirteen issues tying into Zero Year this month, several of which take place in “non-bat” books, this arc provides a nice alternative to Forever Evil, the universe-spanning event currently in play at DC Comics.
As always, Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Superman Unchained) leads us on an unpredictable ride (literally). Snyder is succeeding where many others are failing in their cracks at writing for the New 52. He’s taking key moments from the Batman mythos and updating them for our generation, as well as bring key moments from our very own lives and making them apart of Batman’s history. It’s impossible not to look at superstorm Rene and not think of hurricane Katrina or superstorm Sandy, with store looters abound and citizens battening down the hatches.
Aside from these nice window dressings and character cameos (Pamela Isley, Lucius Fox), Batman is investigating a compound that causes the victim’s bones to enlarge and twist, literally ripping through their body. Meanwhile, every cop not named James Gordon is on the lookout for the vigilante, which is shown to us through an elaborate chase scene featuring the “new” batmobile. One part drag racer, one part 1970’s musical, and one part epic; this is the batmobile like you’ve never seen it before (except in an earlier issue, but in a different form).
This is easily one of Greg Capullo’s best issues on the book. His work on Spawn is evident in the way he draws the victims of the compound. With lots of strange things to draw, Capullo must feel right at home.
The only real thing missing is the big baddie of Zero Year himself, the Riddler. Outside of a few mentions, he is noticeably absent from this issue.
Overall, Snyder has set up a lot of points, and while it’s not clear where they will be going, it’s sure to be a thrill ride to watch them fall into place. Batman #25 is also a great jumping on point for new readers.
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