The New 52 Batman (2011-2016) by Scott Snyder

With the release of the trailer for ‘The Batman’, by Matt Reeves, I thought it would be a good time to revisit my old love, Batman. I have enjoyed this character ever since I was introduced to him by Tim Burton. I’ve read a lot of the graphic novels, seen all the films, played all the Arkham games (some of them twice) and seen some of the shows (alas my appetite for animated television is, for no apparent reason, somewhat limited).

I figured I would read the New 52 run, some of which I had picked up when it launched, and catch up on what I’d missed. I had dug up an old tablet of mine that made a great reading device for comics. Alas I had forgotten the one problem with keeping up with comics, almost no superhero series runs independently. All the DC comics has crossover issues, where Batman’s ongoing quest, has him interact with Robin and is thus published in ‘Batman and Robin’ instead of just the Batman series. Alas for a somewhat casual reader, this is an absolute pain. Even if you can get the reading order right, acquiring them and following it a is a frightful pain.

That big pain in the ass aside, the Scott Snyder run for Batman is quite enjoyable, it introduces you to the world of Batman and its central characters, adding the sombre introspection that Gotham seems to bring out in everyone. The new villains, the Court of Owls, are terrifying and present a unique challenge to the Batman, while old villains return in new forms, presenting new depths of villainy and madness. The general tone finds a great balance between dark and light, swinging between the two extremes with Nightwing’s agility. I only wish I could have enjoyed more of Damian Wayne in this series instead of having to find the Batman and Robin issues. Fortunately, Alfred remains a constant presence throughout and his wit remains sharp as ever.

I dare not comment on the art as that is not my field of expertise, but I will say that there were some truly striking panels that I wish I could turn into wallpapers. I also enjoyed the visual redesign a lot of the characters went through.

All in all, it’s a good run, but if you want to enjoy it in its entirety, be prepared to follow an expansive reading list.

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