Amidst the insanity that is San Diego, there were comics that came out. And once again, Scott Snyder knocks it out of the park with the book that brought him to the game. Lord of Nightmares #2 takes us back to the Felicia Book storyline as we learn more about the “Dracula” character that is making its presence known once more. I love how Snyder builds mythologies and Dustin Nguyen is a great choice to bring this particular mythology to life.
Snyder also wraps up his acclaimed Court of Owls arc with Batman #11. It’s about how you expected it to end, but doesn’t take away from an engaging storyline that hooked us for the last year. Greg Capullo’s star greatly rose in that last year with his sharp pencils and disturbing visuals. The Joker arc can’t get here soon enough.
And lastly, Chew : Secret Agent Poyo came out. That is all.
Leave it to Scott Snyder to build up a good tease, which he did quite well over the weekend on Twitter. As we wrap up the year-long Court of Owls storyline this month in the main Batman book, fan speculation started building up as to what Snyder and Greg Capullo have next under their sleeve for the next arc. That was revealed today in the DC blog and I think we have a good one coming:
One may think this may not be a big deal since Joker has been the mainstay villain of Batman’s for decades. But within the context of the New 52 continuity, it’s been almost an year since Batman took him to the slammer and Dollmaker cut his face off. We finally get to see what sadistic plans the Clown Prince of Crime has in store for the Batman family and for Gotham as a result of the incident. And if you know Snyder’s work very well, you know this will not be for the weak of heart.
“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder told THE SOURCE. “Not just in comics. In everything – film, books, TV. He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve been building in my head ever since I started working in Gotham. Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my ARKHAM ASYLUM or THE KILLING JOKE, only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened… And wait ’til you see him. Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you’ve never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride. Thanks for taking it with us.”
October 10th is when the madness starts all over again…
The consensus of the comic book web is that Batman #10 is a darn great book. I’m inclined to agree and it’s further showing why Batman is probably the best superhero book on the racks right now. Give credit to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo for not only creating a compelling arc that gives us more reason to love the Dark Knight, but also putting in a cliffhanger that didn’t feel cheap and adds more layers to Batman’s legacy that we didn’t think possible. Next month’s climax to the Courts of Owls storyline is definitely going to set the world on fire.
That Snyder chap wasn’t done yet though. He got Dustin Nguyen to tag along for his next American Vampire mini-series in Lord of Nightmares #1. I was a big fan of Nguyen’s work on Batgirl and definitely think his style fits Sndyer’s world to the tee. We all knew this story was coming sooner or later, but how Snyder interprets it is going to be fun. Plus we get more Felicia Book, which is a win in my “book” of course. Sorry, that was terrible. I’ll close the site down now…
And then we go back to the Before Watchmen barrel with Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner’s take on Silk Spectre. This was fun to read and gives us great insight into the teenage years of Silk Spectre and the growing tension in her relationship with her mother, Sally Jupiter. Conner’s art was clean and she added her own little cartoony twists that made the book fun. The best of the prequel bunch so far.
Marvel’s events have had a history lately of having their tie-ins being of better quality than the event itself. Look no further than Wolverine and the X-Men #10, as Jason Aaron once again turns in a clinic of a script. It speaks volumes that he’s able to juggle the AvX event along with other sub-plots that will carry this book forward after the event is done. Chris Bachalo once again brings his dynamic art to the fold to showcase some great layouts.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a podcast without a Scott Snyder sighting. With Batman #9, he and Greg Capullo bring us close to the end of the Night of the Owls saga with medieval armor, animatronic dinosaurs, and tons of Talons. Rafael Albuquerque gets to shine in the Jarvis Pennyworth back-up that, while it seems like they’re planning a retcon here by not having Alfred there in the beginning, explores more of the great history of Gotham City.
If you’re not reading Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s current run on Batman, just stop what you’re doing and go buy the issues. I don’t care if you’re on the toilet right now. Just go. You’ll be fine.
But seriously, what Snyder once did for Detective Comics, he’s doing it again with Batman, as he adds more history to a legacy that already has a well-built legacy over its 70+ year existence. Yesterday though, DC announced new back-up stories to the Batman book that will start with April’s 8th issue and explore the secret history of the Court of Owls. To further add to the excitement, it will be Rafael Albuquerque penciling the back-ups, who you already know collaborates with Snyder on Vertigo’s American Vampire.
These images from issue #8 are already making us wish time machines existed (Albuquerque on the left, Capullo on the right) :
There’s also word that this arc will become a much bigger event contained within the Batman books. I can definitely dig that.
With the back-up additions though, that obviously means a page increase, which means starting in April, you’ll be paying $3.99 for your Batman fix. In my book, that’s a small price to pay to get more Snyder goodness.
After 2 issues, the directions Wonder Woman can go under Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s guidance are endless. This is an exciting time to come back if you’ve wavered from the book during the many promises that new blood would reinvigorate her solo series. The intrigue behind Zola’s baby and Wonder Woman’s questionable origin should keep this going for a good while.
Just behind it came Batman #2 and another stellar showing from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Building out the history of Gotham and treating it as an actual character has fleshed out Batman’s stories in many cool and interesting ways. And the best part of it all is it’s being done with intriguing new villains being introduced, the Court of Owls being the latest.
And of course if you want your off-the-wall super-hero action, you have Justice League #2 to please. Geoff Johns obviously wrote this in mind to show Jim Lee off. The action sequences are a sight to see and shows that even 20+ years later, Lee still has it. The slow burn in the story may turn off some people from reading, but I think it’s a great way to again show why this is the premier team of the new DCU.