“Batman” #22 Review

Batman #22

Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Rafael Albuquerque, Greg Capullo

In Batman #22, Snyder and Capullo churn out some wonderful character work, easter eggs and homages of now-familiar Batman tropes, but include a couple unique art choices that don’t sit so well with the overall story.

The opening heist scene on the blimp is a perfect way to nod to the ridiculousness of Batman’s early days, without being too distracting. The situation isn’t something you’d typically see in a modern Batman comic, and even lines of Bruce’s dialogue, when he declares that he has Red Hood’s DNA, ring true to earlier times.

Snyder and Capullo hit classic touchstones in the Batman origin, without making them feel redundant. Bruce’s fall into bat-ridden hole, parallels his inability to strike fear in the Red Hood.

Now for the big water-cooler moment of the issue: Alfred and Bruce’s interaction, and more importantly, “the slap.” The moment is well-played, right through to the panel where the slap occurs. It isn’t melodramatic, but feels justified, and with the colours, even comedic. It’s the odd split-screen reactions of Bruce and Alfred that feel cheesy and don’t successfully capture the emotions of both characters.

Another radical art choice is the use of the labyrinth/serpent to show Edward Nygma’s riddles. The idea behind it makes sense, as it gives a unique perspective on his psyche, but the execution falters. The page is hard to read, and the small lettering detracts from the overall message.

With such a rich lore to draw from, Snyder and Capullo have done a fantastic job picking old elements of the Batman mythos, while contributing to relationships like Alfred and Bruce’s. Batman #22 has its awkward artistic moments, but overall, brings added depth to Batman’s early career.

Score: 8.2/10