By: Scott Synder
Art By: Greg Capullo
Batman is by far one of the most popular comic book characters ever and his status and legend is only increasing with Scott Synder’s Zero Year. In Zero Year we are given yet another Batman origin story but this time Synder re-imagines the world’s most well known origin to something that feels new an inspiring. We see Bruce Wayne plant the seed, grow into a sapling, and now he is starting to branch out and embrace his new role as the city’s Dark Knight.
Batman 24 is the conclusion to Bruce’s showdown with the infamous Red Hood Gang. After scrupulous detective work and dangerous undercover jobs, Bruce has finally solved the mystery of the Red Hood Gang and their plan to destroy the city. Now he must suit up as Batman for the first time and take down the gang and its notorious leader before they poison the city with a flesh eating gas. In doing so Batman will not only establish his legend but will also create a monster that will haunt him forever.
Synder and Capullo have done it again with Batman 24 creating a near perfect ending to a near perfect story. Synder had an impossible task with Year Zero in creating a new origin story for a character than has had it told time and time again. He did the impossible and crafted a story that feels familiar as well as exciting and new. Batman 24 along with the whole Zero Year arch has been a suspenseful joy ride delving into the nuances that make Batman and Bruce Wayne special. Character is Synder’s focus through and through and it shows with each conversation, each narratio. Envery word spoken holds weight, meaning and is essential to developing the characters and story. This arch is carefully thought out and skillfully plotted as Synder tries to engage you in a story you have most likely seen or heard throughout your lifetime. He is a true story teller and his work on Batman will be is crowning achievement.
Even though Synder’s story is among the best Batman books ever, it would seriously be lacking without the stellar art of Greg Capullo. After reading so many Batman books and seeing so many artist tackle the caped crusader I can definitively say Capullo was born to draw Batman. This book along with everything Capullo has done on his Batman run is a treat for the eyes. The art is so good and so engaging it’s hard to put into words. I imagine it’s what those who attended the World’s Fair in 1939 felt when they first saw moving pictures. Capullo’s art is only further enhanced by the coloring as it takes you back to when the character was first conceived. The colors infuse an animated series vibe as bright, oranges, reds, and purples clash against the plethora of deep blacks. The action pages especially feature this color variation causing you to get lost among the gun fire, fists and explosions.
Batman 24 and the Zero Year arch in general is a must have for any Batman fan. It’s also a great point of entry for new readers as you are given the most complete origin for Batman yet. Synder and Capullo are re-writing the Dark Knight’s history and a front row seat is well worth the price of admission. From Court of Owls, to Death of the Family, and now Zero Year Synder and Capullo are establishing themselves as DC’s own dynamic duo.
By: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Jerome Opena & Dustin Weaver
Marvel’s latest event dubbed Infinity is a universe sprawling story that encompasses a cataclysmic war between all the races of the universe and the god like beings known as builders. On earth, Thanos the Mad Titan leads an invasion to wrong a past mistake and once again appease Death. While the war in deep space rages as Captain America and the Avengers do all they can to save the universe. Black Bolt and the forces of earth are battling Thanos to hide the location of his target.
Jonathan Hickman is known for his big stories and even bigger ideas and Infinity is no exception. This story is massive and encompasses almost the entire Marvel Universe and all of its characters. World’s have been destroyed, millions of lives lost and we still have two issues left. If there is one thing Hickman knows it’s this grand scale. This book’s ideas are so big it’s almost hard to comprehend all that has been won and lost.
Infinity number 4 finally starts to narrow our story as our heroes in space get a taste of victory while or heroes on Earth edge closer to defeat. Captain America and the space faring Avengers strike a damaging blow against their would be conquerors. Unfortunately as they gain ground in space their home is being taken by Thanos. As of yet there is little connection between the two separate events but I am confident by issue 6 that Hickman will bring these two stories together to create an ending that shatters the Marvel Universe. It’s going to be quite difficult because as far as I can tell the only thing bridging these stories together is the fact that Thanos is taking advantage of an unguarded Earth.
This plot line is what I like most about Infinity as we get to see heroes like Black Bolt step up in the absence of the Avengers and we are treated with a rare glimpse at his awesome power. In fact in you are a Black Bolt fan this book was written for you. The character takes center stage in Infinity #4 as he battles Thanos for 5 pages. It’s a gorgeous display of both of their power sets. Artist Opena and Weaver plot a battle scene with exposition that is worthy of film. This is the scene all Infinity readers have been waiting for and it’s magnificent.
While Hickman’s writing is always stellar the art of Infinity makes it light years better. If you find the writing to be a bit gradious, the art should save this book for you as it’s jaw droppingly beautiful. Every scene and panel are near artistic perfection. If these panels were animated you would be hard pressed to ever want to see live actors again. From the battle between Thanos and Black Bolt to Thor’s confrontation with the Builders the art sells the story more than the words ever could. Opena and Weaver thrive in detail, backgrounds are vibrant and characters breath as each scene has more life than most TV shows or movies. Opena and Weaver know how to please the eye and their art is definitely the highlight of not only Infinity #4 but all the previous books as well.
Infinity is not for new comers as its story encompasses more of the Marvel Universe than most can handle. If you can get past the enormous scale, all the characters and plot lines; Marvel Infinity is an extremely exciting and action packed roller coaster through the Marvel U. It’s an event worthy of its title and hopefully it will have the lasting effect on the universe and the inhabits of the story would suggest.