Saturday, August 11, 2012

Batman #12

What do you do after an epic adventure?

(Aside from going to Disneyland, that is.)

That's the challenge facing the creative team on Batman, having wrapped up the 11-issue-long epic involving the Court of the Owls.

Wisely, they chose to take this issue in a completely different direction, creating a story that feels like something Will Eisner might have cooked up for The Spirit (and that's high praise indeed).

It steps away from Batman's world for much of the issue and focuses on a woman named Harper Row, who works as an electrician in the world below Gotham City. She's devoted to her brother, but a fortunate encounter with the Dark Knight changes her world - and she makes a surprising discovery about how Batman operates.

It's a clever story, a touching one, and introduces a (as far as I know) new and interesting character to Gotham.

The art is an odd mix between the fresh, down-to-earth art of Becky Cloonan (who handles the first 21 pages) and the more slick, finely-crafted art by Andy Clarke (on pages 22 to 28). I like both artists, but their styles don't really mesh well.

(We note that regular artist Greg Capullo provides the cover, and otherwise takes a break this month.)

So, another terrific issue in the most consistently outstanding series in the first year of DC's "New 52."

Grade: A-


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