Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Batman #5 Review

By Dan Horn
January 19, 2012 - 11:26

Meet your next "Best Single Issue" Eisner Award-winner.

At the end of Batman #4, I sort of rolled my eyes. "Great," I scoffed. "The ol' superhero in the labyrinth gag." But then, Batman #5 opens with a peculiar bit of information, which I won't dare spoil for you, and I quickly realized there was something else very sinister going on in Scott Snyder's Batman run. Little did I know, even then, the depths of lunacy this issue would plumb. Unsettling and unexpected, this installment presents Batman's pathology coming to a head as the reader begins to realize that the Court of Owls may be the most frightening bogeymen to ever come out of a comic book.

Artists Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion are largely to blame for the unnerving stuff herein. Even the formatting pulls you into the madness, which I once again won't expound upon for fear of adulterating the unique experience. Because of the downward spiral into Batman's frayed sanity, the books operates more like Kubrick's psychological adaptation of The Shining than it does as a superhero adventure. The elementary fundament that Gotham is Batman's and nothing has come before Batman that he's not already aware of is toppled here, and perhaps that's what makes this so scary: the numinous unknown.

I'm getting chills just thinking about how clever and how truly horrifying this issue was. This can't be a Batman comic, my common sense keeps insisting. But here it is in my hands with "Batman" printed across the cover. I once accused Snyder of being too predictable, telegraphing the outcomes of his Detective story arcs, but with this solitary issue Scott Snyder has ascended to comic book royalty in my mind. This is terrific stuff, even if it makes my stomach turn.

Rating: 10 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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