Writer: Scott Snyder / Artists: Greg Capullo, Yanick Paquette / DC Comics
Well, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have enjoyed a top-selling run on Batman that has added some much needed flavor to the Bat-mythos that fans will talk about for the foreseeable future. Despite the naysayers, the Batgordon story “Superheavy” has turned out to be a fantastically ridiculous ride for Gotham’s top cop, while also serving as this generation’s “World Without Bruce Wayne” story. But all good things must come to an end (usually a premature one), leaving us with Snyder and Capullo’s grand finale in issue #50.
The finale to Superheavy sees Bruce Wayne coming out of his unusual retirement to don the cowl and help take Gotham back from Jim Gordon’s creepy ass nemesis, Mister Bloom. It’s important for you to notice I said “help” in that last sentence. Bruce’s return got the fanfare it rightly deserved but Snyder managed to not overshadow Gordon. This could have easily been a scenario where one character or another takes a backseat, but this turned out to be a case where both Batmen did equal heavy lifting to save the city. The narrative masterfully toggled between Bruce, Jim, and Duke Thomas.
I was actually very impressed with the amount of character development that went towards Duke in this arc and issue #50 didn’t disappoint. He was left in a bit of a maudlin place by the end of it, but Snyder clearly has plans for him going into this new era of the franchise with We Are Robin getting cancelled. The highlight above all else in this issue, story-wise, has to be Gordon’s monologue in the second half that ends up Snyder’s essay on what Batman represents in his Gotham, as well as Gordon’s place in it all.
Visually, there is simply nobody else who could have delivered the details on such an epic scale the way Greg Capullo did. Every page accurately conveyed the stakes of the situation, bringing you right into the eye of the storm, watching Bloom fiddle as Gotham burns. Yanick Paquette guest pencils the epilogue, making for a very intimate, personal ending to the story that meets Capullo’s A+ standards without clashing against or overshadowing his work.
Bottom Line: There’s no question that Snyder and Capullo finished an epic run strong with a finale that pulled no punches, placing the reader right in the thick of an epic battle for the soul of Gotham. Godspeed, boys. You will be missed… at least until Snyder starts his run on Detective Comics.