Writer: Scott Snyder / Artist: Greg Capullo / DC Comics

You gotta hand it to Scott Snyder — love him or hate him, he is utterly dedicated to telling a complete story. That doesn’t just mean your standard beginning, middle, and end. In the case of his epic Batman tale, that means a story complete with a prologue, foreword, and now, in issue #51, and epilogue.

Batman #51 Panel

This week has Bruce Wayne back on the beat at Batman, investigating a strange blackout that takes him across the city in search of answers. Along the way, we get to catch up with a few recurring personalities to see where they’ve ended up in the aftermath of everything. Of course, most of this is a side note next to Snyder’s ultimate purpose. He’s been pretty on-the-nose with his themes during his tenure on the book, but he basically spells it all out in #51. His overall approach to Batman’s relationship to Gotham is an amazingly optimistic one. The stereotype is that Gotham is this vortex of hopelessness nobody ever comes back from. But if you ask Snyder, it’s a city that isn’t perfect, but one with people that are inspired to protect it for all its worth because Batman offers hope. That is ultimately the purpose of a SUPERhero: to be the best form of what we could be. (That last sentence was actually dedicated to Zack Snyder in hopes that he’ll learn something in the wake of that Dawn of Justice dumpster fire.)

Batman #51 Panel 2

Meanwhile, I have officially run out of good things to say about Greg Capullo’s artwork. Batman’s new suit looks incredible and his obsession with implementing purple into the color scheme has really grown on me. His concepts for Gotham’s overall aesthetic make the city feel like a living, breathing organism that acts as Batman’s partner in crimefighting.

Bottom Line: This was an appropriate goodbye with more heart than action, deft and reacquainting us with the new Bruce Wayne and saying farewell to one of the most consistent Batman runs to date.

9 Ben Afflecks out of 10

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