Review: Batman #49

Batman #49 CoverIt is time. Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his true past as Batman. Now he must descend into the cave and face what he once was. Can he truly leave behind a life free from the pain and anguish of the Bat? Can he plunge once more into the madness and purpose that once consumed him? In this special, thrilling issue, watch as the fate of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, is decided once and for all.

We know things have been building to one moment, the return of Bruce Wayne as Batman, and writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV have given us that here in an interesting issue that plays with imagery to get us to that point.

Bruce knows his past, and is determined to take the mantel, but it’s Alfred who is the roadblock and that’s what makes the issue rather interesting. There’s something very “comic book” about Batman’s return, we saw that in earlier issues with the mysterious machine, but that’s kind of deus ex machina, the heart of it is about that trigger that made Batman.

Snyder and Tynion really have a hell of a debate in the comic about Bruce Wayne the man, Batman the hero, and where the two meet. We’ve seen for these last 10 or so issues a returned Bruce Wayne, one that’s charitable and not aware of his trauma or past that created Batman. And, if the Batman returns, would the people who make that happen be any better than the man wielding the gun in the alley of Crime Alley? That’s the debate and it’s heartbreaking.

Greg Capullo is off this issue and in his place is Yanick Paquette whose style here reminds me of a mix between Capullo and Francesco Francavilla (at least with the color palette). There’s an interesting mix of looks in the comic as the machine bringing back the memories teaches lessons through different iterations of Batman, each in their own world and with their own look. The art is decent, and gets the job done, but I feel like there’s so many others who could have created a much more impressive visual, especially since we’ve seen some amazing page layouts in Grayson, Batgirl, and elsewhere. Again, it’s not bad, it’s just not as eye catching of other comics we’ve seen do similar visual spreads.

The comic is an interesting one where I go back and forth as to what I think. To me, that’ll get settled in next issue, but I can see what was being attempted here. The emotional aspect is beyond top notch, it’s just the backdrop of which that’s present I’m a bit mixed about.

Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV Art: Yanick Paquette
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.4 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review