This review contains spoilers
Its that time of year again, Batman Annual time! Last year in Batman Annual #1 (written by Scott Snyder, with art by Jason Fabok) we learned the New 52 origins of Mr. Freeze with a brief tie-in to Night of Owls. Batman Annual #2 features the origins of a brand new character called The Anchoress, and another tie-in to the current bat event “Zero Year.”
This issue’s story is by Scott Snyder, but is written by newcomer Marguerite Bennett. Wes Craig does the art duties. So how does this annual hold up? Lets dig into Batman Annual #2 and find out.
Right away you can tell that Snyder didn’t write this, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. New writer Marguerite Bennett does a really good job with this story, and shows much potential for future stories such as the ones coming up in Justice League #23.2 (Lobo) and the Batgirl “Zero Year” issue.
It is great to see new characters in Bat-books. This has almost been a trend in Snyder’s Batman. We have The Court of Owls, Harper Row, and now The Anchoress. She has an interesting origin story, which makes you almost sympathize for her.
Batman was very enjoyably written in this issue. In the beginning he shows his prowess as an escape artist, using gadgets to his advantage. Later on, however, we see the human side of Batman when The Anchoress makes him remember all of the tragedies in his life.
I really like how this annual reminds us of Thomas Wayne Jr. seeing that he has hardly been mentioned at all since Batman #11.
While the art looks good in much of this issue, it tends to be “off” at certain points. Having artists like Capullo and Kubert on recent issues have raised my standards of art.
This book tries to make it apparent that it is a “Zero Year” tie-in and it is even advertised on the cover. However, only one page of the book has anything to do with Zero Year and it is very forced, doing little more than show that “Zero Year” is a thing that is currently going on, and that the Anchoress knows Batman.
Even though the book goes to great lengths to develop The Anchoress, it seems very unlikely that she will ever show up again. Technically the only reason she was evil is because she wasn’t receiving medical treatment due to Batman filling the asylum with villains. At the end of the story she receives treatment again and has presumably made amends with Batman. So is there even a reason to bring her back? Probably not.
Despite its problems, Batman Annual #2 is still a solid Batman story. Marguerite Bennett writes a great debut issue and The Anchoress was an interesting character notwithstanding the little potential of her appearing in future stories. The art was good for the most part, and the panel layouts were solid. It may not be as good or as necessary as Batman Annual #1, but is still a recommended read.
Batman Annual #2 is written by Marguerite Bennett (Story by Marguerite Bennett and Scott Snyder), and pencilled by Wes Craig. It is available in print and digitally for $4.99 USD