This review contains spoilers
Batman #26 is the sixth part of “Zero Year”, and the second part of the subtitled “Dark City”. Doctor Death has made his entrance, and Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox are in his way. Batman sets out to find information on Doctor Death, and we get some background on the early days of Commissioner Gordon and his infamous trench coat.
It’s great to finally see some background on the early Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon relationship. We learn that there is tension between the two, and that Gordon wasn’t originally the good cop he was in Batman: Year One. We also figure out how Gordon got his trench coat.
The fight with Doctor Death was also great. Bruce is a real badass even when he doesn’t have his Batman costume. Seeing Greg Capullo’s Doctor Death in action is amazing, and harkens back to the days of all the spooky characters Capullo drew in Spawn. Doctor Death is just so wonderfully dark and creepy that it’s sometimes hard to look at him. When Batman is in costume, it’s truly spectacular; Capullo’s Batman costume is phenomenal even if it only appears at the end of the issue for a few pages. FCO’s colors are the highlight, again, as usual.
Scott Snyder is being Scott Snyder again in this issue and really brings his A game. There is much mystery being built up such with the Bruce/Gordon relationship, Doctor Death’s motivations and origins, as well as the flashback to a mysterious prison. Not having a back-up story at the end of the issues keeps the story focused and prevents the super obvious art changes and quality drop in writing from Snyder to James Tynion IV.
BRUCE! IT’S NOT NICE TO POINT GUNS!
Considering that the last two issues were both extra sized (#24 was $6.99, and #25 was $4.99) this issue feels a little too short. We only get some Batman action at the end, and it was for only for a few pages. The Batman pages we saw in #24 was amazing, so hopefully, we will see more of that in the next issue.
Where is the Riddler? Readers were promised a Riddler story, but he seems to have vanished. The solicits however make it seem like we will see him again before “Dark City” is over, but it still feels a little cheap that he’s been moved out of the spotlight after solicitations and interviews pushed hard for him to be the central villain. Lower tier villains like Clayface, Mad Hatter, and Man-Bat have all received major story arcs in the New 52 and it’s about time Riddler got some well deserved attention.
There isn’t much Batman in this issue, but the Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon parts are excellent. Doctor Death is proving to be a horrifying villain, and Greg Capullo’s designs are top notch. The suspense and mystery are on the rise, and things can only get better from here. Overall, Batman #26 is an excellent issue.
Pretty sure it’s Jet Engines
Batman #26 is written by Scott Snyder with pencils by Greg Capullo, Inks by Danny Miki, and Colours by FCO. It is available in print or digitally for $3.99 USD