Story By: Scott Snyder; Art By: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascenia; DC Comics; Release Date: Apr 27th 2016.
Batman #51 is at its core a farewell letter from Snyder to The Dark Knight, and it is amazing from beginning to end.
The premise is simple enough, Batman has returned and it’s a quiet night in Gotham city. The power goes out so the city’s hero sets out to find the criminal behind it all. Using the line "Gotham is" Snyder revisits different story arcs and villains that we encountered during his almost five year run of the series. Not only does he tie up loose ends but he also weaves in a lot of symmetry to Batman #1 giving the entire series a very nice bookend feel.
During Batman’s nightlong crusade across the city Capullo does some of his best artwork to tell the story. As comic book stories go this is a very quiet one but throughout the entire book there is a sense of motion and a purpose that’s propelling Batman and you as the reader along. Among these pages are the iconic silhouette images fans associate with the character and from the moment you see them you think “that’s Batman.”
This issue is an emotional tribute to who Batman is and what he does for Gotham. A theme that has been a huge part of Snyder’s run is that Gotham not only tests its citizens but that the city has its secrets from even Batman. However in this issue we see a level of optimism that is hard to find with villains like The Joker. That really is the best part of this issue, you see why Batman is the way he is and why he tries to save a city that others say is beyond saving.
If you know anyone who wants to understand Batman and why fans love him as much as they do this is the comic to hand them. It captures the heart and soul of Batman. This final chapter from Snyder and Capullo’s Batman run is in my top five favorite issues of Batman and it’s one you need to have in your collection.