Batman #5: One of the Best Comics I’ve Ever Read

Batman #5 | Writer: Scott Snyder | Art: Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion | Colors: FCO | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $2.99

One of the great things about being a comic book fan is when you find the perfect book that completely captivates your attention from beginning to end.

Comic book nirvana has arrived as Scott Snyder puts Batman through the wringer in a story with the Dark Knight battling his own sanity. Bats has been trapped in a dark labyrinth by the Court of Owls for eight days without food, water, or rest. He hasn’t bathed or shaved, his costume is torn up, and the white left eyepiece is missing from his mask.

The missing eyepiece is excellent because we see Batman’s true emotions as he is in unspeakable peril. Over the years, I always wondered if a punch or kick hurt more than he let on or how horrified he was, if at all when he examined a crime scene.  At one point, the lights inside the labyrinth are turned on, and a stylish Owl-shaped water fountain is revealed. Knowing it’s drugged, Batman drinks the water without hesitation. The mind games begin to take shape as secrets are revealed, and the horror is unleashed.

As you read the book, you get to a page layout where you have to turn the book left side up to make sense of it all. When you turn from that layout, the next page is upside down which looks like a mistake. You naturally turn it right side up to examine the page, thinking you are correctly holding the book again. As you continue to read, it takes you a minute to realize that you’re reading the previous pages repeatedly, thus, experiencing and sharing the mental madness Batman is going through.

The ingenuity of it all was simple and brilliant. The artwork is in sync with the story almost more than any other comic book I have read in quite some time. Even this early in the year, Snyder’s number 5 has all the makings to be the single best issue of the year.

Grade: A+

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