Review: Batman #51

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All good things must come to an end. But very rarely does an endearing end compare to the boldness of the beginning or the magnificence of the middle. Here, in Batman #51, a journey reaches its carefully-crafted completion.

As far as swan songs go, this issue is pitch perfect. It is a subtle, cerebral celebration of the care and craft that Snyder and Capullo have spoiled readers with. Simply put, this issue is Batman’s essence expertly encapsulated in a timeless narrative that not only emphasizes every element that makes Batman the man and myth he is but spotlights Gotham – the city Batman lives, breathes and fights for.

The poetic nature of this narrative is exquisite. The love letter-like quality of Snyder’s script reads like a magnificent montage of the highest cinematic order. It’s a creative collage that rewards fellow travelers of Snyder and Capullo’s odyssey with a tear-evoking trip down memory lane.

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The art is Capullo’s masterwork. He leaves it all on the page. He renders a new Batmobile, a killer Batcave double page spread, but most effectively, Capullo spews a special scene between Batman and Gordon that only an incredible illustrator could deliver. Capullo uses Gordon’s silhouette in a surrealistic and expressionistic manner. Sheer emotion permeates this sequence.

This is easily one of the most beautiful farewell tales from any standard-setting creative team to ever take on the Dark Knight. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have poured their hearts and souls onto the page for over 4 years. For that, thank you, knights of the dark.

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