Batman #5 by Ammar Al SubahiPublisher: DC Comics
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Premise: Batman is at the mercy of the Court of Owls, trapped in a maze he can't escape.
How do you break Batman?
Do you break his body? Cut his flesh and crush his bones? No, you break his spirit and shatter his mind. You imprison him under the city he's sworn to protect, and show him it was never his to begin with.
This is exactly what the Court of Owls is doing to Batman. And Talon, their deadly assassin, is close behind him. Watching. Waiting.
Capullo simply shines as a storyteller in this issue, perfectly dictating the pace and tone by forcing us to take on the subjective experience of Batman: Bigger panels to slow down and take it all in, all the beautiful details. Smaller, much tighter panels, chaotically organized, to stress Batman's rising fear and panic and his loss of control.
Add to that the gripping work of Glapion and FCO, both working in perfect unison together to add in another layer to Batman's descent: Batman seeks out the darkness, where he feels safe, where we don't see his scars, where his vulnerability is hidden from the world. But the light isn't fooled, and exposes Batman as the nervous wreck he is by uncovering his fragile state; his exposed bloodshot eyes revealing it all.
And then there's Snyder who, through captivating soliloquies which take us deep inside Batman's mind and with the clever use of imagery that delivers strong symbolic blows to our poor Dark Knight, takes us further along the downward spiral that is Batman's broken psyche.
This issue is just straight up fantastic, and marks the first ever rating of 5/5 given to an issue here on 22 Pages.
(Alex's ratings don't count).