Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo say goodbye in the new issue of Batman, and Black Mask Comics has 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank!
Batman #51 (DC Comics)
I know, I know, I JUST reviewed Batman #50 last month. But this is arguably the biggest comic of the week, and I can’t let that pass by the reviews! After 51 issues, the titanic team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo has called it a day, and Batman #51 serves as a beautiful and surprisingly heartfelt coda to the work the two have done on the series.
Newly reenergized after his battle with Mr. Bloom, Batman now faces the one thing he dreads: a quiet night in Gotham. A blackout strikes the city right as Batman is heading out for his nightly patrol, and Batman is sure that someone is behind it. As the issue unfolds, we see that everything Batman is prepared for is handled very easily, and that the blackout could just be a random fluke, but the Dark Knight refuses to take it easy for one night. But what Batman finds later in the issue shows him that even in Gotham, sometimes things aren’t always in danger of a complete collapse.
Scott Snyder’s script is, simply put, masterful. I know I’ve gone on and on (and on) with my love of his take on the Batman, but I truly believe that this issue is one of the best he’s ever done. Everything, from the characterizations of Batman, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon to the truly heartwarming scene Between Batman and a journalist with ties to one of the early stories of this run is perfectly done, and conveys how much Scott Snyder loves the world of the Dark Knight.
Like Snyder, Greg Capullo is on fire here as well. I can’t believe this will be the last time we see Capullo’s take on Gotham and Batman (for the considerable future, of course). Capullo’s art adds a ton of weight to Snyder’s script, and really brings the sense of adventure and even hope that Batman can inspire in people. Like many of his greatest issues, there are panels here that are instantly iconic and are just begging to be turned into posters.
Batman #51 is, simply put, one of those rare “perfect comics”. No, there’s not a major earth-shaking revelation or a giant action scene, but there is a ton of heart, and two creators at their peak pouring everything they have into this 32-page story. It’s a true testament to the work Snyder and Capullo have done on this series, and it’s really hard not to get a little misty eyed by the time you’re done. While this won’t be goodbye for Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman, Batman #51 is the perfect end point for their work on the character so far.
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #1 (Black Mask Comics)
Black Mask Studios really made a splash with their series We Can Never Go Home, and their latest series from writer Matthew Rosenberg, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, continues this amazing trend. Teamed up with artist Tyler Boss, 4 Kids is a hilarious mix of Freaks and Geeks, John Hughes, and Breaking Bad that hits all of the right spots that makes for a stellar comic book.
Paige is like any other social misfit. She’s got a big chip on her shoulder, but loves her goofball friends fiercely. However, when a bunch of shady criminals interrupt her Dungeons and Dragons game looking or her father, Paige and her friends are roped into a very strange and dangerous world, and will learn things about Paige’s father that she never even expected.
The real charm in 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank is in Matthew Rosenberg’s characters. Paige and her friends are all hilariously dorky and relatable. They’re all exactly like the kids you remember in high school (or that you WERE in high school), and watching the four of them interact with each other is so entertaining that even if they weren’t running afoul of some shady types and just hanging out I’d still recommend this book.
4 Kids walk Into A Bank was my first exposure to Tyler Boss’ work, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Boss has a style that fits the book really well, with some of his characters looking both realistic but also slightly exaggerated that makes them instantly memorable. Boss’ layouts in this book are also worth noting, as it’s super varied. You’ll go from great splash pages and two panel pages to whole pages that are nothing but talking head panels. But it all flows really, really well.
Black Mask Studios is quickly becoming an indie comic publisher to be reckoned with, and 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank is so far their best work yet. It’s a strong debut that instantly has its own sense of style, while at the same time reminds you of things like Stand By Me, Superbad, and even a little bit of Goodfellas. I won’t be surprised if we hear that Seth Rogen has picked up the movie rights a few months from now.