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Batman: The Black Mirror Hardcover – November 29, 2011
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Dick Grayson, formerly Robin, has taken on Bruce Wayne’s cowl and penthouse apartment, but struggles to feel at home in either. Though he now patrols Gotham as Batman, Grayson still shines through the cape and cowl: at the end of one of their signature rooftop meetings, Commissioner Gordon turns around to find Batman uncharacteristically still there. As much as the story is about Dick Grayson as Batman, though, the real intrigue involves Commissioner Gordon’s family. The city is besieged by seemingly unrelated attacks from gangsters and supervillains. At the same time, Gordon’s long-lost, troubled son reappears as a changed man. Snyder’s story expertly prolongs the tension until the disturbing end, when readers finally learn the connections between the truly terrifying bad guy and the acts of gruesome violence. The segments featuring Jock’s dynamic depiction of supervillains and gangsters contrast nicely with the splashy, saturated colors and heavy lines in Francavilla’s chapters about the Gordon family. This darkly riveting story with gritty atmospherics is sure to please. --Sarah Hunter
“The art is beautiful. The writing is terrifyingly spectacular.” —IGN
“This is going to be one of those Batman stories I remember for a very long time, as a perfect marriage of story and art.”—iFanboy
“Scott Snyder, with rotating artists Jock and Francisco Francavilla, has solidified the title as the place for serious crime fiction in the Bat-universe.”—The A.V. Club
“Detective Comics follows the tried-and-true formula that has been working for decades, yet it also adds layers Batman with some much-needed character flaws. Not to mention, there's a heaping splash of atmospheric art by Jock.”—Complex Magazine
“Scott Snyder is, simply put, doing a career-making job…this is just killer stuff here….If you’re only reading one Batman book, it should be this one, folks.” —MTV Geek
"The best Batman arc in years."—Omnivoracious
Top customer reviews
Scott Snyder is the current writer of the main Batman comic book series (Though his run is nearly at an end now), which is where the brunt of my experience with him comes from. I've read another comic by him set around the same time period that this one takes place in (Batman Gates of Gotham) and I honestly wasn't impressed with it. Definitely one of his weaker showings. This one makes up for that and then some however. The Batman featured in this, and the previous, story is Dick Grayson (Robin #1, Nightwing, and currently Agent 13 over in Grayson). Naturally, you'd expect Dick Grayson to be a different character than Bruce Wayne, and Snyder gets this. The entire story really deals with the idea that it is Dick wearing the cape and cowl and crafts an adventure that is made for him and how he would personally deal with it. He makes some mistakes here and there, but also has a lot of success specifically because of who he is. I think the stories told in this work are exciting and full of a good amount of action and character development.
Snyder has a tendency in my opinion to only focus on one overarching story, which I don't personally prefer. He avoids that here. There is one massive story being told, with one main villain at its core who is responsible for pulling our heroe's strings, but between that and the start of the story are numerous other adventures as well, with different characters and villains, who have their own motivations. I appreciate this because it's just nice to see our hero fighting against so many different people throughout the story. This also isnt' solely Dick's story. I'd say that it's as much Jim Gordon's as it is Batman's this time around, with the major villain striking really close to home. This adds a sense of emotion and tragedy to the story which you don't often see. Further more, this story is creepy. That's actually something that I don't think can be said about the majority of Batman stories out there. It's dark, depressing, and genuinely creepy at points, capable of chilling you to the bone. It's a solid change of pace and I loved it.
Despite the fact that we don't get our traditional Batman in this I would honestly rate this as one of the greatst Batman stories of all time and highly recommend it.
The story is suspenseful and smartly crafted. Scott Snyder paints a good picture of Dick Grayson and I appreciate that because he is one of my favorite characters. He operates and thinks slightly differently than Bruce would, and it's subtle but it works well. The artist also captures this distinction. And man, whoever colored this trade sure knew their color theory! The art is extremely compelling and some pages left me staring at them just to admire the artwork. All in all super happy with this purchase.
This is several story arcs that appear separate but add into one coherent story about the Gotham and the Gordon family. Snyder does great work here, but one can also see why the soft re-boot was increasingly necessary for New 52 to make the larger continuity seem more consistent. This is strong writing and solid art, and Dick Grayson's Batman does feel enough like Bruce Wayne's for continuity to be there, but different enough to stand out. In a way, it was sad it was re-set so completely in New 52 despite the clear reasons for doing so. It, however, was a good hint to the feel of Snyder's run on the New 52 Batman with Bruce Wayne back primarily in Gotham.