- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (November 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 140123206X
- ISBN-13: 978-1401232061
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,067 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
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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.
This volume sees the return of the Joker. After an inexplicable absence of a year the Joker makes a dramatic return to a life of mayhem and chaos. He raids the GCPD to steal his face from an icebox and from there lures Batman into an elaborate trap by systematically and slowly reenacting his famous crimes from the past. Joker's tactics and Batman's response puts a severe strain on Batman's relationship with his extended 'family', hence the title.
Snyder's Batman series is dark, constrained and tense. He likes to put the Dark Knight in the most perilous situations to test his mettle and his morals. Capullo's art is a good complement to this style. He keeps the panels crowded and cluttered and induces a real sense of claustrophobia and fear. Snyder has written the Joker just right, and in some parts he is incredibly creepy. The extent and scope of his crimes (which provides an unwanted glimpse into his twisted psyche) is downright terrifying. The conclusion is sort of bittersweet and a bit ambiguous. Readers will be left to wonder if the Joker really succeeded in his goals or not.
Years from now we will look back at this arc as one of the more memorable Batman stories. This deserves to be in the pantheon of great comic book arcs.