the retold origin story of Batman just comes down the road. For me, therefore I get and read my issued with
a monthly delay, it is still some time to wait for this storyline. But that's no reason to lean back. Issues #19 and #20 with the small tie-in story "Nowhere Man" was quite entertaining. I appreciate a shorter story frame than the nowadays used five to six issues "graphic novel" approach.
And the winning team Snyder and Capullo are still in charge of this title. That's awesome. In almost every book of the DC relaunch the creative team has changed but this one is still assembled and we've got the reason why just laying in front of us. They tell a great Dark Knight with such a positive, and well-earned resonance by the readers away of a just fan-serving storytelling. Greg does a great job in each issue and I'm (how often have I said this?) a long time fan of his art and his development.
But back to "Nowhere Man". Issue #19 comes up like a body-snatcher / doppelganger story. The introduction scene in the front of the Gotham National Bank is quite good after a second glance. The speaking of Wayne just got me caught to think about how he would be if he really would be bad. Like a villainous Batman. Would he rob a bank in this here shown classic style? I guess no. So for the reader the point is crystal clear: this isn't Bruce Wayne. The art includes some "hidden" cool gimmicks. The frame of the last panel on page one consists of the trigger of Harv's gun. This brings in another layer of depth in the ordinary way to transport a sequence from one panel to the other. The second gimmick is the falling shotgun shell on page four. It's is drawn a little transparent but cast the same shadow like Jim Gordon and creates a great diagonal sequence of shot, hit , and slowly falling shell. This collage remind me of a mixing picture style like in movies of the '70 to connect different viewpoints of one event. The shadow of the shell, displayed on the same level like Gordon's shadow, give it a massive weight and amplifies the scene.
The following fight with the Reaper is a nice example of Capullo's very detailed work. Luckily he's got a sense for reducing to support the impact of a panel like in the "Dead Men Walking" Panel. By the way: Greg draws the best Damian. The detailed city streets and flowers enrich the scene and the violet foul colors in the van gives the hole sequence a wonderful stench. The upcoming detective part of this book is a good mixture of investigation and a little bit of action. The revealing of clayface's evolution and his new ability to copy a person's DNA with the sacrifice of loosing his connection to his real himself is a nice character development. Today's villains doesn't alter this much anymore and it is refreshing to see, that writers still try to bring them on new levels.
Starting the issue #20 with the fight in the research & development laboratory reveals the plan of Clayface. Clayface himself is a rewarding task for Greg to draw. The chance to use his new ability to unveil Batman's secret identity just by touching him brings much more tension in the relationship between Batman and Clayface and is a great hook for upcoming story lines. The doublepage of the fleeing false Bruce Wayne works very well almost without any words and underline the sequential work because you just focus on the art and the arrangement. The fight in the Wayne Tower works very well and I love the presentation of Clayface with multiple mouths and the great appearing of other villains. This also lies out new plotideas for the future if Clayface can truly appear like anyone he has touched, even the Joker.
The outburst of Batman at the end of the fight, because Clayface mimics Damian is really significant for displaying his state of mind and his feelings. This time it will be a very long way to overcome the death of his Robin and son. Too, it's great to see how Alfred supports his Master in this hard times. I'm definitely looking forward for the arc after the origin story where the Batman maybe can develop in so far other ways.