I’ve long been a fan of Scott Snyder’s work on Batman. The New 52 was where I started buying monthly comics, and I picked up all 50 issues of Snyder and Capullo’s Batman run.
Once it finished I toned down my monthly purchasing, so I’ve missed pretty much all of Rebirth so far. Fortunately Snyder is back with his own title, which not only manages to avoid the fortnightly release schedule adopted by many other titles but also appears to stand on its own. All-Star Batman (not to be mixed up with Lee and Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder) begins its second arc with issue 6. Moving away from Two-Face and John Romita’s frenetic, bold style, we now have a Mr Freeze tale drawn by Jock.
The move from Romita to Jock fundamentally changes things, in line with Snyder’s assertion that he’ll write to match each artist. Rather than a traditional comic with various balloons across panels, issue 6 is prose with pictures. As a change of pace after the Two-Face story it’s refreshing.
It does fall into a weird area for me, neither bombastic or detectivey (yep I just made that up) enough to really get my juices going, but it’s a haunting and very well told tale that really makes the most of Jock’s style. From Batman’s lonely trudge across the tundra to the murmurings sounding out across the base he’s visiting, it’s definitely a story that does Mr Freeze justice. The true strength of Batman is how he works across all mediums, so to change things up and take such a different approach is fantastic.
I’m not sure how this issue will tie into what follows it, if at all, but so far Snyder is making great use of his own title. I love that I don’t particularly need to be aware of events in Rebirth and I love that it’s giving us a chance to see more of Snyder, especially as he flexes his writing muscles in new and interesting ways. To get great artists like Jock too? Well that’s just the icing on the cake.