There’s a reason that DC Comics had to have a Rebirth. They had a universe-wide problem, it was called New 52. From 2011-2015 the company struggled to keep a creative team together for a long period of time, and one that consistently sold well (after initial launch). Neither of those apply to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Their Batman run was the only title to remain throughout all of New 52, and without changing creative teams (give or take a few issues).
Before getting to that masterwork, writer Scott Snyder first wrote Detective Comics #871-881, better known as The Black Mirror. Teaming up with his future Wytches collaborator, Jock, our first taste of Snyder with Batman is at the end of Dick’s Grayson’s tenure. The story involves the return of James Gordon Jr. to Gotham City as a cold, clever killer. Snyder introduces readers to his love of Batman lore, along with his firm grasp on the dark elements and horror that make Gotham so compelling.
After that debut arc, Scott Snyder teamed up with artist Greg Capullo to bring Bruce Wayne into the New 52, with Batman. Beginning with the The Court Of Owls story, the two quickly sunk their hooks into readers. Capullo’s art complimented Snyder’s scripts in a way that many creative duos don’t achieve over entire runs. The story was big, bold, and most importantly didn’t feel the need to launch with a new origin.
A character creation of their own, the Court proved that Batman doesn’t know Gotham as intimately as he thought. Fans and creators alike have been obsessed with The Court Of Owls ever since. The characters were quickly being incorporated into other books, movies, and shows.
From there the duo earned the trust and admiration of readers with The City Of Owls, Death Of The Family, and Zero Year. Rein-visioning origins, creating new characters, and drenching Gotham in an overall horror theme; Snyder’s brand of Bat quickly became an instant-classic. Shifting The Joker from a criminally insane anarchist, to a criminally insane boogeyman in Death Of The Family solidified his taste for evolution. Understanding and acknowledging the legacy of these characters, he continued their growth and shepherded them into the modern world.
Already 35-issues into their blockbuster run, Snyder and Capullo turned to The Joker again for Endgame. A love letter to both Batman and his most deadly villain, this arc showed Bruce Wayne making the ultimate sacrifice and somehow made a comic book trope feel fresh. Snyder digs deep into what they mean to each other and exposes his deep admiration for the characters as if they were his own.
With Gotham feeling Batman’s absence, Jim Gordon stepped into the role as a police-sanctioned dark knight. A bold direction, Snyder cements himself in Bat-Creator history with the “Gordon-Bat” era. Superheavy and Bloom presents readers with two arcs worth of the former-Commissioner Gordon facing an entirely new threat in Mr. Bloom. A creative and entertaining ten issues that proves Snyder can take his Gotham tales anywhere; creating timeless characters and stories within any boundary.
As New 52 drew to a close, the dynamic Snyder and Capullo duo released their heartfelt sendoff in Batman #51. “Gotham Is” ends a legendary run on a touching note, sharing with readers a most intimate recap of what they’ve accomplished and what Batman means to them. It’s rare that a Batman issue can speak right to a comic book reader’s soul, and force raw emotion about something so silly on the surface.
From 2014-2015 Snyder was also contributing (along with James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, Tim Seeley, and John Layman), in the weekly series Batman Eternal. The weekly series provided Scott with an opportunity to work alongside other talented writers and tell stories about characters and themes he didn’t get to explore on Batman.
When DC Rebirth launched, All-Star Batman launched along with it. Collaborating with the likes of John Romita Jr, Jock, and Tula Lotay to explore the many rogues of Batman. Currently seven issues into the run, it’s been a tour of chaos. Snyder lives up to the “All-Star” status and exercises the creative freedom he’s given to explore uncharted territory. He once again reinvents the Bat and shows readers a side of him we’ve never seen before.
In just six short years, Scott Snyder has earned the trust of fans and solidified himself among the great scribes of Batman. As DC has moved on from their New 52 era, at least they got Batman out of it.
Snyder injected a dark sense of humor into the character while maintaining a no-nonsense attitude. The element that makes his work stand out the most are his character relationships. Bruce Wayne and Batman’s connection and relation to Gotham and the people within it ground the man, somehow making him relate-able. This makes all his super hero accomplishments carry that much more weight.
It was recently announced that Snyder would be reuniting with Greg Capullo for a major DC Rebirth event. Even if it’s not strictly a Batman story, having the dream-team back together is something to get excited about.
What are your favorite Scott Snyder stories? Where does he rank in your favorite Batman writers? Let us know in the comments!