Batman #44 by Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello & Jock

Batman #44 by Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello & Jock

I’ll try to make this a quicker review because I don’t want even the remote chance of spoiling this issue for anyone. It’s not that there are any “shocking” moments or “this page changes everything” aspects…. it’s because I really enjoyed Batman #44 and wouldn’t want to sully the childlike captivation that a new comic can bring to someone. Also, I normally hold off on reviewing a title until it has been published as a trade paper volume that I can sink my teeth into. This issue is worth making an exception.

Batman #44 is written by Scott Snyder, co-written by Brian Azzarello and guest-illustrated by Jock (‘guest’ because he hasn’t worked on this particular Batman series). Scott Snyder and Jock make a hell of a team so once I heard about Jock’s involvement I immediately went on the hunt for this issue.

One neat factor about Batman #44 is that it is somewhat separated from the current storyline, meaning, it can be enjoyed even if you’re not up to speed on the Jim Gordon Batman/ Mr. Bloom era. The connections it does have to the ongoing Batman series are perfect and thought provoking. It takes place five years before the current story. Batman is still rather new on the job so he has more to prove to himself than he does to Gotham. To do this, he sets out to solve an ‘everyday’ murder in one of the worst areas of the city. He reasons that doing this will remind him why this crusade is so important. In Batman’s eyes, this is a simple task in the city he knows so well… or does he? It’s a question he’s forced to ask as Gotham reminds him nothing in this urban jungle is simple.

Jock’s style is perfect (as always) because it possesses a certain dark, gritty whimsy that reinforces the jump in time. There’s plenty of social commentary present in Batman #44. These prevalent themes could easily turn me away from the pages. Comics regularly walk a line with social commentary; they involve heavy issues that can tip the scales of enjoyment in the wrong direction. If this issue was handled by any other creative team then that could have been the case. Thankfully, DC is trusting Batman to very capable hands.

My rating of BATMAN #44 is a solid 9 out of 10. Pick this one up – you won’t regret it!

9 out of 10