Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Art by Yanick Paquette
Colors by Nathan Fairbairn
Bruce Wayne must die for the Batman to return. It’s the inevitability we all knew. Scott Snyder needs to hit the reset button before he ends his run on Batman and in this issue we literally get that reset.
As I mention in my review for Batman #48, Snyder knows everything he has set up during his run would have to end eventually. He would have to reset back to the Batman he was given so the next person could take the driver’s seat and craft their own tale about the Dark Knight. In this issue, Bruce Wayne (that doesn’t remember he used to be Batman) comes to Alfred asking him to restore his memories and make him the Batman again. Even though he has no memories of what made him the Batman, he knows it’s the right thing to do and he needs to make a sacrifice. Alfred won’t let him, he won’t let him throw away his life to go back into the darkness. Alfred states he’s always wondered what kind of person Bruce would have been had he grown up with his parents. Had he not gone through the trauma that he did. Bruce is like that now and if Alfred helped him go back, he would be pulling that trigger that Joe Chill did years ago. Alfred thinks he’s done enough to stop that choice as he destroyed the machine that was made to create more Batmans.
However, old Bruce had a back-up plan, as he always did: The Alfred Protocol. Alfred was always his healer so he created a program that would heal him if he ever lost his memories. Alfred is still insisted Bruce find another way but they both know there isn’t one. Bruce’s girlfriend Julie Madison instead chooses to help Bruce by resetting him. We end the issue with the Batman back and the new Bruce dead.
Yanick Paquette’s art is amazing and a perfect choice from this issue. I’m sure it wasn’t planned for Paquette to do this specific story point and it was just a fill-in, but it make sense all around. His style is similar to what he did on Swamp Thing, which was fantastic. There are multiple two page spreads with unique panels in this issue that bring an epic feeling to the story. Nathan Fairbairn on colors does a great job with Paquette’s panel work. We jump to different Batmans, and possibly timelines, each has it’s own unique look because of Paquette and Fairbairn.
Synder’s Batman run is nearing the end and each issue is ramping up to something special. Greg Capullo should be back next issue as Batman hit issue 50. This was another great installment into the Batman mythos these two have crafted.
Marvin’s rating – 9/10