Today sees the final issue of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo‘s five year fifty issue run. It’s a tale of stepping up, of derring-do, of self examination, of self realisation and of punching things really, really hard.
We have the new Batsuit.
With a Dark Knight grey and black look, but with outlines in bright orange. Embracing the grim’n’gritty and light’n’brighty simultaneously. It’s dark and brooding – but fun and silly and probably rather cool, simultaneously.
As well as a new Batsuit, there is also the indication of a new Robin – Duke Mighten.
Although they have been teasing this for years…. But in this final showdown between Batman and Mr Bloom (or is it), there’s also a showdown between Scott Snyder and the reader. And one specific monologue where Jim Gordon challenges the reader’s most sacred beliefs. Because this is not Batman V Superman, this is Batfan V Snyder.
But it starts with a confession.
Because yes, that’s Scott Snyder speaking, saying Jim Gordon as Batman was a mistake, the dumbest idea. It’s incredibly self deprecatory, it speaks of Scott Snyder aware of his own limitations, as a writer, as a person, as a father. And the dangers of relying on fantasy, specifically Batman because “he’s not real.”
And then we get metaphysical.
But then it’s in praise of stupid ideas, looking at the value they can have, creating a self delusion that can be self sustaining, lifting us up by our bootstraps. If we believe the lie, it can become the truth and save us. Or rather, we save ourselves through our own delusional constructs.
Within the story it justifies the question asked repeatedly during this run. Why would anyone who lives in Gotham, in a city run by a court of Owls, terrorised by the Joker and brought to its knees by the Riddler, stay there? Because they believe the lie and the lie can make things better.
Fiction saves lives. Fiction makes lives. Fiction makes lives better. And Batman does that really really well.
So, yes, Batman is an imaginary story. Aren’t they all?
Batman #50 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Yanick Paquette is published today by DC Comics.