Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Neal Adams and Dennis O’neil. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. All of these great collaborator’s have defined, refined and left their mark on one of the marquee fictional characters in comics or any other media. I’m speaking of course of the Dark Knight Detective himself: Batman. Each of them have expanded both the myth of the character and my personal obsession with him. Today however I want to talk about Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo and plead the case not only as to why they belong with such illustrious company, but thar they are in fact THE Dynamic Duo.
After a stellar 10 issue run during the Dick Grayson-is-Batman era Snyder was paired with Capullo in the 2011 company-wide relaunch “The New 52” on the main Bat-title “Batman”. Their opening arc introduced the shadowy cabal The Court of Owls and their legion of Talons whose control over Gotham stretches back centuries. Batman has one of, if not THE, premiere rogues gallery in all of comicdom and this war to see who Gotham City truly belongs to immediately launched them into the upper echelons. Not a bad opening act.
From there we move on to the”Death of the Family”, which gave us not only what may be the creepiest take on the Joker and his intense, twisted, obsession with Batman; but the way they take the earliest stories of the two and turn them on their head gives us a wealth of call backs for the not so casual fan, not unlike Grant Morrison’s decade long run. Just a little less out there.
Zero Year gave us the first truly great Riddler story in what, at the time felt like forever, as they created their counter to the seminal Year One by the legendary Frank Miller. Did I mention their next act was to have the Joker, given into the rage after being “rejected” by his “love”, sic the Justice League on him while launching his “Endgame” on Gotham? The repercussions of which leaves both broken, paving the way for Jim Gordon to assume the mantle of the Bat to attempt to carry on the legacy. (At least temporarily)
Which leads us to their Magnum Opus “Dark Knights: Metal”. Currently sitting smack dab in the middle of its run, “Metal” is the kind of universe expanding story the likes of which is rarely seen. The seeds for this story have been sown throughout their entire run. It’s touch can be felt in nearly every corner of the DC Universe both in the actual conflict itself and the origins of superheroes overall. Nth Metal, long associated with Hawkman is in fact a powerful substance from the Dark Multiverse that exists in tandem with the traditional one we’ve all come to know. They’re literally doubling the scope of the universe and Batman is at the center of it all. Lead by Barbatos, the Dark Knights are twisted reflections of batman combined with the abilities of the Justice League, among others, who due to the crumbling of their realities have decided to take over ours. Each knight being the knee jerk reaction to his personal fears has proven to be a fascinating character study of the psyche of Batman and his personal flaws. Perceived and otherwise.
At this point we don’t know how the saga will end but thus far it’s living up to their usual sterling reputation. The consistency, scope, and just plain quality of their work over the last 6 years on Batman has definitely solidified their names as being worthy of joining the elite names I mentioned at the beginning. As for the mark they’re leaving on the Caped Crusader? Its a big one. Like as big as a multiverse.