Batman, Volume 10: Epilogue is the final collection in Batman New 52 and finishes with Batman #1 (I am Gotham) from Rebirth. Epilogue is a collection of short stories which begin and end there as a farewell from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (although Tynion also has an issue). It’s a bittersweet book as the run is now officially over and Rebirth begins. However, it’s a fitting end as many loose ends are taken care of and overall it is actually a good book with great stories included.
This final volume collects Batman #51-52, Batman: Future’s End #1, Batman Annual #4 and a special preview of Batman Rebirth #1.
|Book Series||Batman, New 52|
|Edition Reviewed||Collected Edition Trade Paperback|
|Writer(s)||Scott Snyder, James Tynion, Tom King|
|Where to Buy||Amazon|
|Notable Heroes||Batman, James Gordon|
As sad as it is that this remarkable run is over, all things do need to come to an end, just like Grant Morrison’s Batman did and Ed Brubacker’s Catwoman did. Epilogue is an anthology and a collection of self contained issues dealing with some of the ‘out of the main story’ times of New 52 Batman, generally in the later years rather than Zero Year – Court of Owls, Endgame and post-Bloom stories feature. However, to discuss the Snyder era in full is for another time as this is a review of this collection alone.
Epilogue begins with “Remains” a story of when Bruce Wayne broke into LexCorp to steal a crucial item to keep the Batman legacy going and it’s clear to see why this is in Epilogue. Even when a run is over, Batman is forever to be continued by someone else – be it a writer (in this case Tom King), a character (Dick Grayson, Jean-Paul Valley, Terry McGinnis…) or metaphorically as a symbol. It’s a quick and easy caper showcasing Bruce’s superior intellect and strategy as well as sheet willpower to succeed.
The second story, Madhouse, is a Superheavy tie-in which seems rather odd to be in Epilogue rather than Superheavy itself. If you’re reading Volume 10 and skipped previous volumes/issues (why would you) then you might be lost here but the long and the short of it is Bruce has amnesia following Endgame and some of Batman’ Rogue’s Gallery have come to take revenge against Bruce for his involvement in their plights. Throughout Bruce claims he doesn’t remember and that he’s a changed man but towards the end you realise that you can never truly forget being Batman. I found this issue to be a bit slow and plods along rather than glides. However, there is some standout art that’s much more “oily” and raw in colour which really brings out the ‘trip down memory lane’ feel.
The third story, and the true final Snyder story is “Gotham Is..” and explores what Gotham Is to the Dark Knight and even the reader. This Batman is clearly at his peak and is very cocky in his demeanour as he takes down some A-rank villains along the way, which all the more adds to the enjoyment. It’s a bit cheesy and I also gathered it to be a personal thanks from Snyder as the final line states that “Gotham is… you” in the book this means Batman, but to me he means the fans and the readers. Without them there would be no Batman.
The List is the final original story in Epilogue and it’s helmed by Tynion. In it, he explores very young Bruce’s origins and motivations to be what he became. After the death of his parents with the help of Alfred and Dr. Leslie Thompkins he writes a book “How to move on”. We don’t get to see many of the individual points but the one that truly sticks out is “Remember your parents are always proud of you” which includes a very touching moment between present day Bruce Wayne and Alfred. A very fitting ending.
The final, final issue is Batman: Rebirth #1 but that review is covered within I am Gotham.
A great final chapter to the Batman New 52 era with some stellar self contained and stand alone stories. On to Batman: Rebirth!
Last update on 2020-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API