REVIEW: ‘Batman: Reptilian’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman: Reptilian #1

Published under DC’s Black Label, Batman: Reptilian #1 is written by Garth Ennis, art by Liam Sharp, and lettered by Rob Steen. This grim tale hits the ground running with a crime horrific enough that it instilled fear into the most elite rogues of Gotham. Batman: Reptilian #1 begins at a courthouse in Gotham, where a crime boss walks away from his violent crimes as a free man and encounters Batman. In typical Batman fashion, he provokes this thug to violence with nothing but a few well-placed words and incapacitates this man publicly in front of the media and press.

Upon returning to the Batcave, Batman is surprised to see that his incident has taken a backseat when he gets word of two of his biggest adversaries have met gruesome deaths. In need of answers, he sets out to the slums of Gotham to intimidate a low-level thug into giving away anything they can.

Batman learns of the night it began when Gotham’s murderers were possessed, and all turned on one another. He quickly realizes that he is not the only one lurking in the shadows anymore, something more sinister lurks and it is stalking. Whatever is causing the violent flashes of debilitating madness in his most ruthless enemies must be pure evil.

Ennis, a legend in comics, balances the pacing and action well in this story. There are no slow moments or drawn-out conversations. He writes Batman as concise and punctual as ever, which I find refreshing. His Batman seems to have a bit more attitude, which I believe is a direct reflection of himself, which I enjoy. There is both a new kind of humanity when it is Bruce conversing with Alfred, and there is an entirely darker Batman when the cowl is on. Ennis also does a wonderful job of putting us on the streets of Gotham, feeling connected to the story regardless of how fictitious it may be.

Sharp’s artistic ability is astounding. I am an enormous fan of his traditional art style, but this new style of his is going to be a landmark in comics. He has been able to take the script, inject it with nightmare fuel, and deliver a mind-altering psychedelic fever dream. I admit, Sharp’s artwork does take the spotlight on this issue, but it is hard not to be entranced by this spine-tingling abstract art style.

Steen’s letters are the much-needed accent on these maddening, art-heavy pages. The letters do a lot of heavy lifting in this issue because they need to match the energy of the script and artwork. The letters accomplish that and more.

Batman: Reptilian #1 puts a psychological thriller spin on a classic DC character that feels both brand new and hauntingly familiar, in the sense that it is a story we have all been asking for! This is only the tip of the iceberg, and this issue has also raised a set of questions that will keep readers -and this reviewer hooked for issues to come.

Batman: Reptilian #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Batman: Reptilian #1
3.5

TL;DR

Batman: Reptilian #1 puts a psychological thriller spin on a classic DC character that feels both brand new and hauntingly familiar, in the sense that it is a story we have all been asking for! This is only the tip of the iceberg, and this issue has also raised a set of questions that will keep readers -and this reviewer hooked for issues to come.