1. Batman (DC Entertainment)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
After writing only writing four issues in 2011, Scott Snyder quickly propelled Batman into being one of the best comics of the year. And now that he's been given more time to truly develop his vision, Snyder has managed to top himself by easily turning Batman into the best comic of 2012 so far.
Snyder’s first year on the book involved Batman being hunted down by a mysterious cult called the Court of the Owls. Unbeknownst to the Caped Crusader, they were operating in Gotham City for decades and pulling the strings of power from behind the scenes. The Court's merciless obsession with ruling Gotham put them directly at odds with the Caped Crusader after they officially made it their mission to eliminate him.
The first half of 2012 dealt specifically with Snyder’s magnum opus, “Night of the Owls,” a large crossover storyline that detailed the Court's attempts to assassinate all of the major power players in Gotham over the span of one night. As Batman and his allies attempted to fight them off, the Dark Knight also had to fend off the group’s leader, who made a shocking claim about his relationship to the Wayne family.
The intricate plot here is both action-packed and extremely emotional as Batman must come face-to-face with his own mortality, his faith in his family, and the fact that he might not know Gotham as well as he thought. But aside from the blockbuster scripts, the real hero of this title is artist Greg Capullo. His art looks and feels like a combination of his twisted work on Spawn and the look of the classic Batman: The Animated Series. There's a feeling of expressionism in these issues that puts every emotion and theme right into the art, and it all comes together to create a style that no other book at the company can compare to.
We can’t see this book slowing down any time soon, especially with the highly-anticipated return of the Joker in October. We know you’re all excited for The Dark Knight Rises, but what Snyder and Capullo are doing on Batman shouldn’t be ignored.