COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 – Welcome Back, Bruce | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 – Welcome Back, Bruce

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 - Welcome Back, Bruce

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artists: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia, Yanick Paquette,

Nathan Fairbairn, Steve Wands


DC Comics

In the nearly five years since Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo became the creative team behind Batman, DC’s staple character and since then, the fan favorite has been through some rough times. We’ve seen him battle off the Court of Owls; lose a son; go through hell with the Riddler; face mutually assured destruction with the Joker; and for the last ten issues, either as Bruce or as Jim Gordon, has been digging up the roots of an all-new evil – Mr. Bloom. Today marks the release of Batman #50, and with that, the end of the Snyder/Capullo run. In this supersized issue, everything that you could have hoped would pay off in the Superheavy series comes to fruition, giving you no time to mourn.

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 - Welcome Back, Bruce

Batman #50 – Page 1

In the previous issue, we watched as Bruce was returned to the cowl by way of his Final Machine – a machine that holds all of the memories of Batman, all of his essence. To achieve this, Bruce Wayne had to die. When he was reborn as Batman, he was born anew. The dionesium in the machine returned Bruce’s body to a state that it has not been in since his training. All of his scars and all of his flaws are gone, leaving only the fastest and strongest Batman the world has ever known.

His return is tremendous. As it looks like Jim is about to be finished, Bruce enters. He is refreshed, and showing off his moves as he crushes Bloom’s cronies into paste. At one point, and this is where the art really shines in these pages, Batman wields the flag of Gotham on a pole to shatter the glass on the Bat symbol. Next, he tees off on it and sends the encased bat negative flying towards his enemies like a gigantic Batarang in a series of panels that are pretty brutal.

Just as it looks like Batman is fighting a winning battle, Mr. Bloom’s plan springs into action. Using the Gotham Collider as a conduit, Bloom’s seeds funnel a massive amount of strange energy into it, creating a strange star – an energy source so large that it threatens to wipe Gotham off the map. In true fashion, Bruce and Jim devise a plan and get to work.

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 - Welcome Back, Bruce

Batman #50 – Page 3

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In all of these panels, the collaboration of Capullo and Plascencia is the best it has been in some time. There are so many nods to the Dark Knight series, and a countless wealth of other influences contained in these pages. The art department really sends themselves off well, showing just how much fun they’ve had with this series and providing the fans with outrageous excitement.

The issue pivots to Duke and Daryl. Duke, adorn in his Robin suit, has just returned from seeing his parents for the first time since Gotham was all but destroyed in Endgame. He shows Daryl the list of names that he found in The Iceberg Lounge, and from here, Mr. Blooms origin is finally spilled out. We’ve seen bits and pieces, but reserving all of this backstory on Bloom until the final issue of the arc is amazing. There’s been so much in this ten issue series that has been a mystery, that was never clear if it was going to be cleared up or if we were going to have one more villain with a question mark for an origin. Snyder, in this fairly brief scene, wraps all of that up in a stunning way – a way that makes every scene with Daryl and Duke in Batman before suddenly some of the most vital to the Superheavy story.

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 - Welcome Back, Bruce

Batman #50 – page 5

This scene gets folded into the action, as before, during, and after, all of the Rookie Batman suits join the fight, but are quickly taken over by Bloom. This battle wages on throughout the entirety of the issue, but comes to a crescendo when Bruce takes to a suit of his own and starts pounding on the over-sized Mr. Bloom that is tearing up the city. These panels are epic, and seem to draw a ton of influence from Godzilla, or other Kaiju battles pitting giant monsters against giant robots. The mech war is cut off by the ingenious thinking of Gordon and Duke. Turns out, the helicopter that Duke has been soaring around in is housing a giant magnet powered by the superconducting Batmanium. Just as Bloom is about to rip the helo to shreds, Duke activates the magnet and starts dragging Bloom around the city like a parade float.

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 - Welcome Back, Bruce

Batman #50 – Page 21

Here’s where we get the most impacting scene of the issue: The citizens of Gotham see that Batman is back. The real Batman. That sense of hope and, perhaps, gratitude inspires the entire city and they all begin to dig Mr. Bloom’s seeds out of themselves. As they do, he is drained of his power. He’s sucked into his own strange star and the self-made villain has a self-made end.

The reason this scene is so powerful is not because of the art – though it’s done with precision. This scene is impacting because of the idea. Gotham, seeing now that their hope has returned is so inspired that they in turn save themselves and their city. Batman plays his part, but he could not have won without Gotham behind him. That’s the idea that drives Batman, that has always driven Batman, yet rarely do we get to see it so explicitly in the pages. This scene is just perfect.

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 - Welcome Back, Bruce

Batman #50 – Page 24

Snyder could have left us off with that. It would have been a fine ending. However, he’s done his due diligence and given us an epilogue in which everyone’s lives seem to come back around full circle. Maybe this ending, although still tinged with despair in some ways, is a bit too happy for what we’ve been given in fifty books, but what it does amazingly well is convey the sense that everything is starting over. That’s what’s left. Snyder and Capullo are signing off, and they’ve just handed you, the readers of Batman, a blank slate.

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #50 - Welcome Back, Bruce

Batman #50 – Page 42

The “Best There Is:” Some scenes in this issue are downright single tear-down-the-cheek inspiring. From the way the story winds itself down, to the way the art team manages to fill every single panel with vital detail, Batman #50 is superbly powerful. Though Snyder and Capullo are moving on for now, these fifty issues are likely to go down as one of the most iconic Batman runs of all time.

The “Not Very Nice:” While the ideas are flawless, some of the execution took two or three looks. There’s so much happening, and that’s not a bad thing, but some things are left implied and could be easy enough to gloss over. It doesn’t do much damage to the book, but for such a huge issue, it’s worth mentioning.

FBI Score: 9.5 out of 10. Snyder and Capullo dared to do something different with Batman. In every arc, fans have been presented with choices that were sometimes enough to make them cringe. But, at every turn, the creative team proved that they knew what they were doing. Mr. Bloom was perhaps their biggest leap forward, and together, they crushed it. As their run comes to an end, Batman will live on, but the true dynamic duo must part ways.


Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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