Four Letter Nerd

Scott Snyder: The Comic Book Stephen King?



So, since I was just a boy I can remember watching Batman: The Animated Series and somehow in the back of my head, at that young of an age, I knew that comics were going to end up playing a huge role in my life. At the age of 20, I already have at least 200 comics and countless graphic novels (my favorite being Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth).

Now, when I got into Batman, Grant Morrison was my favorite writer, mostly due to Arkham Asylum and then Batman: RIP. I guess you can say I like a really dark twisted Batman, not that Adam West guano. But, then Grant Morrison decided to break my heart and kill Damien Wayne. This is NOT about Grant Morrison, I just like stating how much he pissed me off. I have practically eradicated his run on Batman from my mind. I’m sure with time I’ll come to forgive him, but not now.

What this article is about though, is the best writer to work for DC in the last 10 years. Any guess who that might be? If you have read my articles before you know that I love Geoff Johns and Brian Azzarello, but sadly this isn’t about one of them. This is about a writer that can be a little more dark then Azzarello and doesn’t seem to upset as many as Johns. This is about Scott Snyder. And, I dare say that Snyder and team (Greg Capullo) are carrying New 52 on their shoulders.  I can honestly say that I haven’t read a Snyder title that I wasn’t completely blown away with. I will say upon first impression I wasn’t thrilled with Batman #21, but that was due to extreme hype and Snyder having a slow beginning to the story. I really hated the Batman on a motorcycle; it looked way too damn much like Daryl from Walking Dead.



So, let’s take a look at where Snyder started writing for DC Comics. Is it selfish of me to say I never want to see him write for the Marvel Universe again? Snyder’s first major break was a story on Vertigo, American Vampire. And let me tell you something, it’s amazing. I have just started it and blew through the first 12 issues in one night. I love the horror aspect behind it, and I HATE horror movies. Imagine Walking Dead in color and with vampires. That’s American Vampire. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh joy! More bloody vampires.” But, I promise this isn’t the sparkly day-walking vampires. Wait, that’s not completely true, please bear with me, these “American” vampires are a new breed that have the ability to walk in the sun and have no reaction to silver but rather gold. It’s beautifully drawn, almost like water color, and the fact that the story takes place all throughout American history is an awesome aspect we haven’t seen before. And did I forget to mention the origin story of the main villain, Skinner Sweet, is by Stephen King?

After American Vampire (It’s still going with Snyder still head of creativity) became popular DC put Snyder on their Batman title and this is where Snyder completely blew me away. The Black Mirror was by far on of the darkest and most insane stories I have read since Arkham Asylum and Killing Joke. It was absolutely beautiful. I still think that Snyder and Jock (The Artist) created on of the most horrific and terrifying Batman titles. (Just thinking about it I am beginning to get chills again. I will be completely honest, I couldn’t read it all at once. It was just too freaky and dark.) The story of Murder, torture, hate and anger was just beautifully put together into one of the most mature stories in a long time.

New 52 started up and once again we found Snyder on the Batman title, and honestly I don’t think anyone was upset with that. Somehow yet again Snyder thought up another original and beautiful story Court Of Owls in which Batman finds a secret society has ruled Gotham since its origins and were even behind the death of his parents. Some of the twist and turns in this story I never imagine to happen in a comic book. The fact that Snyder was able to have the Owls cross over into the entire Bat-universe was amazing.

I think one of the greatest small details put into the story is that the Court Of Owls would kidnap young circus children and train/force them into a world of assassins known merely as Talons. And at the end of the series we are thrown one of the largest surprises, which is the greatest Talon after Bruce is his own Brother Thomas Wayne Jr. This “brother” goes into detail that Martha would visit him everyday during training and he believes Bruce is the cause and reason for his parents death. The Owl against Bat battle comes to an end but we are left unclear if Jr. will ever becoming back. But Bruce warns Dick Grayson that when the court of owls returns, he’ll be ready this time.

I have to say out of all the New 52 titles, I think BATMAN will stand as one of the greatest comic book runs in the modern era of books. Hell I would even say in the past decade.

Now Snyder finds himself working on two more great titles besides Batman and American Vampire. He’s working with Jim Lee on Superman Unchained, but there have only been three issues so it’s a little hard for me to decide if I like this or not (hell, that may be due to the fact I’m not a huge Sups fan).  Scotts other title is on Vertigo and it’s what I love to see in comics. It’s dirty, gritty, dark, and just scary. Its titled The Wake in which some scientists are working in an oil rig at the bottom of the ocean after a new species has been found. Almost like a mermaid, but longing for human flesh. So far this story is about claustrophobia and fear. Nothing like being stuck on the bottom of the ocean with a creature(s) that wants nothing more then you dead.

The Wake

So, with all this being said, I look forward to seeing Scott Snyder keeping the DC Universe dark and tormented. I look forward to seeing more horror stories coming from Snyder.

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Bill Clark

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