When you hear Scott Snyder talk about Batman you understand right away just how it is that he has managed to make his current run stand out and even above the many, many years of history. Not only does he understand the character intimately but he also sees clearly the roles that each of the comic’s villains are required to play in relation to him. He says that they are all reflections of some part of Bruce’s personality, reflections that have been perverted by sin in the city that he loves, by the Black Mirror of the trade’s title: that the Joker’s anarchistic chaos is there to temper his own steel-set code of conduct, that Two-Face highlights the horror of splitting your identity into two clear halves, Penguin the dark side of reckless spending, Killer Croc of too closely mimicking an animal avatar, etc. etc.
I bring all of this up in a review of Rob Williams’ Look Inside because while the story may be a potent visceral experience on its oh so sinister surface there is also something theoretically satisfying going on underneath. The theme and subtext of this story suggest that writer Williams subscribes to an approach very similar to Snyder’s but more interesting is the way in which he has one of the comic’s characters bring the thought quite literally to life. It might sound dry but when I say it like this, but watching the theory be wielded like it is here is intense. It may be scary, but sometimes to succeed you’ve got to look deeper, to look inside.
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