Don’t even bother reading this review. Just go out and read ‘Batman’ #5. Yes. It’s that good. But, since you won’t listen to me and you came here for the review, here it is…

‘Batman’ #4 left the caped crusader trapped at the mercy of the Court of Owls, the villainous secret society that has been running Gotham city from behind the scenes for decades. This issue shows how the Court of Owls plans to do the impossible… they plan to break and destroy the Bat!

This is usually the part of my review wherein I give a brief plot synopsis. That’s not going to happen with this issue. Just know this: Batman is captured (and possibly drugged) by the Court of Owls. The Court’s assassin, The Talon, is watching Batman closely. Batman’s family is waiting and wondering where he has been these past eight days. To give you any more than that would ruin what I am already predicting will end up being one of the best single comic issues of 2012. From the opening scene with Commissioner Gordon waiting next to the Bat-Signal, to the final panel (that maybe one of the saddest things I’ve read this year), ‘Batman’ #5 is comic book brilliance!

I’ve loved writer Scott Snyder’s books in the New 52 so far. Both this series with the Court of Owls storyline and the creepy horror stuff over in ‘Swamp Thing’ are excellent titles and make for a couple of my most-anticipated books each month. But as good as ‘Batman’ has been, Snyder on ‘Swamp Thing’ had that special something that was missing in the Bat-book. I think it’s because Snyder is more in his element when he’s doing horror and psychological thrills. This issue, Snyder finally takes Batman into that psychological horror realm and. It. Is. Stunning!

Even the art from Greg Capullo, which so far has bothered me for being to Spawn-like, didn’t detract from what Snyder was able to put to the page in this issue. In fact, flipping back through the issue now, Capullo’s art is looking less and less Spawn and more Batman.

I can’t wait to see where Snyder is going to take Batman after this issue’s shocking twists and turns! Join me next month when the Court of Owls story continues in ‘Batman’ #6.

Verdict: Buy