Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Becky Cloonan
Other info link: Here
Recently the monthly Batman title has been a little fragmented in the wake of the Court of owls but this issue brings things back a notch and puts Batman back at 'grass roots' as the story does not follow him directly but instead a young girl and her brother who are trying to get by in the 'real' Gotham city.
I am trying to be as spoiler free as possible since this issue is still warm from the press. Batman only appears in a few panels as we see events from the point of view of a Miss Harper Row who is a hard working Batman obsessed electrical engineer (or something like that) who works with Gotham's power grid (has appearing in batman titles, that appear to be later in the timeline than this story)
The story follows Harper as she tried to get 'involved' with Batman by tracking down his 'jacks' into the power grid in hopes to simply learn more or help where possible.
It feels like an origin story but then ends in a very self contained way. With the issue Zero titles coming up next month it was wises of the writers not to open a fresh story arch with a month 'out' of story telling (issue 0's are pegged to be origin retelling's as a special event)
I enjoyed the title a great deal this month and I am sure that the little nuggets of information regarding Batman's control of the power grid and Miss Harpers enthusiasm will be used later in the next story arch while still remaining a charming little story on its own.
If one thing spoiled the experience it would have to be the sudden change of art half way though. It goes from classical comic solid's and strong ink lines to a more toned and sketch driven style. Each art style is beautify and striking but the change as I turned the page threw me a little and broke my reading pace more than an art change usually does because it was so drastic.
The second artist is Any Clarke who's work I am not to familiar with but he is well established and his art is very descriptive although I didn't think it matched the narrative as well as it may have done is he had have been the sole artist on this issue. If I had to pick a favourite on this one Becky Cloonan would win out for me at least.
Batman issue 12 ended on a high note and sets things up nicely for the break in continuity next month.