- Category: Comicology
- Created on Wednesday, 25 January 2012 14:44
- Written by The Comic Book Group
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Scott Snyder: Two Years
by Sean Tiu
Scott Snyder spent 2010 establishing himself as one of DC’s hottest writers by creating the incredibly successful “American Vampire,” and his beginning arc on “Detective Comics” quickly became a fan and critical favorite. Clearly not resting on his laurels, he spent 2011 establishing himself as one of the best writers in the comic industry. From his consistently remarkable work on “American Vampire,” to his riveting take on Batman, Snyder has accomplished more in two years than most other writers have in the span of decades.
Especially remarkable about Snyder’s year is the sheer number of books he released, having his name on the credits for Detective Comics, Batman: Gates of Gotham, Flashpoint: Project Superman, Batman, Swamp Thing, American Vampire, American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest and Severed. While several creators have buckled with simply releasing one book, Snyder released an astonishing eight, with nearly all of them being critically acclaimed.
Snyder continued his run on “Detective Comics” by slowly evolving “The Black Mirror” from a detective story with noir underpinnings to a full-blown psychological thriller. Under his masterful writing, “Detective Comics” went from “that other Batman title” or “that Batman title not written by Grant Morrison” to theBatman title. Snyder’s acute understanding of what made Dick Grayson and Jim Gordon tick, allowed him to create villains that truly represented a dark foil for his two lead characters, and gave them challenges that felt like actual threats. By the conclusion of the arc with issue 881, it was plain that Snyder had written a modern classic, and one that could be held as being among the best Batman stories ever.
Running concurrently were two miniseries that showed that Snyder was also very proficient in writing more conventional superhero stories: “Batman: Gates of Gotham” which was co-written with Kyle Higgins, and “Flashpoint: Project Superman,” which was co-written with Lowell Francis. “Gates of Gotham” particularly evinced Snyder’s ability to tell compelling stories by marrying his love for history with traditional superhero stories.
His track record having been firmly established, very few fans were not overjoyed at the announcement that Snyder would be handling both the flagship “Batman” title, as well as his dream title “Swamp Thing,” even if these fans were otherwise skeptical of the DC relaunch. Thus far, both “Batman” and “Swamp Thing” have continued Snyder’s trend of releasing great quality stories, with “Batman” proving that “The Black Mirror” was not a fluke and that Snyder wouldn’t be suffering from a sophomore slump, while “Swamp Thing” is on its way to being the best its been since Alan Moore left the title.
From: Gates of Gotham #3 (DC Comics)
Of course, Snyder did not neglect “American Vampire,” which received both the Eisner Award and the Harvey Award for “Best New Series,” and has only grown stronger as its issue count increases. This year saw the miniseries “Survival of the Fittest” spin-off as concurrent stories about World War II ran. Rather than distilling the quality of the series, this move further bolstered the quality of the title, providing two unique yet complimentary stories that thematically revolved around the horrors of war.
American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1 (VERTIGO COMICS)
Finally, “Severed,” co-written by Scott Tuft, seems to be the ultimate distillation of Snyder’s strengths as a creator, providing a tense, subdued and genuinely terrifying story, where the horror lies in both the anticipation and the execution, while also playing with Snyder’s love for history, and his knack for making instantly memorable and fully dimensional characters.
Project after project, Snyder has proven himself to be incredibly consistent, with his unparalleled skill in effectively using both horror and history (both real and character history) birthing instantly compelling stories. In the short span of two years, Snyder’s effectively guaranteed that any project with his name on it is worth buying. There’s no doubt that he’s amazing now, and no doubt that he’s only getting better; I can’t wait for what he has in store for 2012.
Sean Tiu is a co-moderator of The Comic Book Group. His butt is huge.