Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Batman #38 Review

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Greg Capullo
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 28, 2015

The Long and Winding Road

Scott Snyder has said that Endgame will probably be his last Joker story and if that's truly the case, he is going out with a bang.  He's showing the reader that the Joker's return is far from an overnight success.  He's been planning his return for a long time and now that he's back, it's for keeps.  This is not the Joker that we saw at the end of Death of the Family, but isn't that the point of some of the best Joker stories?  While the reader tries to figure out just who or what this Joker is, Snyder keeps adding and subtracting from the equation until up is down and dog is cat.  The best part, though, is in the end it all makes sense in a crazy, insane way.  That all continues this month in an action packed issue that throws in some really cool guest stars to boot.  I usually end this intro part with something like, "but, is it good?", but with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo it's more appropriate just to ask "How good is it?"  Let's see.

The issue opens with Batman going to save Jim Gordon.  Things look bad, like axe in the chest bad, but Gordon is more concerned about what happened last issue.  He straight up shot the Joker and he didn't die.  Actually, it looked like he died and came back to life.  It's a nice little reminder that has to be tossed aside quickly as Gordon is infected with the virus that is running rampant in Gotham...the Joker virus.

I am still not sure that I love the Virus part of this story,  but I like that Batman really feels off his game.  Scott Snyder has never given us a God-like Batman, but here he is really struggling to get his head wrapped around what is going on.  In Fact, he has to call in some help.

Julia Pennyworth and Dick Grayson prove helpful, but Batman is still far from getting any real answers.  However, he knows where to get them.  If you know the name Paul Dekker, you'll be smiling right now.  Yep, one of Batman's most ridiculous villains has joined the New 52 and he is no longer a joke.  I loved the way Scott Snyder twisted his background to fit this story in such an awesome way.  He's not just a guy with a crazy choice of clothing either, he has some real information about the Joker and it doesn't look good.  It seems that he's been around for a long, long, long time.  With everything going to hell around him, Batman goes somewhere that I wouldn't have ever guessed.  Fans of Snyder's run are in for a real treat.

I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't too thrilled to have the Joker back.  I am slowly changing my mind.  It's not just the Joker himself (in fact, he's barely in this issue), but watching Batman struggle to come to grips with what the Joker really is that is great. It also didn't hurt that the cliffhanger was one of the best scenes this book has had in a long time.  I can't wait until next month.

There's not much more I can say about Greg Capullo's art.  It is awesome and light years ahead of just about anything you can find in comics today.  While I enjoyed the bright change of pace of Zero Year, I'm glad to be back in the dark recesses of Gotham again.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue continues the Endgame story and while this is an intriguing Joker story, I'm enjoying watching Batman struggle even more.  The Joker is back, but the game has changed and the cliffhanger shows the reader how desperate Batman is and I can't wait to see the results.


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