Well, I’ve recently read the last issue of Scott Snyder’s Batman that I’ll be reading for a while, so now’s as good a time as any to look back on some of my favourite moments from this 40+ issue run (including annuals and whatnot). As always, these are in no particular listing of best to worst, and just like with my Favourite 5 for Superman Unchained, only one entry per issue, unless there’s a tie for which moment I liked best, in which case, they both share the same entry. So, let’s go ahead and start with…
This was probably the first time I actually had to physically ask the question “Scott…….what the hell is wrong with you?” XD I think what I love most about it is how it just comes outta nowhere, right as Batman is trying to size himself up for this confrontation with the Joker. Just imagine yourself being like “Okay, you got this, no matter what he throws at ya, you can’t let anythi-WHAT THE FUCK?!” And that’s not even the only horse to die horribly in this series. Hell, another one gets frozen and smashed IN THIS ISSUE! Seriously, Mr. Snyder, between this and your love of harming Alfred, were you assaulted as a child by an Englishman riding a horse or something?
As you know, I’m a big fan of the original Court of Owls story arc. Without a doubt, though, the highlight of that arc had to be Batman #5, as it’s probably the single creepiest comic I’ve ever read that isn’t explicitly supposed to be a horror comic (though with Scott Snyder, it’s hard to tell sometimes, lol). It’s not overly gross, it’s not filled with jump scares, it’s just this slow build of terror as we watch Bruce slowly but surely fall into madness. And even the hater of turning books on their side, Linkara, has gone on record as saying he approves this issue not only eventually turning on its side, but then turning upside down, as it’s symbolic of Bruce’s fractured mind becoming more-so as he goes crazier and crazier. I won’t spoil the whole thing, though. With that said, it’s a must read, especially if you love scary stories, which usually I’m not that big a fan of, but here, I LOVE it.
While I think this ultimately takes a close second in terms of overall creep factor to Batman #5, this is nonetheless a terrifying moment as it’s revealed that Eric Border was actually The Joker in disguise all along. Looking back on it, yes, the clues were all there, but so subtly that, much like Batman, you didn’t realize it until it was far too late, and the way the scene builds up to the point where Joker is revealed is very much a scene filled with dread as the truth slowly dawns on you, that the man you thought was the ally was the greatest enemy. It’s gripping, it’s terrifying, it’s, for better or worse, the modern-day Joker.
You all know I like Damian, right? Good. Now, in Death of the Family, Joker had knocked out and captured Batman’s allies one by one, sat them around a table with their faces covered in bloody bandages, and presented them dinner platters with their faces staring up at them. So after Batman forces Joker into retreat and tends to them, he goes to Damian first. Now, most comic fans, when they’re reading a comic, will hear the character’s voice speaking in their head. As such, in this scene, you can hear Damian trying desperately to sound like the cocky little bastard he usually is, trying to be brave as his father removes the bandages, when the fact is, he’s a 10-year-old boy who believes he’s had his face surgically removed. And the relief that it was just a facsimile and that he was just fine under the bandages, followed by the hug between father and son, brings the emotional moment full circle. Plus, there’s the fact that this was just before he died in Batman Incorporated, so the emotion is made even more-so in hindsight. Scott, you might not have the best grip on Damian’s character, but you managed to come through just fine on the father-son dynamic here.
…Yeah, you knew this was gonna make it on here. lol What can I say? It’s an AWESOME recreation of the cover art where the world first laid eyes on The Dark Knight and said “Wow, that looks cool”. EVERYTHING about this two page spread is frakking perfect. If I could, I’d blow it up and put it on my wall…and then I’d put Wonder Woman on her pegasus in Batman/Superman on another wall. XD Zero Year, you may have taken FOREVER to get finished, but my God, did you leave the most epic of moments for us to remember you by.
And those are my 5 Favourite Scott Snyder’s Batman Moments……….Now for the honourable mentions! 😀 Oh, and no rulings with these ones, so anything goes.
There’s just something about that grin of his as he’s about to launch the Batpod off the train at these poor bastards that makes me go “FUCK YEAH!”
I find it simultaneously amusing and awesome that Bane has gone from the man who broke the bat to being the Colossus to his Wolverine.
…Admit it, you thought it too. lol
I just think this scene is too cute. “Come on, Dick, you know me better than nearly anyone. We’ve been through so much together……Of course I checked the cameras to make sure you weren’t a horrible murderer. What the fuck is wrong with you?” XD
The moment where I realized that not only was Stephanie Brown going to be back in Batman Eternal, but she was going to play a big role…..ish. Well, okay, that’s a debate for another time.
Yeah, Snyder’s definitely taken a cue from the version of Alfred from the Dark Knight trilogy when it comes to Alfred’s speeches, but regardless, this is a good one, where he sums up exactly why people have rarely managed to tie Batman and Bruce Wayne as being the same person.
What could very well prove to be the final battle between Batman and Joker. Just a warning, though: It’s not for the faint of heart.
That moment where I just laughed, shook my head, and said “Scott, you just couldn’t resist, could you?” XD
Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. Got one that’s not on here? Lemme know what your favourite moments of this series were in the comments below. Ja né, and long live the Dark Knight!
“…The story of Batman is, and always will be, a TRAGEDY. Bruce would never have let it be anything else. Batman COULD live forever. He could escape. But he doesn’t. He DIES, just like every one of us, even though he doesn’t have to. That’s his flaw. But it’s also his greatest strength. The very thing that makes him immortal. He says, we’re in this together. He says, live bravely in the time you have and smile at the void. That’s why the note says what it does. Why it’s only one word. Why Batman’s last message is, and will always be…’Ha’.”
I was going back and forth in my head as to whether or not to do an official review of this comic or not. Finally, I decided to just give my own thoughts on the big game changer of the ending, mainly because I want others to read this comic, and because it’s the hot button subject. As you’ve no doubt gathered by the quote at the beginning, Bruce Wayne is believed to be dead, as is the Joker. Was the Joker immortal after all? Doesn’t look like it. There was a LOT of evidence suggesting he was, but I don’t think he was, meaning Snyder instead created a situation where it would be so easy to believe he is, but turned out he wasn’t. Also, I will say that it was a BRUTAL fight between Batman and Joker, and could very easily be the final battle between them, because I don’t see them topping this, and I’m not sure I want anyone to try with these two. And, assuming that Batman DID somehow manage to survive the fight, he’s lost his left eye, so either he’ll need an eye-patch or a cybernetic implant of some sort.
Now, let’s be honest, from one Batman fan to another. This is not the end of Bruce Wayne’s story. I am not eulogizing him like I did Damian. Why? Because it was actually kinda ambiguous as to whether Damian would be back or not. But Bruce Wayne, even if he’s really dead (and that actually wouldn’t shock me, all things considered), is not staying dead. Why? Because DC will never let that happen, regardless of if it would be a good or bad thing to bring him back. Bruce Wayne is DC Comics’ meal ticket, and they will not let him die and stay dead. Hell, there’s an interview with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo where they pretty much all but outright admit that Bruce will be back someday. Jim Gordon being Batman certainly will not last. That’s an idea you might wanna experiment with, maybe even do as an Elseworlds story, but there’s no way Jim fucking Gordon is gonna be Batman’s permanent replacement. Hell, Bruce is still in the Justice League books, for crying out loud! And I know DC is planning to have a looser continuity (meaning the editors have one less thing they’re actually SUPPOSED to do, and therefore have more time to interfere in storylines), but gimme a break!
So, all of that said, is this a bad comic? Hell no! This was great! Again, I don’t wanna tell ya too much, but the final battle between Batman and Joker was epic and brutal, and the rest of the book was pretty freaking awesome too. There’s one moment, and I can talk about this because it’s in the preview, where Batman and Bane do the frigging Fastball Special. THAT’S AWESOME! XD And, in the end, you gotta judge this book by its own merits, and ultimately, regardless of whether or not this all gets undone later on, right here and now, this was a GREAT final stand of Batman and his allies (and enemies, for that matter) against Gotham’s greatest nightmare.
So yes, this issue gets a thumbs up from me. What’s coming next…….ehh…Like I said, I’m sure it’ll be well-written, because it’s Scott Snyder. But it’s still not a premise I’m on board with. Now, with that said, I’ll still be posting links to the previews for the ensuing issues and showing my support, because Snyder and Capullo have earned that from me. And hey, just because this isn’t for me doesn’t mean that NO ONE should be giving it a chance, right? So, I guess for me, this is my exit (at least for now) from what remains, in my opinion, still the undisputed best book from the start of The New 52 all the way to its finish (because the official branding of The New 52, regardless of continuity, ends in June): Scott Snyder’s Batman.
And that’s Batman #40. Check in tomorrow, though, as I give the last DC related blog entry for one month (because May is gonna be all Marvel) with my 5 Favourite Moments From Scott Snyder’s Batman. Ja né!
So, let’s get the Batman #40 preview out of the way first, because I got a lot to talk about afterward.
- The finale of “Endgame” is here! Batman risks everything against The Joker! Who will laugh last?
Now that that’s outta the way, I should probably clarify something I talked about this past Monday. If you haven’t heard, following the DC event Convergence, there’s gonna be a massive change to the Bat-related books. Long story short, Bruce Wayne is apparently being replaced by someone in a GCPD-owned Batman mech suit of sorts. And, according to information that was leaked from the Free Comic Book Day special, Divergence, the person replacing him is none other than the individual guessed and feared it would be: James Gordon, and for some reason, he’s apparently shaved off his mustache and has a mohawk. WHAT?! O_O
Okay, real talk: Of all the points where they could potentially do something like this with Jim Gordon, now is probably one of the better ones. Why? Because he’s not Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon anymore. That position is now held by Maggie Sawyer. Why does that factor into this at all? Because otherwise, we’d have him as a stand-in for Batman AND be Commissioner. And let’s be honest, that’d be stupid as all hell. On top of that, this move could conceivably be where Jim finally finds out about Babs being Batgirl. And, again, of all times where he could find out “OMG, you’ve been a costumed vigilante this whole time and never told me?!”, this is the best time for it, because she can literally just look at him in the robo Batsuit and go “…Really?”
With all of that said, the question I’m sure everyone that reads my blog and has heard me go on and on about how much I love Scott Snyder’s Batman and how great it is, to the point where I’m sure I’ve made someone’s ear bleed, is probably “So, are you gonna be reading this?”…….No. No, I’m not gonna be reading this. Why? Because just because this is the best timing if you were to do this, that doesn’t mean you should do it at all. And while I’m sure it’ll be well written, because it IS Scott Snyder after all, it nonetheless is not a concept that clicks with me personally. And I don’t know whose idea this was, be it Snyder or DC higher-ups. Frankly, either way wouldn’t shock me. And I don’t want you to think that I’m some Bruce Wayne purist who can’t see anyone else in the cowl. I liked the idea of Dick Grayson standing in when he did, especially in his team-up with Damian as Robin. I liked the idea of Flashpoint universe Batman being Thomas Wayne (though not so much in Earth 2). And do I even need to bring up Terry McGinnis? But Jim Gordon? REALLY? I’d sooner read about Tim Drake as Batman, albeit probably not in the upcoming Batman Beyond book. But the point is, of all the people I can see as a potential replacement/stand-in as Batman for Bruce Wayne, Gordon’s near the bottom of the list.
So, yeah, as much as it pains me to do this, because Scott Snyder is still one of my favourite writers, I’m gonna be dropping Batman after next week’s issue. Will it be forever? Probably not, mainly because I don’t see this change lasting for too long. I give it a year tops. And y’know, it’s funny that this is happening, given my previous statements regarding the All-New, All-Different Avengers book, and how, when it came to this book, you could either get on board or get out of the way. Well, this is me saying I’m getting out of the way. That said, though, because Scott Snyder IS still one of my favourite writers, I will still be posting links to the exclusive previews for Batman, since I’m sure others might wish to remain on board with this new direction.
Anyway, those are my two cents on the matter. Lemme know what you think about all of this, and we’ll see how this pans out in the months to come. Ja né!
It seems the Court of Owls might be a little resistant to helping Batman out…Yeah, let’s see how well that works out for them. lol
“Endgame” part 5. The Joker is back! The penultimate issue of the Clown Prince of Crime’s horrifying return! Plus, in the backup story, the inmates and Mahreen finally learn the truth about The Joker!
Well, I ended up getting my copy of Batman #38 late, due to the roads being kinda icky last night (although that didn’t stop me from reading spoilers, because dammit, after last issue, the hell if I was gonna wait any longer than I had to in order to find out what the hell is going on). Since its release yesterday, Scott Snyder has clarified a few details for the sake of those wondering.
- This is NOT a dream, illusion, or hallucination. What Batman is going through is 100% REAL, so theories that this is another worst case scenario brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxins are incorrect, though it’s likely that the payoff for that is that Batman goes through the horrid nightmares of his end, but is able to cheat death where it counts most.
- The Joker DOES know now that Batman is Bruce Wayne. There’re no more implications, suggestions, doubts, or theories, HE KNOWS. As such, all bets are off regarding what Joker can and will do to Batman now.
So, let’s get down to the question at the core of everything going on in this story: What is the Joker? Is he human, or some kind of monster? Is he mortal, or immortal? Well, before we get to that, I can clear this much up: Regardless of what he is, there IS something in his bloodstream that has a regenerative factor to it. He was shot through the chest and didn’t die. Ergo, whether or not he’s always had it, the fact is, Joker cannot be killed right now, so even if Batman was finally willing to cross that line, the end result is that he cannot kill him.
Regarding whether or not Joker could possibly be an immortal that’s been haunting Gotham City for at least a hundred years. Well, here was the argument that kept getting in the way of that for me: “How can Joker be immortal, have been seen in Gotham for at least a hundred years, and have that same pale face to boot throughout that time, when he only got it when he fell into the chemical bath?” And we HAVE established that this part of his history is still canon, having occurred during the Zero Year story-arc. However, here’s the counter-argument I eventually came to: “How do you know he got that face from the chemical bath? The only proof you have are flashbacks provided by Joker’s own narration, and his tales of his past have proven he’s either a liar or doesn’t remember his own past. In fact, how did he even survive the fall to begin with? Furthermore, how did he manage to survive everything he has, from falls off cliffs to escaping deadly explosions to even surviving the process of having his face cut off?” I’ll admit, at that point, I was kinda stumped to come up with a logical explanation for all of that, especially since so much of who Joker is and his past is kept a mystery. Remember, Zero Year suggested that he WASN’T the leader of the Red Hood Gang, but an impostor that had taken his place after the real one died. And then there’s the cave he had of other Harley Quinns he’d supposedly created prior to turning Harleen Quinzel to his side, all dead. Now, one could assume he was just messing with Harley, and in fact, he very well may have, but what if he wasn’t? What if they were all allies of his throughout his years of tormenting Gotham? Finally, how can someone trump Batman at his own game as often as he has, putting the opponent at a sheer disadvantage due to prior preparation, unless he’s been playing this game far longer than him?
So, here’s what I’m thinking has happened: Either Scott Snyder has finally explained how it’s possible for Joker to have survived all he has in his career as a Batman villain, OR has created a reasonable enough conclusion for people to come to before throwing the rug out from under them. Either way, though, when I realized he’d done one of these two things, I was torn between my admiration of his brilliance and my need to punch the beautiful bastard. lol And for that matter, I love what else he’s done, in involving Bruce’s uncle’s associates, having this story be a sequel to Death of the Family, and having Bruce finally decide to get his answers on whether Joker is immortal or not from, of all people, the Court of Owls. This is taking everything he and Greg Capullo have done in their time on the book and bringing it all together for one big climax. And the bizarre thing is, it’s not even the end! They’re still on-board for the book post-Convergence, which I keep hearing is supposed to get insane with how things change for Batman afterward. If THIS isn’t the part where things get crazy, then I gotta see what the hell those evil geniuses have in mind for post-Convergence.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on Batman #38. Lemme know your own theories on what’s happening with Joker in the comments below, and we’ll see how things turn out as Endgame winds down to a close over the next couple of months. Ja né!
This issue is once again great, but I have a couple of problems that I’ll address. It picks up right where we left off…more or less, since we actually start with a look at another possible death scenario for Bruce, care of the stuff Scarecrow put in his system. And again, is this something that happened in another book that I didn’t read, something that’s going to happen in Eternal, or just an off-panel event we never actually see? Regardless, the point is that, while the scenario is different in each of these visions, one thing that’s the same is the sound of cold, mocking laughter, coming from the city, asking Batman who or what he thought he was…Gosh, I wonder why you hear THAT, Bruce?
Anyway, snap back to reality, and Superman is still pummeling on Batman’s armoured suit, his ‘Super-buster’, if you will. Of course, seeing as how Batman can be INCREDIBLY paranoid, the suit’s armed with weapons meant specifically to take down Superman, with knuckles emitting red sunlight, and plasma shields meant to stop both heat vision and freeze breath. Unfortunately, he kinda failed to take into account that, because this is a suit meant to take on Superman, who generally has limits to what he’ll do, the best it can do against a Superman hell-bent on killing Bats is slow him down. So yeah, the suit gets trashed, but thankfully, Batman’s got one last trick up his sleeve: A gum-like substance laced with Kryptonite that he spits INTO HIS EYE. This seems to finally put Superman down long enough to get him and the rest of the League to A.R.G.U.S. for treating, but they’ll be out for nearly a week, meaning Joker is clearly planning something so big that Bruce would normally be forced to call on the team for help. And I suppose I should point out what bullshit it is that Batman managed to walk away with no lasting damage from fighting the Justice League, Superman in particular, but at least it wasn’t technically a victory. I’m sure that if the fight had continued, Superman probably would’ve killed Bruce. Also, God knows the ‘Super-buster’ (and yes, I’m going to continue to call it that) was probably worth a TON, and the chances of building another just like it aren’t great, so if something like this ever comes up again, Bruce is screwed.
After meeting up with Alfred and Julia, both of whom make it clear that they aren’t leaving Bruce to deal with this alone, Batman deduces that Joker must’ve gotten at the League when they were at a charity for the Gotham Children’s Hospital a month earlier, and that whatever he used was so slow and subtle working that none of them noticed until it was too late…and I kinda have to scratch my head at this point. No, not for the fact that the Joker venom was used on the Justice League, since we learn that different variations were used on each, and I can see how someone with enough knowledge of each member could pull this off. However, how could Joker know all of this? The only way he could pull it off is if he had access to the same information as Batman, but that would require hacking the cave computers, which would need knowing where to find them, which would then require knowing who Batman is, and we’ve already established that Joker doesn’t want to know who Batman is.
Eventually, Batman decides to check out Joker’s cell back at the ruined Arkham Asylum. Mr. Border, who’s been working at Arkham since Batman Annual #2 and has popped up here and there in story, shows up, saying that the patients at Arkham Manor are scared of Joker, and that he came to check the area out. Batman tells him he should really get back to his patients, at which point Border explains that, since arriving in Gotham, all he’s ever wanted was to help the Arkham inmates, the people of Gotham, and Batman most of all, but that none of them saw a helping hand…just as the door to Joker’s cell locks on Batman, and the cell starts to fill with gas. Turns out, Mr. Border is really more like Mr. Bourder, an obsolete word for ‘Jester’…and all I could hear while reading this for the first time was this little tune…
Yep, Border’s really Joker in disguise, using make-up, muscle relaxers, and even sporting a new face (Thank God). We see that Joker has infected most of the city as Batman is trapped in the cell, and that, as alluded to before, Joker didn’t exactly take the ending of Death of the Family all that well, and is now out to END Batman. And it’d be great dialogue…if it wasn’t more or less word for word what Scott Snyder said in an interview while explaining Joker’s motivations this story arc. Seriously, Scott, I love ya and all, but you REALLY shouldn’t be doing this. And I’m not the only person to notice, either. But yeah, Joker says that when Batman wakes up, he’ll find the whole city laughing at him, pulls out a BANG flag gun, shoots, and end of Part 2 of Endgame.
I don’t want anyone to think I didn’t enjoy this issue from my nitpicking, because I did, A LOT. I’m just pointing out that a few things either didn’t add up well, or have yet to, but it’s still early in the story, so who knows, maybe it’ll iron itself out later. I will say that the best part of this issue was the reveal that Border was really The Joker. Now, I’d seen a new shot of what Joker was supposed to look like online, particularly in his recent haircut, so when I saw Border in this issue and saw his hair, there was a split second where I thought to myself “…Wait a minute…”, but I didn’t really believe it, since I didn’t think it was possible…Yeah, turns out, VERY MUCH SO. And I gotta wonder, was Border ALWAYS supposed to be Joker in disguise? How long has Snyder been planning this? Were there clues I missed along the way? I can see him popping pills in Batman #34, which were probably those muscle relaxants he mentioned, and re-reading that scene knowing what I know now makes it absolutely CHILLING. And frankly, I seem to recall Joker once saying “How do you keep a secret from the World’s Greatest Detective? You stick it right in front of him, right under his long pointy nose, and wait.”
Speaking of, I think I speak for most when I say that I’m glad to see that Joker has a face again. Having him not have a face FOREVER just wouldn’t have worked. I’m curious as to how and when he got it, though. Clearly, he knows a REALLY good plastic surgeon…though I wonder how come this new face is also bleached white. But whatever, point is, despite some hiccups along the way, Endgame has proven to be really good, and I can’t wait to see what that insane, demented, side-show freak pulls out next…But enough about Scott Snyder, I wonder what Joker has planned? XD