Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Snyder, Capullo & Glapion
As “Death of the Family” races towards its conclusion we get the endgame layout from the Joker in this issue. While there are certainly elements of this comic book that either don’t add up or don’t lend itself towards simple storytelling, the book is just about the most entertaining book I’ve read this month. Regardless of its shortcomings I am finding this story to be much more entertaining than the “Court of Owls” storyline, which definitely was more original than this one. However you look at this the book it is one of the best books out there right now and it simply shouldn’t be missed.
Batman shows up at Arkham to deal with the Joker. The Joker throws an odd gauntlet at Batman, which includes an apparent horse on fire. Some of these scenes are cool visually, but definitely feel like fluff as Snyder resets the theme and potential motive that has been present throughout the storyline.
These lead-in pages are heavy on the narration, which is obviously Snyder’s style but they don’t seem required because of what’s to come. If you don’t mind the dense read and the repetitive nature of the information in type then this is moot. What is odd is Batman’s ability to stop a charging horse while he’s standing still, but while physics disagree, he is Batman after all.
The book hits its stride once Batman confronts the Joker. The design is so simple: Joker rounds up the key villains Batman’s rogue gallery to assist in putting Batman in the unwinnable situation. While you can definitely make a case that these characters wouldn’t willingly play second fiddle to the Joker in this manner, it does make for great theater. To me, this is an old school Batman over impossible odds kind of story and it’s very entertaining to read.
The backup story continues to impress as well as the bad guys round up the components that are found throughout the storyline. Yes, it’s a prequel of sorts, but it serves as the kind of story that makes me say to myself, “so that’s how that happened” and it’s a welcome addition to the book.
Capullo does a fantastic job on art as always. His ability to make the characters display the proper emotion, whether its fear, terror or strength, is unparalleled. As a bonus I don’t think I have ever seen a more creepy version of the Joker. His visuals are stunning and, at times, overshadow the narration.
Batman is a tremendous read. This story is definitely more familiar than the Court of Owls and the threat feels more realistic. Sure, it’s a little weird, but not quite Silver Age weird. The book is a great read and the conclusion is something I am anxiously awaiting.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles