Boy, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo sure know how to start a new story arc off with a bang. They’ve sold us all on their reinterpretation of early Batman with “Zero Year” and they have started off strong with their new story “Endgame.” Expectations were admittedly high coming off the success from “Zero Year,” but Snyder and Capullo have managed to grab our attention with a Batman story that has a little bit of everything. A little Batman vs Justice League action, a classic villain making his mark felt once again, and some new ideas of the Batman mythos we haven’t explored yet all made for a great opening issue.
Snyder and Capullo have proven to be the golden boys for DC Comics as they continually keep Batman as one of the best selling series for the company. They demonstrate their fearlessness to explore any part of Batman’s world as they jumped from the past in “Zero Year” to the future of Batman in “Endgame.” In “Zero Year,” Batman is shown what it means to truly become a hero and then he reacts to reach that ideal. By the time “Endgame” rolls around, we see that Batman has indeed become the hero he strived to be. Calculating, vicious, and as focused as ever, he knows Gotham City better than anyone and knows how to fight for it.
The genius around Batman #35 is that the motive behind the entire Justice League attacking Batman at once is a mystery to not just Batman, but to us as well. We’ve become accustomed to the super-prepared Batman, so having him fighting the Justice League is not unfathomable to us. But Snyder has managed to put a new twist to the idea that really has us thinking. This twist is one that is so frightening and sadistic you can’t help but become engulfed in the story. What’s so intriguing is that we are dealing with the best version of Batman, the one that saves the world by himself if he needs to, there’s nothing he hasn’t prepared for. So if anything can throw this version of Batman around like a ragdoll then it’s immediately interesting.
Snyder’s best decision with this issue was to give us only the bare essentials of exposition and let Greg Capullo’s art do the rest of the work. Snyder lays down the groundwork and the themes of “Endgame” but he lets Capullo really shine. His art makes each character appear bigger than life and has them popping off the page. There is not a weak panel in the entire issue and it really is a testament to how good Capullo really is. He’s never drawn the Justice League before so we were very eagerly anticipating how he would depict each member. Superman is crisp and looks as strong as he’s ever been and Wonder Woman looks equally as regal and tough as ever. Perhaps the best of all is Flash though. He isn’t drawn to compete in size with Superman, but instead has a slim stature that resembles what we all think of when we think of runners.
We’ve already got a taste of meticulous Batman preparations in past stories before, but it’s always reinvigorating to see how a writer comes up new ideas that he puts in Batman’s head when he’s planning to fight the Justice League. His Justice League Buster Suit is something that we’d think Tony Stark would create if he were in Batman’s shoes but it’s truly amazing how one suit is supposed to withstand all the abuse it’s about to endure. It’s imperative that we all keep in mind this is just a man who is fighting off six superhumans by his damn self. This is the definition of badassery.
Finally, the ending two pages of this issue contained one of the best reveals/twists/cliff hangers I can remember in the New 52 timeline. To take such a classic villain and the epitome of evil, and have himself injected into the world’s greatest heroes is terrifying.
One of the bad things about “Endgame” that all the events take place after the Batman Eternal series wraps up, so we could be introduced to possible spoilers that we’d rather not see. The issue makes no attempts to fill us on what happens in Batman Eternal and probably because most of the action hasn’t even occurred yet!
Also the beginning of this issue we were treated to Bruce dealing with nightmares due to exposure to fear toxin from the Scarecrow. I really hope the whole battle we’ve seen with the Justice League just now isn’t another one of those nightmares. I’m really looking forward to another Batman/ Justice League showdown story.
Snyder and Capullo start off “Endgame” with a bang in Batman #35. A fresh take on the Batman mythos which pairs him up against his closest allies. It’s a great package that exciting battles, clever concepts and a crazy conclusion.
P.S.- The backup story in Batman #35 by James Tynion IV and Kelly Jones was initially off-putting at first because it didn’t seem to have anything to do with the current events. The further you read though you could see that to does have some credibility of being included in the issue, its true intentions are still as big a mystery as the rest of the issue itself. It will remain to be seen how well the backup story holds up against its massive counterpart.