“You Miss Me?”
Chills. Shock. Awe. Those are the immediate emotions I felt once I saw Joker lure Batman into yet another trap. Since the culmination of “Zero Year” I tried my best to learn as little about “Endgame” as possible in the attempt not to spoil anything for myself. Boy oh boy was it worth it. It seems that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are going to be sort of writing the ending for the story that started in “Zero Year.”
These two arcs are seemingly the before and after for Snyder and Capullo, this is it. Joker was dangerously close to being overdone it the past so Snyder shelved him to make room for more Batman rogues but planted Joker in unbeknownst to us, I mean Eric Border was a nobody, who then reveals himself to be the greatest villain in the history of comics. Genius! Snyder has been planning this since Batman Annual #2 and you can bet he’s licking his chops to unveil the new and even more sinister Joker.
The story picked up though where it left off with Batman trying to survive against Jokerized Superman. With every attempt to talk Superman out of fighting him Batman realizes it’s time to take the gloves off and unleash all he can at his ally. Capullo continues to astound us with his artwork and you could feel Bruce’s feral and frantic mindset in the hardest fight of his life.
The reveal that such a minor character as Eric Border who was introduced in Batman Annual #2 is in fact the Joker himself was one of the best and biggest reveals of the year. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are showing us what comics are supposed to be like. To keep a secret in the comic book world is hard enough, but to have one of this magnitude catch everyone off guard is amazing, a true testament to Snyder and Capullo, who have already put themselves in the category of best writer/artist combo of this generation.
While everyone is busy geeking out over the return of Joker let us not forget that Batman and Superman are fricking fighting each other! For all his preparedness and intellect, Bruce knows that even with his Justice League Buster suit he can’t take out Superman. The suit exists merely to survive and defend himself, there’s no suit in the universe that could aid a human being in taking out Superman, but that doesn’t mean Batman can be easily broken. From his “Red Sun Gloves” to his “Kryptonite Gum” Batman has thought of everything. I hope Zack Snyder is taking notes for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice because this some great action between the pair. To sum it up though Bruce says it best, “Who wins in a fight? The answer is always the same, neither of us.”
Another great part of this issue is the narration and character development shown to us from Snyder. Despite all his gadgets and gizmos all Bruce will be is a man in a cape and suit of Kevlar. He ponders his life and his friend’s lives in the cave with Alfred and Julia and we see the softer side to the Batman book. Snyder does a great job in humanizing characters living in a world of aliens and psychos. Alfred and Julia remain steadfast and loyal in their support and we love them all the more for it.
I suppose something I could throw out there is where did Joker get a new face? I guess we’re meant to believe he grew it back in this issue, but I’m sure it’s something Snyder will touch on as the story unfolds.
Another thing, everytime Joker comes back he is seemingly more powerful with every appearance. At some point we need to think about where Joker goes from here, in what way can he keep topping his previous escapade?
Batman #36 is yet another phenomenal issue by Snyder and Capullo, it’s extremely redundant to keep saying it but who’s complaining? Even if you think Joker is too overused you do not want to miss this issue, we are gearing up for one hell of show and it’s tough to predict how this one will turn out. One day we’ll feel bad for Bruce and what Scott Snyder puts him through, but today is not that day.