“Look into his eyes and tell yourself he’s just a man. Tell yourself he can’t know the things he says he does. He can’t know your fears.”
Bruce said those words about the Joker way back in Batman #15, when Alfred was kidnapped and the idea that The Joker had discovered Batman’s identity looked more real than ever. That was until we reached #37. Joker has always been terrifying for a number of reasons, his lack of reason for starters, and his desire to constantly push/break the limitations to which he’ll go to. Part 3 of “Endgame” reveals perhaps the creepiest and frightening version of The Joker we’ve seen in a long time, and there is absolutely no way of guessing where we go from here.
The Joker is done playing games and Scott Snyder/ Greg Capullo have blown the door wide open on the whole Batman mythos. I can’t think of a time where Joker has outright addressed Batman as Bruce and that alone sends tingles up my spine. Snyder may have affection for Batman but the man has a gift in thinking of new ways to torture him. For all the times Batman fights the Joker, something has got to give, there has to be the straw to break the camel’s back. This is the masterpiece, as Alfred said, the final hurrah for Snyder’s Joker and nothing is off limits. Snyder raised a boatload of questions during the “Death of the Family” arc, and we’re just seeing some of those questions answered now.
Even though this fight is between Batman and Joker, the most terrifying scene perhaps takes place with Jim Gordon. Locked in his house like he’s hiding from a horde of zombies, he tries to conduct research on just what he and Batman are up against this time. What he uncovers is something to shake anyone’s psyche. Is The Joker really a man? Or is he more? That’s what he’d like you to believe, and he’s doing a damn good job of it. Greg Capullo could work for “American Horror Story” for how good he is at depicting scary scenes. From Joker hiding under Gordon’s bed (again), to placing himself in pictures dating back way before they even knew who each other were is downright insane.
Finally, Snyder’s recreation of the Crime Alley murders was savage. How shaken must Bruce have been to see his parent’s deaths played out again right in front of him with another family. Duke, from “Zero Year”, was rewritten into this scene as the sacrificial lamb to show testament on Snyder coming to a full circle with his Batman mythos. Maybe Batman would feel better if he were back to fighting the Justice League instead of this Joker?
The implications this story holds is crazy in and of itself. Everything is at stake here and I feel depending on how this story ends, everyone’s lives will be shaken up. Had this been written Pre-52, the enormity of these events would be as famous as any other DC super event. A lot could change.
Snyder and Capullo have showed us they really mean to honor the “Endgame” title. There is just no coming back from this, The Joker is done messing around, he’s out for blood, and he’s pulling out stops that we didn’t know he was capable of.