Scott Snyder’s awesome ‘Death of the Family’ storyline continues with this issue of ‘Batman’, and things get super personal when the Joker begins attacking those closest to Batman. It’s not just limited to his masked crime fighting protégés either because Commissioner Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth are thrown into the mix as well. Continuing the walk down memory lane from ‘Batman’ #13, which featured elements of ‘The Man Behind The Red Hood’, issue number fourteen features elements of ‘The Man Who Laughs’, another story ranked among those that define the character of The Joker that finds these two arch-rivals battling at the reservoir over poisoning the water supply. However, as Snyder seems to be masterfully doing with this whole storyline, there’s a disturbing twist on the classic tale.
The only words that I can use to describe this storyline are sick and twisted. In life, they say that there are no do-overs, but I guess Joker didn’t get this memo. What Snyder is doing here is giving us readers a history lesson while giving us something completely new and completely awesome. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, and that’s exactly what the Joker is going for here! Scott West said in his review of #13 last month, “No matter how big you think the Joker’s plan might be, it’s bigger than that,” and with this new issue we see even more so how true that is. The gloves are off now. Nothing is off limits and very, very bad things are about to happen, yet I can’t take my eyes away from the brutality. I’m glued to this book and I’m in constant anticipation for the next things to come.
Not only is Scott Snyder’s story keeping me around, but also Greg Capullo’s artwork is straight up sadistic in the most beautiful way. The grotesque visage of the Joker is super uneasy to lay eyes on, yet I can’t look away. When it comes to art, one thing that I’m very keen on is eyes. Even with people in real life, I can get a feeling about a person just by looking them in the eyes. The same goes for comics. Some artists really know how to draw a reader in with their characters’ eyes, and others just flat out fail in that department. Capullo draws Joker in a way that I can see just how f#%@ing nuts he is. I’m both disturbed and impressed at the same time.
Basically, this is one of the best series I’m reading right now. It’s right up there with Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye for me, and if you’ve read just how much I love that book, you know how much of a compliment that is.
We’re only two issues in and I know that this story will go down in history as one of the greatest Joker stories ever told. I can’t wait for the next issue of ‘Batman’ to hit shelves.
Written by Scott Snyder
Backup Written by Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Backup Art by Jock & Dave Baron
Cover by Greg Capullo & FCO Plascencia