Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Snyder, Capullo & Glapion
Batman moves into its crossover, Death of the Family, in chilling fashion as Snyder and Capullo continue to deliver the top DC book each and every month. While this issue provides some interesting characterization of the Joker I am willing to give Snyder some room to prove this new incarnation of the character. Capullo's stunning pencils provide the proper tone and pacing as usual. Rounding out the book is the very impressive backup tale about a meeting between the Joker and the Penguin. This comic book is an instant classic and should not be missed.
Basically, the plot of this book is of the hunter/prey variety. Joker remains a step ahead of Batman as Batman thinks he knows what the Joker is up to. The book is actually more thriller than mystery though and it helps to amplify the drama.
Batman visits Gordon to inform him that he believes he's in danger. While they debate the Joker's moves Gordon collapses. The Joker was ahead of Batman. Batman calls in to Nightwing to inform of the developments and deploys him to the probable next target.
While this is all happening, Batman's mind is distracted by the fact that Alfred's been kidnapped by the Joker. The pair have a tension-filled faceoff on the bridge where they first encountered each other many years earlier. The ending is not what Batman sketched out.
The book is extremely strong in all areas except for one. The selling of the Joker as a master tactician is not a trait I would think the Joker would possess. However, the rest of the book, from Batman's thought process, to Batman's caution and preparation, to the catch-22 at the end, were all flawless. I hope Snyder explores the transformation of the Joker's abilities a little bit more in subsequence issues.
The backup is fantastic. The Joker traps and then sets up the Penguin. But he isn't after revenge or money, he's in it to blackmail Penguin into helping him. It's a masterful story in such a short amount of space. It may be the best backup I've read since the backups made a comeback a few years ago.
The artwork is prefect as always. Capullo seems to take Batman back to his Year One look and it works well here. Batman doesn't portray a ton of confidence in this look and it fits the shortcomings that he walks into when facing the Joker. The artwork adds a tremendous aspect of terror to this book. Capullo is making himself a "Batman" guy rather than a "Spawn" guy.
Batman is the best book DC has going and it's not even close. If you only pick up one super hero book this should be it. If you only pick up one DC book then this should be it. If you only pick one book, period, this should be it. I can't wait to see where this all going.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles