It seems the JLA have been given the Joker Toxin and are hellbent on killing Batman. Good thing he has a very expensive battle suit to combat his friends, eh? Always prepared, that’s the beauty of Bats, but is it good?
Batman #36 (DC Comics)
So often I find myself reading Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s work and thinking, “Can the writing please get out of the way of the art?” That isn’t to say there’s not a strong symbiosis on most pages, but when I want to see a no holds barred action sequence between Batman and the JLA I want less talky talky and more punchy punchy. This issue opens with Superman attacking Batman in all his white-faced smirking glee. In the previous issue Batman took out the rest of the JLA so now it’s just the red Superman and blue versus the black (and sometimes blue) Batman.
You so creepy!
Half of this comic is Batman versus Superman, which is great news to most ears I’m sure. As always Batman has little tricks to keep himself alive because he thinks ahead. Love that about him. It opens with a page of Batman fighting Killer Croc and talking about the sound he’s afraid of and frankly I was a bit lost as to what the point of this jibber jabber was. It reads like senseless bologna and it distracted from the fight sequence that followed it. I’m sure Snyder is trying to be eloquent and interesting, tying things together before we know he’s doing it, but it comes off as pompous and speechy.
The concept of a JLA that’s been knocked out is incredibly compelling though, so props to Snyder for setting up an interesting story without us seeing it coming. That’s the beauty of Snyder. He’s very good at misdirecting the reader so that there are surprises abound wherever you go. He also has a great emotional moment for Alfred as he reflects on what Joker did to him and the Batman family. This helps the reader see just how personal this all will be.
The last ten pages are devoted to what we’ve come to love from Snyder and that’s Joker ramblings. I’m not exactly sure if this tone of Joker matches what we’ve seen before, but he drops some interesting tidbits that’ll assuredly come into play in coming issues. I am a tad flummoxed as to how he gets the better of Batman so easily which hurts the believability when you consider Batman was able to beat Superman only pages earlier.
Capullo nails the fight sequence and even the smaller panels look and feel like splash pages. He’s having great fun with very rare occurrence of Supes fighting Batman and it’s interesting to see how evil he’s made Supes with the toxin inside him.
Is It Good?
It’s plain to see Joker wants Batman to learn more about him and the only way to do that is to raise the stakes and deliver Batman one of the hardest confrontations of his career. Readers will agree with me when I say: bring it on!