Four Letter Nerd

4LN Comic Review: Batman #38 (Contains Spoilers)

Series: Batman
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Inker: Danny Miki
Colorist: FCO Plascencia

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Summary from Comixology:  “Endgame” part 4. The Joker is back! This time, no more funny stuff. And in the backup story, five Arkham Asylum escapees share their encounters with The Joker!

Overview:
When it comes to horror, Scott Snyder really knows how to twist a story and make your skin crawl. His vision of Joker is easily one of the most terrifying and psychotic versions of the character ever written. Once again, Greg Capullo’s art is on point and fits the feel of the book perfectly. The art is dark and captures the feel of the chaotic Gotham landscape, but the colors are absolutely gorgeous. Every page pops in a distinctively different way from the others. And the close up panels of Joker swimming will be enough fuel to add to any nightmare.

 

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Highs:
As I said, Scott Snyder can write the shit out of horror, and make your skin crawl. In this issue, not only do we get a taste of horror, but we also get a history lesson. Not just a lesson about the city itself, but also of the people, the oldest block in Gotham, and also a quick history lesson from Scott Snyder about the previous 37 issues of the book. In a few short pages, Snyder has tied together everything that has happened in the book from the very beginning with The Court of Owls to Doctor Death and even brings up a few things that make up the Batman mythos. I have said it once, and I’ll say it again… Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are the best team to write Batman. And the cover to this issue is just beautifully eerie, with Batman holding two severed hands with “Love” and “Hate” on them, with a silhouette of Joker behind him holding a knife..

Lows:
In the past issue, it was mentioned that Joker could be ageless, always was, always is, and always will be. That is touched upon further in this issue and it’s mentioned that Joker is in dozens of photos of Gotham history. Now, we have no conformation of this, and it’s mentioned that it could be the best photo doctoring of all time, and I certainly hope that is true. It’s been 38 issues of Snyder/Capullo’s run on Batman and this is the first “worry” I have with the series. But I’m sure the creative team has something in the works to explain this, so I’m not too worried.

The Final Say:
This is not a good jumping on point, but you will want to read this story arc. If you are a fan of Joker, then this is a must read and as terrifying as the Death of The Family arc. Joker is taking no hostages and he’s going all out to make Batman’s hell come down on Earth. He knows that Bruce is Batman, and that’s not even what Joker is concerned about. This issue will make your skin crawl, and it’ll make you fear Joker like never before. He’s created “zombie” versions of himself and he’s ready for war. This issue was perfectly done and gets a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s not an arc you will want to sleep on. Run to your LCS and pick up this issue and the previous three issues. It’s worth it.

Music Pairing:
This was a hard issue to find music for. Which means it’s perfect for 4LN writer Cam since he sits in awkward silence when he reads comics. BUT I would recommend the song Dead Flag Blues by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The song is set in a post-apocalyptic world and starts with a narrator explaining what he sees. Cars on fire, buildings in ruble, and women screaming. Then the song goes into near 10 minutes of instrumental music. I think with the slight use of words in this song, it will help you really read into what’s going on in Gotham, and what Batman is truly facing. An evil he has never seen before.

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Bill Clark

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