BATMAN #14

Review by: TheNextChampion

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Story by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Colors by FCO Placencia
Letters by Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Cover by Greg Capullo

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

You gotta wonder how Scott Snyder comes up with these story lines in his comics. They can be so twisted, so disturbing, that sometimes I get a bit scared how well he writes them. Case in point this current Joker arc. Sure we’re gonna get the usual tropes when it comes to a Joker arc. He’s got a big plan, there’s gonna be some back and forth fighting till the inevitable happens. But something tells me the way we get from Point A to B in this arc is going to be mighty off putting thanks to Snyder.
There’s a moment in this comic that really got to me. It is quick moment, but it scared the bejesus out of me. When Bruce plays the tape Joker gives to him and we learn what he’s doing with Alfred…That was just wrong. While we get some unsettling Joker moments in here, this issue is more setting up what his big plan is more than anything else. To be honest it is a bit murky on what he’s gonna do, but Snyder definitely has me hooked. If he is willing to go all out on tormenting Jim Gordon then I can only imagine how he’s going to handle the rest of Batman’s crew. The only problem I had with this issue was that the final panel felt a bit too corny for my liking. It felt too much like a wink that, ‘yes you will have to buy the tie-in issues’ and not much of an actual ending. But I’m willing to let it go as a minor nitpick since DC has been hyping the hell out of this arc (and for good reason).
Can we just give a ‘hell yeah’ to Mr. Greg Capullo? Good lord it is amazing what he can do on a monthly basis with this series. From the start of the issue in the acid tank to the ending on the bridge he just doesn’t let up. You get a lot of nice touches throughout the issue such as Bruce’s mixed emotions once he learns of Alfred’s fate. Plus I also loved the nod to the Joker while he was listening to the tape. That moment (and the rest of the issue) should go to colorist FCO Plascencia because the tone he sets for the entire issue is thanks, in part, to him. Also, it must be a pain in the ass to ink all of Capullo’s pencils but somehow Jonathan Glapion is able to do so. Snyder is blessed to have such wonderful talent around him in every book he does but for this series he is blessed three fold.
Let’s not forget the back up by James Tynion IV and Jock. Not only is it an awesome pairing but we’re definitely going to see some sort of Penguin situation in the coming issues with the arc. Tynion IV is able to write a great version of this Joker too and it does try to put more of a ‘comic’ spin with his take. Although I wouldn’t call stabbing people with umbreallas as ‘funny’. Jock should also get credit for drawing an equally disturbing take on the new Joker. His rough style really works well for the disturbing situations Snyder and Tynion are putting when it comes to the clown.
Nitpick ending aside, I really loved this issue. Scott Snyder is setting up some fucked up situations with Joker and we’ve only got two issues into this. As long as Snyder has the wonderful talent of Capullo and his team we are going to see one gorgeous madness in the coming months. Don’t forget about the back ups though! Tynion IV continues to showcase his wonderful talents as a new writer and whether his artist is Jock or someone else, you gotta remember the talent that is emerging from inside this series.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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