Review by: ghostmann

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.8
Users who pulled this comic:
Written by Scott Snyder
Backup Written by Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Backup Art by Jock
Cover by Greg Capullo
Variant Cover by Aaron Kuder & Greg Capullo

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

Here it is! Part 1 of my PAGE by PAGE review of Batman #13!

Here we see a van parked by the docks. we will soon find out it is driven by the joker (much like the scene in the classic Joker story from Batman #251)

Page one speaks of omens and signs and we get out first “sign” in the van – when the tail lights come on we get the first “Joker face” to be seen using the surroundings. Greg Capullo is channeling his inner Dave Gibbons in this issue and through out the book we try and spot all the “Faces”.

By the way, this opening scene to Snyders sure to be masterpiece is stellar. Incredible storytelling that sets the tone for the whole shebang. And like Capullo giving us little Easter eggs for our eyes, Snyder has sprinkled homages on almost every page of batman #13 (lucky number 13). Again, we are being told, by Snyder himself, to look out for the signs in this comic.

You can tell a lot of love and work went into this issue. Let’s dive in!

I love how Snyder is making the jokers return an almost supernatural event. it ramps up the tension is a way that hasn’t been seen since Frank Millers “Dark Knight Returns”.

On panel 4, there is a Joker face in the building behind Gordon and Bullock, made with the windows and the lights that are on.

On panel 2 instead of a Joker face we get a Batman face. See it? Bullock’s cigar smoke is Batman’s eye. The puddle makes up his exposed face. The shadows behind them is the cowl.

Read Gordon’s dialog, “…I never thought they’d actually find them all.” Oh, I’m gonna find them Snyder, don’t you worry.

Panels 3, 4, and 5, if you turn the comic upside down, well holy shit, there is a Joker face in them there doors. I guess Bullock is right when he said, “I mean some damn things you can’t unsee.”

And one thing you can’t unsee is the clear homage to Alan Moore’s classic Joker story, the Killing Joke in the last panel with the Jokers foot in the rain puddle. Very much like the rain puddles at the beginning and end of “The Killing Joke”.

In the first panel we get a conversation about marked bills which reminds me of Christopher Nolan’s movie “The Dark Knight”, and how the Joker left the mark bills in the bank safe for Gordon to find.

This page has an “eye” motif which sets up nicely for the next page and the Joker using the dark to make everyone blind so to speak.

On panel 1 there are two computer scenes that make up a pair of eyes.

Panel 2 Gordon talks about “Seeing Jackson facing left, not right.” and the rookie saying, “How did I not catch that?” Again referring to the subliminal, and not so subliminal, messages placed throughout this comic.

Panel 3 there is only Gordon’s glasses and the rookies eyes seen in the dark.

Panel 6 as the Joker appears there is a window glare that makes up a pair of eyes in the window next to him. Also to be noted that in this panel Batman’s cape is made out by the shadows on the wall above the Joker – signaling us that Batman is always on top of the joker.

Panel 7 drives the eye motif home with a close up shot of Gordon’s eye.


Now on this page we get a “circle” motif. Could this be a reference to the “Smiley Face Button” as used in “Watchmen”? Probably not but I’ll point out all the “smiley faces” just the same cause that’s what I’m here for.

Panels 1 and 2 only have the circles of the word balloons.

Then in panel 3 Gordon flips on his flash light and creates a circle around the door where the Joker just was. The position of his light and the beam hitting the wall gives us a smiley face.

Panel 4 recreates the face the same way with the flashlight and beam glow

Panel 5 gives us one of Snyder’s best moves in the issue. First we get the smiley face created by the flashlights beam and the blood splatter on the floor and beam hitting the floor. Then we here the Joker snap the neck of the policeman. We also see the fake 20 dollar bill on the ground with the Jackson that is facing the wrong way – like his neck was snapped.

Then in panel 6 we see the dead policeman with his head facing the same way Jackson is on the 20 dollar bill. Poor office Bradtree.

(yeah, I know I have WAY to much time on my hands)

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

Leave a Comment