Written by Scott Snyder
Pencilled by Greg Capullo
Inked by Danny Miki
Colors by FCO Plascencia
Published by DC Comics
Batman is at his best when he’s up against impossible odds. The Joker has challenged Batman to come and get his own spinal fluid to aid in the rescue of Gotham. It seems simple enough, but there are hordes of zombie-like Gothamites who want to destroy Batman. As usual, it’s easy to see what Batman needs to do to overcome these odds.
Scott Snyder is laying the groundwork in the penultimate issue of the
“Endgame” storyline. The arc started off brilliantly with Superman trying to destroy Batman, but has faltered a little bit. Many Batman stories feel like Bruce and his team has to break down a chemical toxin to restore Gotham to its rightful place. This story isn’t very different, but Snyder does a better job of injecting life into this tried story. Seeing Alfred’s hand chopped off by the Joker is an example. Snyder takes a seemingly straight storyline and diverts it to unexpected places. The unlikely alliance of good and evil at the end of the story also takes us into more unknown territory. The Joker sees Batman team up with the likes of Clayface, Mr. Freeze, and the Penguin (plus others) but doesn’t seem panicked, in the most Joker of fashions he smiles.
Artist Greg Capullo is exemplary as always and especially in the issue. Batman looks harassed while the Joker is maniacal. There is an especially creepy piece of art with him lurking in the shadows stalking Alfred. The Rogues Gallery in Capullo’s hand is deftly undertaken. The colors by FCO Plascencia provide a muted Gotham to accentuate the blood lost by Alfred and skin around the Joker’s mouth.
Batman is headed towards another meeting of greatest foes. The Joker has been ahead of Batman at every punch in this arc. To save Gotham Batman must prove again the Joker underestimated him. When it unfolds, Batman will have to become the aggressor and improviser that the Joker has been. If he fails, he’ll become the bat hanging upside down. The Joker has promised his best trick of all, Snyder will deliver.