Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Greg Capullo
Ink: Danny Miki
Colours: FCO Plascencia
Letters: Steve Wands
Editors: Mark Doyle & Matt Humphreys
Publisher: DC Comics
Have you ever been in love? Head-over-heels, pop-songs-on-blast-turnt-down-for-what love? Sure, most have. You’ve probably even had that love turn sour. The bright light of joy that once warmed your heart turned black as coal and threatens every fibre of your being. Hopefully. most of you have never felt that. Though it isn’t as rare as we’d like. But what happens when that newfound hatred manifests itself in your spouse? If you’re the Joker, you plan your endgame and show the world that a lunatic scorned is nothing to be trifled with.
After last issue’s jaw-dropping finale, where readers are introduced to a Joker-ized Superman, this issue wastes no time giving the readers what they want. Tripping on fear toxin and getting pummeled by Superman, Batman’s new Justice League-Breaker armour is put to the ultimate test. We’ve seen Batman go toe to toe with Supes before, but never like this. After the battle and a near stalemate, the book shifts its tone towards Batman’s more noir elements as the Dark Knight tries to figure out just where the Joker is hiding and how, he keeps doing those kooky things he does. Snyder’s Joker however is always one step ahead, something that Batman finds out the hard way.
Snyder has said that Endgame will be his last Joker story, so he is holding nothing back. By infecting the Justice League, the Bat family and, as it appears, Batman himself, this love-scorned Joker is by far the most terrifying iteration the comic world has ever seen. The seeds of this story appear to have been running since the first issue, almost as if everything about Snyder’s run has come to this. Snyder’s forethought and overall planning is hard to even comprehend. Each piece of Joker’s twisted puzzle makes it so the reader has no choice but to go back and try to find out just what’s really going on. Lucky for us that this Batman run is one the best ever put to page.
Capullo’s pencils, as always, are a joy to behold. The carnage that Superman wrought on Gotham during the battle is beautiful mayhem. The way the flames curl and twist around collapsing buildings show just how much painstaking detail Capullo puts into even the most minute of happenings. Miki’s dark inks cast’s shadows over the characters, even in daylight, giving the illusion that the Joker’s darkness is ever present. A particular stand-out for the whole creative team is panel one on page 4 where we see Superman menacingly approach Batman. Capullo’s rubble, Miki’s shadow, colourist Pascencia’s glowing red eyes and letterer Wands form a quintet of terror as they do the impossible: make Superman scary.
With Batman #36, Snyder and Capullo continue to do what they always have: give readers a terrifying and exhilarating Batman story that never fails to surprise.