But Here’s The Kicker
Scott Snyder has been receiving a lot of praise lately for his recent Batman series. His Court of Owls arc was alright, but in my opinion, it received way too much attention for such a mediocre story. His Death of the Family arc is following that run, and Greg Capullo is once again on pencils accompanying him. So far his story has been decent, but this issue took quite a dip. I feel fans are glazing over a lot of important criticisms on Snyder’s work just to celebrate his new Batman series, I don’t know why because he makes some annoying blatant mistakes.
This issue starts from where we left off last time, with the Joker and Batman on a bridge over some kind of water reservoir. This scene on the bridge really frustrated me. I mean its bad enough the chattering teeth trap just defies logic and reality, but Batman just sits there for who knows how long, until he decides to finally rip out. For some reason he loses his gloves in the process, (it’s stupid), and then gets blown up by a bazooka shell. He jumps through the explosion somehow and punches the joker. The poison in the joker’s blood paralyzes him and he can’t move ..all because his gloves fell off. I just don’t understand why anyone would write such a stupid convoluted action sequence like this for Batman, without any pay off, it’s just terrible. Especially if the most important part of the whole scene, his gloves falling off, isn’t even visualized in a panel. Some of these mistakes really drew me out of the story and ruined it for me.
The joker is also being used as a grotesque gimmicky side show. I mean most of what he does is horror, and there’s simply not enough comedy. Snyder’s Joker is 90% scary and 10% clown, Its always been more of a 60/40 or 70/30 split in my head. The best part about joker is he’s supposed to make you laugh at things you shouldn’t, when he’s made to just scare you, it’s obvious and pointless.
There is also a long argument scene, it takes up a whopping 30% of the issue. So 6 out of 21 of the pages is spent in the batcave with the Bat-family just arguing. It’s boring, drawn out, and repetitive. The Bat family is angry because the Joker might know all of their identities.. or he might not. Its really not that interesting, because for a bunch of proactive Superheroes, they don’t even start to discuss what they’re going to do about it. It’s like watching a frustrating cartoon, where they just run down the track to get away from the train, rather than hop off. I’ll admit he does a good job of portraying some of the characters, but it seems to be just a showcase of this, and nothing more. I mean common these are some of the smartest problem solvers in the world, let’s see it.
Also the whole premise of the Joker completely taking over Arkham is just a little ridiculous. Snyder really tears down Batman in these stories, I mean in once instance, he shows Bruce having hacked the electrical grid of the city with Bat terminals, but when it comes to the place where Batman puts all of his criminals.. he has no intel at all? Its Arkham, Batman always used to be watching the cameras there or making regular unwarranted checkups on his pals. In these stories he’s just a terrible Detective, it’s kind of embarrassing.
Greg Capullo does an awesome job with the interiors on this book. He’s being doing a good job since he started on the Batman books in the New 52. As always he brings his cartoony but consistent and well proportioned style. His faces are a little too happy looking for a Batman comic, but he makes up for it with some really emotive characters. He also brought some great dynamic paneling to this issue. I don’t know if depicting the glove removal fell on to Capullo or not, but not having it definitely took away from the issue.
These two have been together for two arcs now and seem to work wonderfully together. For some reason an important scene was not depicted in this issue.
Batman and Robin #15:
Little Big Man
Peter J. Tomasi has been doing a fantastic job with Batman and Robin as of lately. He has been building on and emphasizing the father and son relationship between Damian and Bruce. So far he’s done a phenomenal job of fleshing out their unique situation. I haven’t really been enjoying the Saturn Club plot, and how it ties into the Joker’s plans hasn’t really been revealed either, so far it just seems too random. At least in this issue we’re treated to an intense interrogation between Damian and the Joker.
He makes a couple of funny jokes and the bird puns are rich throughout. Tomasi actually does a nice job of cleanly explaining some of the Joker’s motives for Death of the Family, something that even Snyder hasn’t done that well. Unfortunately this issue is probably not as heart wrenching as some of the previous issues of Batman and robin, but its not too disappointing. It certainly ends on an interesting note, could that really be Bruce?
Patrick Gleason does another fantastic job in this issue. His thick dark lines provide some great shadowing and some dark intense scenes. Gleason also took the time do some really intricate and detailed work in some of the panels, particularly on the Joker’s face/mask. He gives us a lot of close ups from Damian’s perspective and boy are they good. As the Joker’s rotating it around on his face, you can almost see the leathery texture of the skin. At times the face seemed a little inconsistent and it changed dramatically in the lighting, but this only made it scarier. Overall he did a wonderful job and really made the reader feel the grotesque interrogation.
Something meshes between these two, maybe it’s their ability to depict Damian’s tragedy so well.
Cable and X force #1
I enjoyed this issue, maybe more than I should have. Dennis Hopeless seems to have an interesting story building, with a cool team. I’m not too familiar with many of the characters, but so far it seems like it could be good, too soon to tell though.
Salvador Larroca does a great job with the art in this book. There was one panel that looked awkward, Domino is jumping down an elevator shaft and she looks just a bit too stiff, other than that the art is good.