Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo’s run on Batman is quickly becoming the stuff of legend among many fans. Their latest arc titled Endgame is perhaps their most anticipated of all. It’s the return of the Joker after his last encounter with Batman that took place in the Death Of The Family storyline, also by Snyder & Capullo.
Endgame takes place from issues 35 to issues 40 in Dc’s Current Batman title. Judging from their last encounter we all knew the ante would have to be raised. Does this story achieve that? let’s dive right in and find out.
The initial issue was presented in a fantastic way because no knew that it was the return of the Joker until the very last page and we didn’t even have to see him at all to know it. All you need to know is that based on their previous encounter, Joker’s love/ infatuation with Batman has now turned to more of a Hate/ Obsession.
The next few issues really ramp up the story and show us just how much the Joker has ” changed” and how far he’s willing to go to actually make Batman suffer and ultimately kill him. Another intriguing and bold thing that Endgame does is delve deeper into the possible back story for the Joker. The funny thing is that it goes in a supernatural direction that I don’t think most people would expect. It poses the question has the Joker always been here? Is he some kind of immortal?
There has always been a shroud of mystery surrounding Joker but it’s certainly interesting to see how it plays out in this story.
Nearing the climax of the series you get the sense that this is not going to be any random encounter and that things will change very much. Ultimately, they do.
One thing becomes abundantly clear here. ( SPOILERS) Joker knows who Batman is and where he lives and how to get in. Basically, he knows everything. Joker uses that knowledge to its fullest potential wreaking havoc on Batman and Gotham City in the process.
Naturally Joker knows that the way to hurt him most is to hurt the city that he loves and protects but this story is not about that to me. It’s simply Batman Vs Joker. It deals with a rivalry so intense that it boils over in the last issue. This week’s #40.
There’s so much to say about this last issue. First off, it was delayed an extra month which made the anticipation almost too much to bare. The wait, however was worth it. The art in particular benefited greatly from the delay. This is the issue where we get what we’ve been waiting for. The confrontation that is set up is THE fight of fights. It’s almost the equivalent of the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight. It has that kind of impact and you feel it when you watch this epic battle play out. There’s an incredible sense of danger and finality to every strike or cut.
It’s truly Batman’s last stand to save his city and vanquish his foe. The beautiful thing about, not only this story but all of Snyder & Capullo’s run is the attention to detail. You quickly realize that most anything Snyder throws at you, no matter how obscure has a point. Endgame connects to Zero Year and even the Court Of Owls saga. Especially playing on the fact that Batman doesn’t know Gotham as well as he believes he does.
There’s even tiny thread that perhaps foreshadowed everything to come in the Superman Unchained series.( it could be considered a spoiler so be forewarned.)
It’s that incredible attention to detail that is a testament to the greatness of Snyder & Capullo’s run. Another wonderful example is his homage to perhaps the other great confrontation between Batman and Joker in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. One thing I will say is that the comic is extremely dark and graphic at times. Much has been made of DC’s dark tone these days but I think it suited this series very much. Particularly this issue.
By the end of it all it’s clear that major changes are coming to the Batman universe and the consequences may be felt for a long time. I strongly urge you all to pick up the issues or wait for the eagerly anticipated trades.