Endgame Review: Batman #36 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

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Review: Batman #36
“Endgame Part Two”

Published by DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencilled by Greg Capullo
Colored by Fco Plascencia

The Plot

The fight continues between Batman and Superman. Batman has prepared for this fight, but realizes that it’s not really “Superman” that he’s fighting because he’s crazed by the Joker’s toxin. The fight is starting to go in Superman’s favour, but Batman is able to improvise and find a solution to ending the battle. Afterwards, the Justice League is in recovery and Batman wants to put Alfred in hiding because he’s scared of what the Joker will do. Julia wants to help Batman figure out what the Joker’s plan is as they discuss what his state of mind what actually may be like now. Batman goes to Arkham to investigate any possible leads on the Joker’s plans. Batman is joined by Eric (an Arkham staff member) and he makes a surprising discovery about the Joker. Soon the Joker reappears with a new face and reveals what his plan is for Batman this time. Joker has Batman in a predicament as the story ends on a rather ominous note.
I won’t be doing a summary of the backup story until the final one and then I’ll be able to do a more comprehensive review of them.

The Breakdown

I enjoyed the fight between Batman and Superman because it showed a bit more of how much he plans ahead of time. I also enjoyed Batman’s answer to the question of who wins between them. I liked how Ray Palmer assisted Batman with a crucial part of his plans to find a weapon against Superman (it happened off-panel, but it was still cool). The Justice League jobbed to him, but they were also not operating at 100% so it’s kind of a fanboy win-win. We get to see Batman’s plans for taking them out and they don’t really lose in a way because they’re all toxin induced. As much as Superman wasn’t playing by the rules during his fight, Batman is always willing to get greasier than him in order to win a fight. I liked the part when Batman was investigating Arkham and he noticed something about the cell number. It could have been planned or it could have been just a total coincidence, but either way it just shows how the Joker can get inside Batman’s head. There was also a revelation in Arkham that actually took me a bit by surprise. I admit that I was relieved when the Joker revealed himself because his face was normal…well normal for him. I liked how this story is playing off of the Death of the Family arc. Alfred commented how their family isn’t the same after his last encounter. Also, Joker’s motivations have come directly from what happened at the conclusion of that arc. I still think that some aspects of the Death of the Family arc could’ve been more convincing or effective in order to make that conclusion more believable, but I’m glad that the repercussions of that arc are being shown here. I like the creepy atmosphere in this issue as well. This issue really just serves to set up the rest of the arc, but the payoff (for me at least) came in the form of the Joker’s reappearance. I liked how Capullo gave Alfred a decent range of emotions in this issue. I also enjoyed his splash page with the Joker’s reveal. The colors were effective at helping to push the various moods and tones of the book. This was a good read this month.

BUT…

So if the Joker’s been around for some time now, it got me wondering when he got his surgery done. There was almost a timeline concern for me, but I’m sure we’ll find out more information as the arc progresses. I liked the design of the cover, but I just didn’t care for Capullo’s execution of it.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy it. It’s good to see that the Joker’s new face has replaced the rotting, cut off version. So far this arc seems to be completely self-contained and isn’t spilling out into a half dozen crossovers in the other titles. I have to commend DC on keeping this arc contained within the Batman title. They could make Endgame take place right across the Bat-titles and while a few of us might be saying overkill, they would be selling well across the board nonetheless. It helps me to enjoy this arc more and it makes me happy that the momentum going in other titles like Batgirl, Grayson, and Batman and Robin aren’t disrupted by this title. Part two’s of arcs are generally my least favorite, but there was a fair bit going on in this issue to make me like it. Definitely looking forward to part three next month.

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