Angry Review: Batman, Vol. 7: Endgame by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo (Illustrator)

Batman, Vol. 7: EndgameBatman, Vol. 7: Endgame by Scott Snyder
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What the fuck just happened here?!
Wow. I officially loathe one of Snyder’s Batman stories.
Alright. I’m well aware that I’m going to be standing out here by myself, but I fucking HATED this. Like, I can’t even describe the rage I feel right now. Just pure fury mingled with crushing disappointment.
Well, what do you know? I guess could describe it!
Maybe Snyder has been the king of the Batverse for so long now, that he’s started believing his own hype? I mean,
really
?!
You may want to have those looked at, buddy.

description

*deep breath*
I did really like parts of it. So there’s that.
Capullo’s art is amazing. Just spot-on, wonderful, and haunting.

description

The facial expressions are perfect. Loved the way he drew…everything.

description

Warning: Spoilers! Lots of ’em.
I’m not going to be able to properly bitch (or have a full-on tantrum), unless I can talk about what happened. If you haven’t read this yet, you may want to stop reading and come back later.

description

Alrighty, the first part of the volume had me all aflutter!
Batman was fighting the leftover effects of Crane’s fear toxin, and he kept having these vivid dreams about his death. Julia was still helping Alfred with everything while he recovered, and it looked like their relationship was vastly improved.
I don’t know what happened in Volume 3 of Batman Eternal yet, but it appears they are living in some building previously owned by the Court of Owls. I hate the Owls, and I thought we were done with that whole hokey storyline, but I’m willing to let it slide.
Anyway, I loved Bruce’s interactions with Alfred.

description

Ok, then Wonder Woman popped up outta nowhere and started beating the shit out of Bruce. She wasn’t making a whole lot of sense, and I thought it might be another dream. Apparently not…

description

He managed to take her down, but, by that point, Aquaman & Flash were also both after him.
Boom! He pulled on his Justice-League-Taker-Downer suit, and incapacitated both of them. Nicely done! But he still didn’t know what was causing them to go nuts.

description

And then Superman showed up, and everything became clear (ish).

description

The Joker’s back!
And he’d managed to infect the Justice League with a special Joker Toxin. Batman narrowly escaped Superman, and (somehow) managed to get him, and the rest of the League, confined at A.R.G.U.S..
I’m assuming Alfred and Julia did this off-page, because when Bruce woke up (Clark hits hard!), the JL had already been hooked up to IVs.
Up next? Synthesize an antidote.
The bad news was that Joker let his toxin loose in Gotham, and it was spreading fast. The reallyreally bad news was that there seemed to be no way to make a working antidote.
I was on the edge of my seat by then, baby!
Why can’t they find an antidote?

description

Ok, sounds pretty awesome so far, right?
Well, it was!
And then it all stared going downhill for me. At first, it was just little things (how did Joker managed to dose the entire Justice League?), but I brushed them aside, because I’ve been trained to blindly trust Snyder.
But also because of cool jump scares like this:

description

But within that panel lies the problem.
I AM NOT FUCKING KIDDING ABOUT THE SPOILERS!
TURN YOUR ASS AROUND, RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!

description

First, the fact that Joker was masquerading as the helpful doctor/intern from Arkham (Eric Border) that Batman has been working with, wasn’t a shocker to me. I’d been wondering when they were going to ‘spring’ that one on us. I mean, come on, he’s been shady from the start, but Arkham Manor pretty much confirmed it for me.
I can’t be the only one who was thinking that…

description

The next step is a doozy.
The Big Twist is that the Joker can’t be killed. He’s immortal like Vandal Savage, Ra’s al Ghul, or Shovel Face from Twilight.
And he’s been around since (at least) the beginning of Gotham.

description

DUM. DUM. DUUUUUM.
So…now we have some new convoluted Joker origin story? And he has powers? Has always had powers?
This explains why the skin on his face has healed itself.
Oh my God, I never thought I’d actually miss the fact that his face wasn’t attached anymore, but I’d rather have a totally human Joker without his fucking face, than WhatEverTheFuck Snyder was trying to sell me here.

description

Still, I trusted him.
He’s the Goddamn Batman Snyder!
In my mind, I had full faith that he was going to iron out the kinks in this storyline.
It was an elaborate ruse! Or Bruce was in some Crane induced delusion!
The possibilities were whirling through my mind, even as I watched each corny plot thread unfold.

description

Oh my! Joe Chill (exposed to the toxin) is waiting to kill a family. It’s been set up by Joker to look just like Crime Alley! Oh! Batman saves the family, but the toxin spreads to the adults, so he can only rescue the boy.
I’ll bet the boy is somehow part of Joker’s plan!

description

Um…nope. Evidently it was just an excuse for Batman to save a kid.
Whuuuut?
Did we really need yet another reminder of the gunshot, the pearls falling, the sad little boy crying in the rain?

description

Let me go ahead and answer that for you. No, we did not.
Whatever! In Snyder We Trust!
So when Joker broke into the Batcave and chopped off Alfred’s hand?

description

I trusted him.
And when he stole the giant Dinosaur to use in a parade because that’s such an original fucking idea?

description

I trusted him.
And when he had to go to the stupid-ass Court of Owls to find out if the Joker was truly immortal?

description

I still trusted him.
Then have the world’s lamest fight with one of their Talons?

description

I trustehhhh…well, if I’m being honest, I was starting to get pretty worried at this point. And, it turns out, I had every right to be.
Joker isn’t immortal, he’s just found some sort of a Lazarus pit to heal himself. Of course, the key to saving everyone in Gotham (from the toxin) is whatever’s in that Pit Juice.
*rolls eyes*

description

The showdown culminates with Batman & Joker in a cave full of explosives.
They proceed to simultaneously stab and psychoanalyze each other to death.
Dr. Phil, what do you think it means when Joker lodges a playing card in Batman’s eye?
Well, Anne, I think it shows that they are definitely two sides of the same coin. They can’t live without each other, and so they will probably die in this cave together.
WhatTheFuck are you talking about, Phil?! Oprah lied to us! Self-help guru, my ass! You’re nothing but an obnoxious bully with a receding hairline, and smarmy grin.

description

But it turns out Dr Phil was right.
Yep. They killed Batman…again.
I swear to God, I just now finally feel like I’m caught up on all of the shit from the last time he died, and they’re doing it again?
I guess Nubby Alfred could always step up as the next Dark Knight, if they wanna shake things up for a year or so.

description

The final nail in the coffin though?
Batman left a note.

description

Luckily, Alfred was able to translate the one word note that said Ha.
Blah, blah, balh…Batman’s story will always be a tragedy, because that’s the way he wanted it.
Live bravely, smile at the void, and eat cake…

Or something like that.
*vomits*
I can’t believe this shit. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHIT!
You just did this, you idiots! Why don’t you kill off someone who hasn’t been dead in the past few years?
Green Arrow and Superman haven’t been dead in a while. Or how ’bout Hal? Maybe Spectre could come back and take him over again?
But no. Let’s kill Batman. Marvel got rid of Wolverine, so we need to off our flagship character, as well.
Great idea!

description

*sigh*
Ok, the beginning of the story was great, and Capullo’s art deserves 5 stars all by itself, so this was not a total loss.
Again, I know most of you will love this, think it’s an ass-kicking story, and continue to worship this run. And I don’t want to argue with you, or try to change your mind. This is simply my (fairly worthless) opinion.

Ugh. I’m exhausted from hating Endgame so much. I’m going to bed.

description

Initial thoughts:
Wow. I gotta think about this one for a bit…
My knee-jerk reaction is a hearty fuck you to Snyder.

description

I received a digital copy from NetGalley & DC.

View all my reviews

Review: Batman, Vol. 6: Graveyard Shift by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo (Illustrations)

Batman, Vol. 6: Graveyard ShiftBatman, Vol. 6: Graveyard Shift by Scott Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I would have preferred a long story arc, but dreams don’t always come true. This is a bunch of leftover stories from random times and places.
Yeah, I know Suck it up, Buttercup!
I will say that they were all consistently good, even if the timelines were all over the map.

It starts off with a prequel to Zero Year that was maybe not necessary, but interesting anyway. It showed Bruce trying to clean up the city before he put on the mask.

description

Also included was a look at Tim, Jason, Dick, & Barbara’s first peek at the Batsymbol in the sky, which coincided with (varying degrees of) turning points in their lives.

description

Harper (Bluebird) and her brother Cullen feature in this one twice. The first time Harper is determined to help Batman deal with his rage after Damien’s death.

description

I’m not sure how much I’m actually enjoying this Death of Damien storyline. It rankles my nerves a bit, and I wish they’d just dip his ass in a Lazarus pit already and be done with it. It’s a personal preference, but I just don’t like watching the writers try to decide how Batman should act while in the throes of grief over his dead child.
There was this story on the news the other day about this woman who lost everything because she started smoking crack. Turns out, her kid had died a few years beforehand. Now, I don’t think smoking crack is a good idea under any circumstances, but she gets a pass in my book. If there was ever one excuse to be a crackhead, that’s the one.
My point is, I just don’t enjoy the dead kid angle. I believe the writers are trying to convey Bruce’s deep emotions, but (to me) it feels hollow and cheap.
And the longer it drags out, the more annoyed I get.

Love this piece of art, though.
description

In the issue called Ghost Lights, Superman pops in to check on Bruce, and they end up taking on an evil spirit who has been summoned by some stupid kids.

description

I enjoyed the Superman/Batman team-up. Always nice to see those two together!

description

Clayface shows up in this sucker and makes quite an impression. Snyder played up how dangerous a villain he could be if he totally went off the rails.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story!

description

The story set in Arkham with the character
Anchoress
was a bit of an iffy one for me. It was different enough to keep me interested, though.
It’s basically a tale about a not-bad-but-bad-anyway nutter in the loony bin.

description

Creepy serial killer tale ahead! Unless it somehow plays into the Joker mythos, this one is a throwaway. Again, not bad storytelling, but I’m burned out on the subject matter. I simply prefer Batman to take on ‘villains’ and not real-life psychos.
*shrugs*

description

The last one is a tie-in with the Batman Eternal stuff.
Spoiler below!

description

Get it?! Spoiler?
{insert knee-slapping here}
Hyuck, hyuck!

*cough*
Yes, so…anyway. It’s a random collection of stories, but it’s a solid random collection of stories. I think this volume is a nice addition to Snyder’s Batman run.

Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a digital copy to read and review.

View all my reviews

Review: Batman – Zero Year: Dark City (Vol. 5) by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Batman, Vol. 5: Zero Year - Dark CityBatman, Vol. 5: Zero Year – Dark City by Scott Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, so time to actually review this…

A lot of my Shallow Reader friends have already covered most of what I would say about this, but I’ll briefly expand on what I thought…

1)Like Anne I loved seeing the giant penny do something! I also agree that Snyder’s 25yr old Bruce Wayne has more in common with Dick Grayson than the Bruce Wayne we’re used to. Good point as well that Batman has years to grow bitter and into the badass who has every angle covered that we’ll ever know.

2)This Batman is not perfect…he gets beat by Riddler, and people suffer for it. This is just like Anne says above, a perfect explanation for how the paranoia of over-preparation came to Bruce/Bats…by this early defeat and un-preparedness.

3)Much like Sam, I loved that Snyder made Edward Nigma/Riddler back into a force to be reckoned with. The exellent Arkham series of video games has done a magnificent job showing just how proficient, ruthless, deadly and prepared Riddler can be (much like his Dark Knight counterpart…) In many ways, Bruce learned as much about preparation from Riddler himself, as he did from his being defeated by Nigma. Just like we learn how Red Hood shaped Batman, we also see here that Riddler is no slouch, and even more dangerous than anyone else. Bruce learns a lot from his matchup with Riddler, and without it, wouldn’t be the same Batman we know and worship.

Hurrah for the Rejuvenational Rehabilitation of the Riddler!

4)I entirely agree with, and love that Sesana points to the aspects of Bruce and Alfred. Alfred’s little coda at the end with Julie Madison (kudos again to Snyder for being that aware of the history of Batman to throw her in here, in a small, but pivotal scene) shows just how deep the Gentleman’s Gentleman feels responsible for ‘Master Bruce’ and what sort of hope he holds out. In many ways, I don’t think Batman would be nearly the force he is without Alfred. Father figure, wise sage, battlefield surgeon (who I just realize now, might have picked things up from the Army as well as being Butler to Doctor Thomas Wayne…) and more patriarch of the Wayne’s than any actual Wayne since Thomas.

This is like getting to go back in time and see just how gut-wrenching it must be for Alfred day in and day out for years, decades, to see what young little Bruce turns into. The heartfelt moments between Bruce and Alfred really get to me, because it’s something we always know is there, but luckily, hasn’t been overdone by writers yet.

As for my own thoughts, I love the Riddler being relevant, I love the nods to Batman past, and I love that this just feels fresh, even though I’m sure most of us have read similar things in Batman many times before. I also liked the Gordon/Bats relationship development, even if it did feel a little convenient at points (Gordon/Bats relationship develops just like it did in Year One, with mistrust at first giving way to cautious trust.). Also nice to see Lucius Fox get some screen time (as well as a bit of explanation about his son, who some might know became Batwing #2). There’s just not a wasted note, everything seems to be planned out well, just like Batman would, years in advance so that every detail has been thought of.

I’m not sure the chronology, but I’m guessing this came out before Forever Evil…? If so, I’m not sure if I should just call out Papa Johns on the blatant ripoff of the ‘electronic item wired to heart of said Gotham superhero’ we see here, and the same one we see wired up to Dick Grayson in Forever Evil…but it’s the end of the year, and I’m almost out of negativity, so here’s what I’ll be charitable and do instead…Johns, as the cheese at DC, knew this was happening early in Batman’s career, so fast forward to Dick Grayson having his heart wired up to a device the same way Bruce had his wired up, and boom…Bruce realizes the Alfred role, and all of a sudden, has the humanity to realize that if he cannot value Dick as much as Alfred valued him, then he’s not prepared for that life. This would be a great explanation as to why Batman doesn’t just go practical here…sorry, it’s a bit off topic, but I wanted to address it, and I would love to know if anyone else noticed that before I mentioned it…

I just re-read The Dark Knight Returns (I took out The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and I wanted to be on the same page before I got into that), and it seems in many ways Snyder’s work ties in closely to Miller’s. That being said, I prefer Snyder’s, and Capullo is a WAY better artist than Lynn Varley. However, it’s interesting to see that this young Batman here (and in Secret City) could very easily have become the Dark Knight of Miller’s work (the comparisons between Year One and Secret City abound, and for good reason). I particularly enjoyed the page that was a clear shout out of respect and acknowledgement of Miller’s monumental work, leaving no doubt to anyone reading that Snyder and Capullo know and respect the history.

description

description

Pretty Damn Cool.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

View all my reviews

Release Day Review: Batman, Vol. 5: Zero Year – Dark City by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo (Illustrations)

Batman, Vol. 5: Zero Year - Dark CityBatman, Vol. 5: Zero Year – Dark City by Scott Snyder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Origin of the Giant Penny!
Ok, maybe nobody else cared, but I thought it was cool of Snyder to give that massive Penny that Bruce keeps in the Batcave, a fresh start.
Dear Mr. Snyder,
Could you do the Dinosaur next?
Sincerely,
Anne

This is the second arc of Zero Year, which is Snyder’s New 52 origin story for Batman.
It’s not as dark as some of the previous origins, but it’s not exactly light and fluffy, either.
This is a younger version of the Dark Knight. He’s fallible, relatively inexperienced as Batman, and more mouthy than what we’re used to seeing.
He sort of reminds me of Dick Grayson, with the snappy comebacks during fight scenes, you know?
Did I just say Snappy?
Holy shit. I did.
Did you know, that every time someone uses snappy in a sentence…
Somewhere an angel gets his AARP card?
That’s deep, man. DEEP.

Anyhoo. Edward Nigma (last seen abandoning Wayne Industries) has returned as a full-fledged super villain.
The Riddler!
He’s planning on taking Gotham hostage, and cleansing the earth, so to speak.
Can Batman unravel the clues fast enough to stop him?
Surprisingly…not at first.
Butbutbutbutbut, you say. He’s the goddamn Batman!
Yeah, not so much. Or at least, not quite yet.
Butbutbutbutbut, you say. Batman is too well-prepared to be caught unawares!
Yeah, but nobody is born with Bruce Wayne’s level of paranoia. That sort of thing is learned.
I mean, unless you’re schizophrenic, of course.
So, I’m thinking that by showing Batman pull an epic fail, Snyder is giving us a solid reason for his wildly detailed contingency plans.
And also the Penny. Because, really, that was a highlight for me.

There were a couple of scenes I raised my eyebrow at, but, on the whole, this was another solid Snyder/Capullo team-up.
And if you’re not reading this title, then you need to turn in you Cool Kid card.
Seriously.

View all my reviews