November 15, 2012

Review: Batman Issue 14

The terror upon Gotham, Batman and his comrades continues, as The Joker delivers unimaginable harm to those close to The Dark Knight! What is the maniacal menace up to this time? Who will fall victim next?

There's few comics that can truly terrify and even convey the imagery with just words alone. Batman issue 14 is certainly one of them. It's the scenes that are left to the reader's imagination, that are just as powerful and shocking, that it terrifies you just trying to picture them. Writer Scott Snyder's script delivers that same suspense and tension once again, this time with the terrifying mind of The Joker at the spotlight. The early scenes reveal what happened to Alfred Pennyworth at the end of last issue's unfortunate ending. No spoilers but it's not good for the butler or the rest of the Bat-Team.  Snyder's story leaves the Dark Knight and his team, one step behind the maniacal villain, leaving the readers on edge, figuring out what brutal act has The Joker has done next! Snyder's story is so good and powerful at times, that you can almost feel the anxiety in Nightwing after his somber discussion with Batman.

Artist Greg Capullo captures the tension of Snyder's script brilliantly through each panel, sometimes without any word balloons or captions, bringing the scenes to their dangerous climax.  Each panel leads you in deeper to the terrifying plan of The Joker. Although in some scenes, Snyder gets a bit too wordy with the Clown Prince of Crime's dialogue, overpowering some magnificent Capullo panels. While the art team of Capullo and Glapion deliver another solid production, I found some depictions of Nightwing, a bit hastily done and lacking detail.

Snyder doesn't reinvent the book on The Joker but rather shows him in his true psychotic face, reminiscent of prior characterizations in The Dark Returns and The Killing Joke stories. Another backup story featuring The Penguin adds more layer of mystery to The Joker's plans. The team of Snyder and Capullo continue their fine work again as we wade through the "Death of The Family" storyline leaving the pile of victims ever so higher.

The Good: Brilliant story with good pacing, captured by the panels. This one will scare you again!

The Bad: End scenes wasn't quite what I expected.

Final Verdict: A-

Further Reading:


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