December 12, 2012

Review: Batman Issue 15

The Joker continues his terror upon Gotham City and the Bat-Family! Will the Dark Knight escape the clutches of the Clown Prince of Madness?

"He's chaos, Bruce, what else --?"

Last month's cliffhanger ending left us wanting to find out what fate befell the Dark Knight after being subdued by the Joker. Was he able to triumph and escape The Joker's traps again? After an eerie and terrifying first page in issue 15, readers will discover that not even the most outrageous and deadly weapon from the Joker's arsenal can hold down the Batman. The brilliance of writer Scott Snyder's portrayal of The Joker, is that he just has so many gadgets, that it becomes a game of one-upmanship between these two! It's clear Snyder wants to show a demented yet cunning individual who has carefully planned this rampage all along. However, just when you think the Joker has finally bested our detective, the Dark Knight comes out on top again! Let's call this battle between this two a draw for now.

The highlight of issue 15 is for me is the gathering of Bat-Family as Bruce shares a secret that he's hiding from them, involving the Joker. I won't get into further detail but the entire scene was awesome in seeing them gathered like that again, apart from the Batman, Incorporated book. While lacking in action throughout the rest of the issue, Snyder adds in a subplot concerning Arkham Asylum employees. Here, Snyder shows the power of criminal underworld that can stretch beyond the cells of the asylum and can snare innocents to do the Joker's bidding. Snyder doesn't need extra panels or pages to embellish the horrors of The Joker's actions within Arkham these past months, as words and dialogue alone are powerful and simple enough to convey the madness. With a bonus backup story, Snyder and team silently end issue 15, leading to horrors the Joker has crafted at Arkham for our detective, in the next issue.

What more can be said about artist Greg Capullo's wonderful work here again? For me, some of the flashback scenes stood out the most, especially the boat scene leading towards the Batcave tunnel. The beauty of Capullo's work is that even tiny details are amazingly conveyed to the reader! Capullo's use of black colors throughout panels also captures the tension of the scenes and story.

Final Verdict: A

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