Comic Book Review – Batman #14

Martin Deer on the latest issue of Batman…

Last month Batman #13 sent shock waves around the comic book world and the world of Gotham City as The Joker finally returned to make his first appearance in the New 52.  Scott Snyder told one of the best single issues I have ever read last month – as I’m sure many would agree or find hard to argue – and we have all been waiting anxiously to find out the fate of Alfred Pennyworth, last seen staring Joker straight in the arms as a crowbar inched towards his face.

Batman #14 is another terrific issue. Scott Snyder is weaving what could potentially become one of the greatest Joker stories ever told.  It’s here The Joker reveals his plans, and tells Batman why he really, honestly, loves him so.

The Joker has never seemed crazier, never seemed more unhinged, never seemed so, Joker.  Laying it all out before The Batman, The Joker tells him how he sees himself in his little twisted relationship; The Court Jester to King Batman in the Kingdom of Gotham.  Here to deliver the bad news like a faithful servant.  The dynamic between The Joker and Batman is like no other in the world of fiction, no matter the medium; they are one of a kind, and Snyder knows this relationship well, tapping in to the very core of what makes The Joker tick. 

This time he’s several steps ahead of Batman – he knows his routine, he knows his playbook, and it unnerves you to your soul as he begins to take out the Bat-family one by one.

Batman #14 is also a gorgeous looking issue. Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia combine to produce a visual feast, with the isolation that Batman feels in the latter part of the book really visualised through big open spaces on the page.

The very personal nature of the Joker’s attack is expressed in some very heart-string pulling moments during a conversation between Batman and Nightwing, and Batman and himself.  I found myself in both of those situations really feeling for Bruce, as he deals with the most personal threat in years.  The stakes just keep building in this issue, with no end respite – only the very real knowledge that the worst is yet to come.  Snyder is getting very good at building the tension and suspense; it’s captivating.

Some interesting things came to light in this issue, and I am most intrigued to find out what this secret is of Batman’s that only The Joker knows. It’s likely to be game changing given the revelations that occurred in this book.  It’s not often you wish your life away, but with Snyder’s current run on Batman, next month can’t come soon enough.

Martin Deer

Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen – Available now via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. 

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