Monday, December 22, 2014

Batman #37

   I really want to like this issue.

   It's loaded with great art by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki. It features the return of the Joker, who has somehow managed to overcome the loss of his face (he hasn't looked as good in quite a few years, actually). He's unleashed a scheme of mass destruction on Gotham City, and even Batman seems overwhelmed by the task at hand.

   So what's not to like? Well...

   It all comes down to the story,  and it bothers me that it makes no sense. I know, it's part of the Joker's scheme - but at some level, it has to have an element of logic and the real world.

   So we start with Batman paralyzed and forced to witness Gotham's citizens infected by a version of the Joker virus that makes them all go insane. Commissioner Gordan is helping coordinated an attempt to find a cure, but he must face the Joker alone. Or does he?

   Batman confronts his oldest foe - or does he? The nightmares are mixed in with the nightmarish reality and it's difficult to tell what's real and what's hallucination.

   All of which makes it difficult to really care about the story. If anything can happen, does anything matter? What is the Joker's scheme and how does he manage to create so many bio-weapons? Since he was able to enslave the Justice League, is there anything he can't do?

   Like too many stories these days, it all feels like fan fiction, where the rules don't apply and anything goes, no matter how outrageous.

  We expect a it more self-restraint (and real world logic) in the Dark Knight's adventures.

Grade: B


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