Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo
Wow oh wow! Snyder takes us on a seriously creepy tour of Arkham Asylum, which is saying a lot because Arkham is creepy enough as it is, but damn! Flaming horses, murals painted on sown together bodies, Batman squares off against a bunch of dudes in full riot gear. This had to be one of the most thrilling issues to come out of the Death Of The Family arc. It seems like Snyder has tapped into a really dark portion of his mind to write the Joker for the series.
The action is nothing short of intense and leaves me almost scared to continue on to see what horror awaits Batman next. If this were a level in the Arkham games, I probably would’ve had to take a breath in between each part just to calm myself down. All I can say is that it starts on a creepy scale of 8 and ratchets it up to a 15 by the time I hit the end. I follow Snyder on Twitter and he seems like a nice enough guy, but the dude has to have a screw or two loose to come up with ideas such as the Joker stitching together living bodies to create a canvas on which he paints a mural depicting such scenes as Jason Todd’s death, and it makes me love Scott Snyder’s work all the more.
One of my favorite parts was seeing Batman stalk Arkham taking out Mr. Freeze, Clayface and Scarecrow without any effort. Now these are some major baddies, but Batman taking them down so easily only serves to show that Batman is angry, but more than that, he’s focused. He’s not wasting time with the side dishes; he wants to get straight to the entrée. Normally Batman would take down henchmen in this fashion on the way to the big baddie, but here Batman keeps his focus solely on the Joker, he’s not even trying to break a sweat on Clayface.
Capullo’s art keeps pace with Snyder’s script beautifully. I also wonder what goes through his head when Snyder says ‘so here’s the idea, the Joker has stitched together bodies…’ One of the great panels in the book depicts Batman punching a charging horse in the face; stopping it dead in it’s tracks. The force of the punch shines through in Capullo’s work and I couldn’t help but smirk when I saw it. He also manages to draw the most inane looking Joker I’ve ever seen, which is saying a lot. His face is decaying and attracting flies and Capullo pulls it off, almost making me sick in the process, now that’s good art!
Overall this was the most astounding issue in the Death Of The Family arc, pushing the boundaries so far I swear the comics authority code was rolling over in it’s literary grave. The next issue looks to close out the Death Of story and I can’t wait to see if it tops this issue, and finally, how the whole thing ends. Stay tuned Bat fans!
5 out 5 nerds
Follow Christopher on Twitter @AUDone44 and The Nerd @nerdfollowing