Monday, October 22, 2012

Batman #13

Wow. I’ll tell you one job I would not want: police officer in Gotham City. I mean, the opportunities for bribery seem to be really high, but the Joker kills a lot of cops every time he starts a new storyline. Heck, most of the villains get to do that!

I’m a little puzzled by the murder spree that opens this comic. The Joker has always been threatening, but I never figured he was the multiple neck-snapping type. Scott Snyder writes Joker as an extremely capable physical opponent. I suppose that will make him a bigger challenge for Bats, but seems like a pretty dramatic power upgrade for the character.

Snyder does a nice job establishing the “family” that is in danger for this arc. Nightwing, Red Robin, Damian, and Batgirl are all targets for Mr. J, so it makes sense that they are given some panel time. The focus remains squarely on Batman, since this is his solo title, but the stage is set. There is one more family member in a bit more danger at the close of the issue; we’ll see how that works out.

I didn’t find the back-up story to be necessary at all. That’s been the continuing trend since DC upped the price and added the feature. The main story has been good all along, but those second stories are the definition of page-fillers.

Greg Capullo is clearly having fun with the Clown Prince of Crime. That last page cliff-hanger is awful. I also like that on pages with the power cutting out, Capullo still draws a lot of the action for Gordon. It would be mighty easy to just layer some dialogue over black panels!

This is the big coming-out party for the Joker in the new 52, and this is the second line-wide crossover inspired by Scott Snyder’s Batman title. This is clearly the biggest mover and shaker in the DCnU line, and DC is wisely putting the focus on this title. I’ve got a lot of problems with the DC line as a whole these days, but I can’t find much fault with this book.


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