Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo wrap up the “Death Of The Family” story arc with Batman #17, an issue that is sure to be the topic of discussion for many who’ve bought the numerous tie-ins surrounding the return of The Joker. Don’t worry, this will be free of spoilers, but I will tell you this: expect the unexpected. I’ll admit that I was not prepared for what Snyder and Capullo present to us, but when looking at the larger theme behind this event, I really like the conclusion, and what does transpire is a huge, game-changing event.
Presenting an even narrower focus on the Joker and Batman’s relationship, this one brings everything full circle. There’s plenty of satisfying moments here, including one of the best battles between Batman and Mr. J that I’ve seen in a long time. Scott Snyder once again displays his amazing talent for giving us numerous humanizing moments, while also not shying away from how chilling the Joker can really be. In fact, numerous times I was surprised by what was shown in the comic, and I had to check the cover to see if there were any warnings about the gruesome imagery displayed inside.
But what beautiful gruesome imagery it is! I know I’ve proclaimed how amazing Greg Capullo is before, and I may have even said that the last issue was his best work yet, but I take it back. THIS is his best issue yet. The Joker in his hands is even more horrifying than before, as Capullo shows us the decay on his “face”, and the difficulty that Joker has keeping it on. There were moments where it felt like grime in Joker’s hideout was going to leak off the page and onto my fingers.
Once again, Batman proves to not only be the best the of DC’s titles, but of the big two publishers as well. It’s been so consistently good that I had a hard time writing a review for it this time around. What could I have said that I hadn’t already? After covering every issue of this storyline in these reviews, I’ve decided that it’s time to give this title a rest. Batman is an amazing comic, and if you don’t know it by now, then you haven’t read my reviews of the books or aren’t into it. And that’s okay. But seriously, it’s awesome, and the conclusion here not only wraps up Joker’s attack on Batman, but it opens many new potential stories that I hope Snyder and Capullo will deliver.
Cyclops’ team of X-Men get the spotlight in the first #1 issue of Uncanny X-Men since
1963 2011. Framed around a mysterious person meeting with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill regarding Cyclops, the Brian Michael Bendis scripted issue is an easily accessible first issue that thankfully doesn’t require you to have read All-New X-Men or any other “X” title previous (with the exception of Avengers vs. X-Men of course).
I was skeptical of Bendis heading into the X-Men universe at first. After a long stint on Avengers, I wasn’t entirely sure how well he’d do with Marvel’s merry mutants. well, consider my doubts officially destroyed, because Bendis absolutely kills it in this issue. From the excellent dialogue between Hill and the mysterious traitor, to Cyclops’ team battling a new batch of sentinels, there’s no shortage of excellent moments here. Bendis’ depiction of Scott Summers, the self-proclaimed “face of the new mutant revolution” is incredibly compelling, painting the picture of a man who is trying to be the savior of his people while also hiding the devastating secret that he’s not as in control of his power as he lets on. And I love Bendis’ Magneto, who has some of the best lines of the book.
Chris Bachalo handles the art duties here, and anyone who’s seen his work before on titles like Wolverine & The X-Men knows that his art can sometimes become too exaggerated. There’s definitely some of that here, like when Cyclops and his team arrive to a new mutant, but by and large it suits the story well. I actually think his figure work looks better when we see characters out of costume, but there were moments that looked really cool, like Cyclops taking out the army of sentinels.
While yes, there’s yet ANOTHER $4 comic being released every two weeks by Marvel, this shouldn’t deter you from the book. Bendis’ cliffhanger ending is excellent, and has me very intrigued by what’s to come in this series. Perhaps it’s time for me to start figuring out which titles to drop so I can add this……..
Jonwahizzle is a jack of all trades: Educator, comic book slinger for Jetpack Comics, and member of Another Let Down. Follow him on twitter and check out his blog, The Collective: Examples of Nerdery for more!
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