NOTE: Yes, this is basically a copypasta of the post with spoilers, found here. If you don’t care about spoilers (like a bad nerd) or you’ve already read Batman #14 (like a good nerd), check out that post.
With that massive cliffhanger at the end of Batman #13, I’ve been more than a bit concerned for the past month. I mean, I had no doubt in my mind that Batman would bust out of the acid vat that Harley locked him in, so I didn’t fret over that at all. And I know Alfred is somewhat of a bad-ass, not as much as in Geoff Johns’ Batman: Earth One, but he can do minor surgeries and hold his own, then calm down with a nice Fernet Branca. Regardless, Batman can barely hold his own against The Joker (something he admits in this month’s Batman #14), so how is Alfred supposed to do it?
Alfred’s life is still in the balance, and other members of the Bat-Family are not too far behind! Batman #14 reveals parts of Joker’s dark, twisted plan to disassemble Batman’s group of vigilantes in the most heinous ways possible. In this issue alone, we see discover Alfred’s cruel fate, see Gordon and Nightwing in danger at the hands of the Joker, and bare witness to the first post-Flashpoint clash of Gotham’s Goliath of Good and it’s Harlequin of Hatred.
While Batman #14 doesn’t have the same kind of looming cliffhanger as its predecessor did, it still shows the depth with which Joker can stab into Batman’s heart, prying back pieces and rendering him almost helpless as he begins enacting his horrible plans. Can Batman stop Joker before he kills someone in the Family? Is it already too late for Alfred?
Well, you’ll just have to pick this one up to see. (OR head over to the spoiler-filled post. But I guarantee it’s not as good as the comic itself.)
Overall, I truly can’t say enough good about Scott Snyder’s and Greg Capullo’s creation. I loved the tangle with the Court of Owls last year, and the new Joker story is already surpassing that. The demented dialogue and story turns Snyder creates are truly some of the best and darkest Batman has ever seen, and Capullo’s art continues to impress me. I mean, the man’s mind spawned what may be the greatest single panel of a comic since the infamous “Captain America punches the HEIL out of Hitler” splash page.
Capullo has quickly become one of my favorite comic artists, and when paired with Snyder’s sharp, twisted writing, Batman is the one title that I could never cut from my list, regardless of how very little money I’d have on a given Wednesday. That’s right:
I’d do illegal things to buy Batman every month.
Hopefully it’ll never come to that. If I started stealing or selling drugs to get cash for comics, it’s likely Batman himself would stop me. On second thought, maybe it would be worth it to meet Batman…