Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Batman by Scott Snyder issue #37

There are only two New 52 Bat-titles whose latest releases I've been following closely with dread and anticipation, and Snyder's Endgame story arc concerning the climactic return of the Clown Prince of crime is one of them. The other one is, of course, Tomasi's Robin Rises arc concerning the return of MY Robin, Damian Wayne. I actually just read  the two side-by-side, and IT'S THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I MADE THIS WEEK because now I'm reeling from all kinds of feelings due to both installments. Now I know what it feels like to wait for a comic book issue monthly and literally fear what is inside the pages, mostly because I have no choice but to wait for another month before I find out what happens next. AND IT COULDN'T COME AT A WORST TIME AT THAT!

I've now reached a point in my comic book consumption of Batman content just this year alone where it's seriously becoming bad for my mental health AND I LOVE IT! Scott Snyder is anyone's go-to writer for New 52 material and his major arcs had been incredibly satisfying and resonant in the best places imaginable. Of all that I have sampled, Zero Year is still my favorite while I found both Court of Owls and Death of the Family to be generally grand and favorable in scope. It's safe to say that if you're a fan of the Joker then you must subscribe to Snyder's stuff because I believe he's the only writer who delivers a consistently haunting and gruesome Joker story for the new continuity. 

I've confessed before that the big crossover event of Death of the Family last year has exhausted the fuck out of me, mostly because I could hardly remember a time in a post-Nolan world that Joker wasn't so fucked-up and written so darkly, and I found myself unable to enjoy or like the Joker being portrayed as such.

However, Endgame is exactly what I am looking for to cleanse my oversaturated Joker palette, and it's only poetic that the task should be accomplished by Snyder. In its three current installments so far, the story already has a better balance in its elements and perspective concerning the Clown Prince of crime than what was previously achieved in Death of the Family. After seventy-five years, the schizophrenic, chaotic and forever-elusive Joker finally receives the representation it deserves: Snyder deconstructs what his timeless persona means for Gotham City, its inhabitants and Batman himself. Truly, we could all now consider the Joker as a cosmic monster, Lovecraftian in rendition, who will terrorize and cause discord until the end of time. He is not a person of flesh and blood but an un-killable idea befitting that of Batman on the opposite spectrum. I think this is how Snyder seems to write him in Endgame, and I'm excited for this new direction I'm being taken to. I must say that the journey is scaring me a bit which also feels good.

James Tynion IV's short fiction for every Endgame issue has been crucial in further emphasizing the almost mythical aspect of the Joker as viewed by mentally unstable patients of the Arkham Asylum. Their stories offer us varying multiple origins of the Joker which is rightly so. The Joker is not supposed to have a linear and concise backstory. He's pure chaos in the form of man and now it looks as if he is not even human, given the way Snyder has built him up in this issue. I'm getting the chills in a way I haven't in a while. I'm not sure it's advisable for us to keep staring into the abyss because if there is an evil entity that lurks inside it and can gaze back into our souls, it's most definitely a clown with a perpetual grin and a ready mad laugh!


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