Batman #38 Review: Spoilers Ahead…

Wow! Scott Snyder is pulling all the stops with this Endgame story line, which marks the return of the Joker. In this issue Batman is trying to stop a deadly virus, caused by the Joker, from tearing Gotham City apart. Batman enlists the help of Julia, Alfred’s daughter, to figure out how long the city has before it is completely taken over by the virus.

Even though Dick Grayson isn’t in Gotham City he does talk to Batman and his presence is certainly felt throughout the issue. The conversation Dick has with Batman as he battles against Joker’s infected victims was both humorous and terrifying. The artwork is obviously dark and depressing, as most Batman comics are meant to be. It seems Snyder is attempting to do something different to the Joker character, he’s making him immortal.

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Before any comic book fans of yester-year start to blow a gasket, hear him out. The Joker being immortal actually makes sense, because it would explain how he’s able to always come back no matter how badly he’s broken. His immortally also ties him to other Batman villains such as Ra’s Al Ghul, Vandal Savage, and the Talons. This doesn’t change the Joker’s personality or his insanity, it simply adds more to a character that has been virtually unchanged since his first appearance. This virus is only the beginning, the Joker has something else in mind but he’s leaving Batman and the audience in the dark.

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The comic ends with Batman realizing there is little he can do on his own, if he is to have any chance at defeating the Joker he’s going to need some help. This help comes in the form of the Court of Owls! This issue certainly makes me want to read the rest of this story, seeing as the last time we saw the Court of Owls they were trying to kill Bruce and all of his loved ones. It will be interesting seeing how they operate when they are on the same side.

Overall:
-Superb artwork that is grim, creepy and dark.
– Making the Joker immortal makes sense and I’m curious to see how Snyder handles this change
-Dick and Bruce’s friendship is felt even without Dick being present in Gotham City
-The return of the Court of Owls is sure to have some repercussions to Batman later on down the line
-The Joker being less in your face this time around works for this story, it adds to the uncertainty of a character we once thought we knew

Rating: 4.5/5

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Related:
Watch our review of Batman #30!
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