Comic Reviews: Batman, The Walking Dead, and Before Watchmen: Rorschach!
Light on SPOILERS, but there may be some!
A slower issue than the previous two, Batman #15 still continues to drive the main plot of “Death of The Family”, and gives us our lead in to the crossovers that have been happening in the numerous Bat-books. Following the revelation that The Joker knows the identities of Batman and his allies, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo turn down the action just a tad to give us some necessary exposition, namely how it would be possible for The Joker to know their identities.
By having Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Damien all confront Bruce at once and demand to know the story behind Joker possibly knowing their identities, Snyder not only provides us with the backstory, but strengthens the pull that Joker has on not only Batman’s allies, but himself as well. Bruce is so sure that the Joker is bluffing that he nearly refuses to tell them the story behind Joker’s claims, and even then he tells them that he left them in the dark for their own good. I won’t spoil the story, but I will say that it definitely leaves Joker’s claim open to interpretation, and I side with Bruce on his take that the Joker is bluffing (for now). Snyder really sells the fear behind the Joker possibly knowing his worst enemies’ identities, and more importantly, he really sells the idea that Nightwing and Co. not only want to help Bruce take on Mr. J, but that they are ready as well.
Greg Capullo, as always, continues to dominate this series. His opening page is single-handedly one of the scariest images of the Joker I’ve ever seen. It’s downright horrific, yet at he same time you can’t look away. You can practically smell the dead flesh falling off of his face. It’s sure to cause many a nightmare among Bat-fans and young readers. Equally as cool is the final page, whose imagery harkens back to Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum.
Once again, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have added another home run to their phenomenal run on the series. While it’s not as action packed as issues 13 and 14, there’s plenty to like here, and I can’t wait for next issue.
Man, Negan is one f%$&(#d up S.O.B. Picking up exactly where the last issue left off, Carl has infiltrated Negan’s stronghold, and he is not happy. What follows is really unsettling, mainly because you know from past experiences that Robert Kirkman is not afraid to go places with “untouchable” characters. At first, you start to wonder what Negan’s plans really are with Carl. He seems to act almost like a cool uncle, not like the guy who just bashed in a certain survivor’s skull a few issues ago. Just when you start to think things will be okay for Carl, things get weird. BUT, then when things start to look really, really weird and horrifying, Kirkman switches gears and shows us something else that’s just as bad. By issue’s end, we don’t know what will happen to Carl, or if Rick has even realized where he’s gone.
Kirkman does a good job showcasing the interior of Negan’s stronghold, and his strange “point system” that his people use to get goods and services. Charlie Adlard’s character work remains as reliable as always, and when he needs to turn it up for the gore, he does it in spades. The Walking Dead is picking up steam and building to something big once again, I just hope everyone I love in the series survives this time.
Well, that was quite the delay, DC. The third issue of Rorschach’s pre-Watchmen tale has finally arrived, and even though I barely remember what happened in the last issue, this one left me hungry for more (in a good way). Rorschach is still on the trail of “The Bard”, and insane serial killer who’s been carving messages into the bodies of the women he kills. Of course, “on the trail” for Rorschach means “brutally beating/killing any scumbag I see”.
The issue isn’t all action though. There’s a nice, awkward scene between Walter Kovacs and the waitress at the Gunga Diner, which unfortunately doesn’t look like it’ll work out too well by the end of the issue. Writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo give us more action and plot in this one issue than in the previous two, I just hope we don’t have to wait another 2+ months for the finale.