Written by: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor
“Look into his eyes and tell yourself he’s just a man. Tell yourself he can’t know the things he says he does. He can’t know your fears. ” –Batman
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
The opening to “Batman #15” has got to be one of the strongest openings I’ve read in a long time. Batman’s monologue is set alongside a creepy illustration of Joker’s face peeking out of a pitch-black backdrop. The first line is powerful: Look into his eyes and tell yourself he’s just a man. This foreshadows everything that will happen in the “Death of the Family” crossover event. Joker is in the spotlight, so you know this story is going to be a psychologically crazy one.
The monologue continues on in the same page. Batman goes into detail about the science of eyes and pupil dilation.
My explanation does it no justice, but within this first page, Scott Snyder instills fear and doubt within both Batman and his readers. Again, it’s astonishingly powerful. It’ll make you shudder.
For the most part nothing happens in “Batman #15”. It’s all set-up, but it’s amazing set-up that opens up many questions and uncertainties. In this story arc, Joker is set on killing everyone in the Bat family. As usual, Batman is keeping a secret and the family isn’t pleased. After wrangling the truth out of him, Batman reveals an incident that happened between him and the Joker early on when began his life as Batman. This revelation creates distrust, anger, and fear. No one is safe. Batman claims he is only protecting them. He tells them to trust him because he knows Joker’s “game” and that their distrust is playing into Joker’s hands. This however doesn’t calm their uneasiness and creates more distress.
**End of Semi-Spoiler**
At this point of the story, Snyder will have your head spinning. Is Batman’s instinct correct or has the Joker finally got Batman stumped and right where he wants him? With Snyder’s storytelling, anything is possible. One thing for sure is that this story is going to be mind-bending.
Greg Capullo’s art remains to be great. Joker looks ridiculously insane and the overall panels bring out the darkness that’s about to be unfolded. The only thing I have against Capullo is how he illustrates normal people. Give him costumed vigilantes and villains and he’ll bring forth some kickass representations and spreads, but give him the Bat family in their civilian clothes and they all look pretty similar. There are actually pages of the family with and without their costumes and the differences in quality are striking. Still, I love Capullo’s work.
I always say there are way too many Bat books then necessary, but I highly recommend giving the “Death in the Family” event a try. The best part is that you can just read “Batman” alone. However the tie-ins from the other Bat books are a plus.
Author: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor
Laura is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently resides in Southern California. She drinks too much milk tea, talks too much about Green Lantern, and would marry Barry Allen if he were real.