Stack Rundown, 10/23/2016

Another week, another batch of comics to loosely talk about.

SPOILERS: Batman #9

It's saying something when a LoSH character hanging out in Batman is hardly the most WTF moment of an issue.

SPOILERS: Nightwing #7

The circus is a strange place, evident by the endless Nightwing stories that come from it.

Batman Group January 2017 Solicitations

Rebirth coming into the new year hot.

Stack Rundown, 10/16/2016

Man, I sure wish Damian showed up in Batman books too... you know, where it'd make total and complete sense?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SPOILERS: Batman #40

So here it is, the finale of Endgame. Spoilers are out there already, along with the FCBD story, but trust me, this one is worth reading on your own, so what are you even doing here?

The Spoilers:

Picking up where the last issue left off, Batman, his allies and his enemies are fighting their way towards Joker’s parade, and with the help of a fastball special from Bane, Batman makes his way to Joker’s float in order to get a sample of his spinal fluid needed for the cure. Joker’s still got one trick up his sleeve, and through the use of the sound of laughter being pumped through enough speakers, he shatters everyone’s gas masks, and releases a deadly toxin which can kill in a matter of seconds. With Batman coughing to death at his feet, Joker wants to savor the moment and take a quick selfie with Bruce, only to find it’s not Bruce under the cowl… it’s Dick Grayson. (Worth mentioning that it's later detailed that Bruce put a vapor in everyone's masks, so the gas Joker releases doesn't kill them.)

Where’s Bruce? Well, since Joker mockingly spilled out the details of where to find the dionesium to Dick, Bruce is hightailing it to the cave deep below the city with Julia’s guidance. Deep below, Bruce obtains a sample of the dionesium, but Joker’s rigged the cave to blow, and in the midst of the explosions, appears on the scene to fight his old pal one last time… and fight they do. Lots of talking between them, but good god, is it a brutal fight, Bruce probably even loses an eye. In the midst of the cave collapsing, Joker has his back broken by a falling stalactite, and begins to crawl towards the dionesium in an attempt to heal. Bruce, grabs on to him, preventing him from getting to the pool, mockingly admitting that he believes Joker’s stories of being the immortal Pale Man and begs forgiveness, as a giant bolder falls into the pool, preventing Joker from reaching it. 

As the two men lay in pools of their own blood with the cave collapsing around them, Julia radios down to Bruce, begging him to use the sample of dionesium he gathered on himself so he can get out. Bruce decides not to, as it could compromise the structure, meaning a cure couldn’t be created and demands that Julia pull up the sample from the cave before it’s too late. As Julia pulls up the sample, Bruce tells her he’s just planning to rest a little while with his “friend."

Two weeks later, the sky is lit up by hundreds of Bat signals (more on that Saturday) and Alfred is telling Julia to close the shades of his hospital room. She tries to comfort him, tells him there’s even a chance of the doctors reattaching his hand, but Alfred simply says “there’s no one to mend anymore.” Julia begins to address the elephant in the room, expressing that through out everything Bruce had been through, he never took precautions for death, be it Electrum, lazarus or magic, it was like he was daring death. After getting that off her chest, she tells her father that Bruce left a note, but she doesn’t understand what it means. It only says “Ha,” which Alfred believes is intended to say that Bruce always knew how the story of Batman would end, in tragedy. He could live forever, he could have escaped, but he doesn’t he dies. It’s his greatest flaw and his greatest strength… blah blah blah, I can’t recreate it, just read the page!


The Opinion:

And there we have it, the end of Endgame, with the apparent deaths of both Bruce Wayne and the Joker… but let’s be real here people, this is comics and we didn’t see any bodies, there’s a certain rule about that. Regardless, let’s talk about the issue itself without the ending’s implications.

This is exactly how the fight needed to go down, with no clean win. It’s basically what should have happened with Bray Wyatt and the Undertaker at Wrestlemania this year, a clean win serves no purpose and is ultimately detrimental to the other in ways other than just losing, and the two should have found some sort of kinship in their brawl. Batman doesn’t win, Joker doesn’t win, and they both go down in metaphoric flames, a fitting “end” to their tale. I wasn’t one of those people who came out of Death of the Family disappointed in the ending, but that said, Endgame mops the floor with Death of the Family. It’s hard to argue this wasn’t a pitch perfect ending to this story.

I also appreciate how this ending sort of sets up a lot of things to come in the Summer. I’ve been pretty apprehensive to the idea of the new Batman and who is in the suit, but after I read the issue and have had a week or so to think about it, the idea is starting to grow on me with the context of Batman being “dead” and the city believing they need some form of Batman. You can look even further and start to make some possible connections as to other books, such as We Are Robin, which maybe is a bunch of kids reacting to the death of Batman and rising up in his honor or something, then maybe why Damian is globetrotting and using his “al’Ghul” name in his book is due to him leaving Gotham after his father’s “death.” Now I’m even looking at Gotham Academy’s July issue which teases a funeral, and maybe somehow Bruce Wayne is reported dead (without people figuring it out) and that’s why the Academy is holding services? Who knows! Ultimately, what I’m getting at is that the ending of this story is a true game changer (for the time being) and will sure to cause a ripple effect amongst the Batline rather than talking a big game with no real back up… Then of course you got Batman being regular ass Batman in Justice League, Justice League of America, Section 8, and whatever other non Bat books, but SHHHHHH.


  1. I like that in Comic Book Resources' interview, Snyder and Capullo replied to the question "is Batman really dead?" with "Of course not." Because, come on, you can never really kill off a superhero for good, especially not one as popular as Batman.

    This is basically gonna be Superior Spider-Man: Batman Edition and I like that. Let's get to it!

  2. Oh man that has got to be Bruce with the crutches and Damian with the R/Robin jacket at the end.

    1. I initially thought that, but I believe the R symbol is just a nod to what's coming in "We Are Robin." Damian wouldn't just run around wearing a Robin symbol on his jacket and hat. Plus, Snyder has straight up said that he doesn't use Damian.

    2. I think that was supposed to be evocative of Bruce at different stages of his life/Snyder and Capullo's run rather than actually being Damian and Bruce. The grown man looks like Bruce did at the end of The Court of Owls, and the kid looks like Bruce in the flashbacks to his youth from Zero Year.

    3. Damian? I thought it was Duke or another of the We Are Robin kids, and it was hinting that Bruce is the mysterious benefactor behind the Robin group in that book

    4. That's not the Robin symbol, it's the symbol for Gotham's baseball team as seen in Zero Year.

  3. Yeah, this was a pretty great story overall. It's a pity some people were so cynical and credulous about the Joker's claims of immortality that they didn't give this one a fair shot, because Team Batman really knocked it out of the park.

  4. Going to be interesting to see how they handle Gotham now. My biggest questions are who will back dock up since Bruce is dead and who will run waynetech if they declare Bruce dead(again)

  5. Am I crazy or am I missing something? Between the bandaged figure walking with a figure from "we are robin" (especially with eye bandaged) and the trash guy finding pieces of body armor in the dumpster it is pretty clear Bruce climbed out and is lying low while recovering. Much as he had Dick cover for him after his return from Final Crisis to set up Batman inc he could now by laying low to fully heal or focus on Justice League matters while Mecha Gordon patrols Gotham

    1. The kid in silhouette isn't dressed as Robin, he's wearing the symbol for Gotham's baseball team that Bruce wore as a kid in Zero Year. It's meant to evoke Robin, but the symbols aren't identical. The baseball team's symbol has fatter lines and isn't as cleanly connected as the Robin "R". Also, the armor in the garbage isn't Batman's armor, it's the harness from the theater in the first two issues that Superman punched Baman into, which Snyder confirms here:

  6. So all that pale man stuff was a lie and joker wasn't really immortal?

  7. I have mixed feelings about this issue. First, yes, it was a good issue, I enjoyed it for the most part, it concluded the story in a satisfactory manner.

    But I also feel it could have been oh so much more. I felt like, "Oh, so that's how it was. Huh. All right, what's next?" At least in terms of where Joker's regenerative abilities were coming from. It was a little contrived that all this time it was just some pool of that green gunk he stumbled onto after Death of the Family. It doesn't explain why Joker has come back from so many horrible injuries in the past (though with the New 52 timeline, maybe he hasn't). I didn't want Joker to be truly immortal/long lived, but that it's explained by him just by chance coming by this pool of stuff is kind of a let down. I thought it would be neat if the regenerative stuff was the same stuff he fell into at the Ace Chemicals factory, the stuff that made him Joker. The regeneration stuff just has a nasty side effect of making your skin bleached white, hair green, and lips red. Joker hasn't really been around all this time, those pictures were just people who'd been exposed to that substance in the past. Joker is just the first person to really go with the clown theme as Joker.

    Snyder's conclusion was a little too ordinary. It wasn't clever enough. Though I did like the clever switch with Dick.

    "Satisfactory" will have to do for this storyline, I guess. I just know that Snyder can do more than that. Zero Year blew me away. Endgame? Good, but I've seen better from him.

  8. It's funny - Dick in the cowl (and him and Bruce pulling one over on everybody again) is not just fun fan-service for us, it's also like almost an acknowledgment from Snyder. His run began with Dick in the Batman costume, so it's a wink back to that - but it's also a wink for the future, because just as his run begins with a Substitute Batman story, he's now entering his own variation, his different take on the Substitute Batman story.

    It simultaneously served as a great story moment in itself as well as a big time shout-out and acknowledgment of the recent Morrison era and tacit wink about how yeah, this kind of story has been done before, and recently, but this one's a different flavor.

    FCO's colors in this arc went from those odd daylight JLA pages to DOTF/Owls style grayscale to this issue, which is like full bore back to Zero Year's homage to the 80s Killing Joke crazy colors. Which is to say, much like the Red Hood and Riddler chapters of Zero Year - this issues colors absolutely killed it.

    Fun comics.

    1. FCO has been the MVP of this title for a while. It really sets the tones and adds a dynamic flavor to every issue.

      As for the content... like most everyone else I liked issue #40. Brutal indeed. The right ending for this specific "final" showdown between Batman and The Joker.

      I'm not angry about Batman being "dead" and I'm not really freaking out about robo-bunny-commissioner-batman. Anyone who believes in permanence in comics, especially where death is concerned, is either naive or looking for a reason to be mad. Unhappy? Don't read it until Bruce is back. Otherwise, just give it a shot. Maybe it will be a swing and a miss, but it's something different. It'll all be okay!

      Keep Calm And Batman On!

  9. is there something in Jokers cell to help revive Bruce? Maybe just reaching here but HA is the alphabetical version of the cell number 0801.

  10. HA has meant a few of things in this run and I'm trying to figure out which one it means:

    - it could have something to do with Joker's cell (like the above poster mentioned).

    - it could be a reference to the element on the periodical chart from DoTF (maybe that element can help bring Bruce back?)

    - or it could just be a literal "HA, you really thought I was dead?!" to Alfred.

    Love the themes of tragedy that were used and I believe that the Armor in the trash signifies the fact that this story wasn't saved by a God. No one came down from the Dues Ex Machina to save the day.

    I don't believe that it's Bruce and Duke, because if it was supposed to be a clear answer, why use a silouhette? I think it brings along the theme that "Batman and Robin will never die". It might be them, but it could be anyone. Batman Eternal.

    Ps. Talking in context of the story. I obviously know Bruce is coming back in less than 10 months.

    1. Agreed on all points. I don't think anything at the end is meant to be read literally.