Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman #35

Well, son of a bitch, did not see that one coming.

The Spoilers:

Gotham is apparently under attack again, what else is new? This time, a mysterious gas covers a ten block radius of the city, causing mass evacuation... But the gas isn't toxic. In fact, it's harmless. It's almost as if someone was trying to get everyone to leave... Oh yeah, because Batman is in a mech suit, ready to throw down in the middle of Gotham.

A half-hour prior, Bruce is waking up from a run-in with the Scarecrow, and the new fear toxin strain is giving him "visions" of his future demise over and over again, varied each time. It's a new day in Gotham, following Eternal with Bruce operating within the city, from an old Court of Owls suite within Old Wayne tower. He, Alfred and Julia discuss things... but none of that really matters because Wonder Woman comes out of no where, throwing Bruce into battle.

Instantly, Bruce knows something is wrong, asking why Diana is doing it. Why? She asks before saying that maybe she just hates him, as they all do. It's at this point where Bruce tells Alfred to hit the gas switch, and long story short, Bruce gets in that mechsuit facing Justice League members, one after the next, all out to kill him, no hesitation. First he defeats Wonder Woman by using what basically is the anti-lasso of truth, which makes her believe she won by killing him. Then the Flash is dealt with by straight up tripping him. Next is Aquaman, who gets put into this moister absorbing foam... Unfortunately, Superman is next, and well... Superman wrecks shit.

With his suit destroyed, Bruce tries to plea with Clark to find out why this is happening, who did this to them. Clark's answer?

"Who? Well Bruce... It's actually sort of... funny"

And as a smile creeps across Superman's face, all Bruce can do is say "No... not him."


Then there's a backup. An Arkham Manor staffer is going back to her house and finds many escaped inmates waiting for her inside. In case you didn't get my coyness with the above spoiler, Joker is back, and he's told each and everyone of these inmates a story, and the game is that they have to go different places with this doctor, each telling her the story and looking for a sign from him... and whoever tells that story right, lives... the wrong ones? They die.

The Review:

Well, shit, I thought following up Zero Year with a Joker story would be too soon, but I guess not. You know what made me most happy about this issue? The fact that it wasn't spoiled by promotional material beforehand. Joker isn't even really in the issue, so not knowing what was going on at all, by that last page I'm just sitting there going "oh, fuck!" This issue was like a sucker punch, I had no expectations of what happened actually happening, so I'm now at a loss at what's going to happen, and it feels fucking amazing. Seriously, I can't stress enough how happy I am this wasn't spoiled for the sake of promotion. I'm honestly at a loss for words.

I also got to praise the back-up... A twisted game of telephone, perfect for the Joker. I love that the back-up is going to be it's own tangentially connected stand-alone story too. Great concept.

Man, for the first time in a while, an issue of Batman truly surprised me. I'm real excited.


  1. I'm pretty psyched, though I know a lot of people are bitching because they hated Death of the Family. It was flawed, sure, probably the weakest of Snyder's arcs thus far, but I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to what he'll be doing with Mistah J next. If the back up story is to be believed, having his face on again is one thing.

  2. Oh man this issue, so glad it wasn't spoiled with solicits. Figured I'd ask this here since Gotham Spoilers and all, but any idea who the villains in the backup are? None of the names/designs are recognizable to me. Or are these all new creations?

  3. I loved this issue. Props to Snyder for keeping it under wraps so long! It was nice to be actually surprised, and feel like it was just an honest Batman comic, and not some huge overblown effort at symbolism (at least not yet).

    I also totally missed the foreshadowing when Bruce says "It hurts when I laugh" earlier in the book. It did seem out of character for him, but still: nicely done, Snyder.

    Also, clever what he did with Bruce's hand in all the dream/lie sequences.

    All in all, with this and Batgirl, and to a degree, Eternal, this was the best Wednesday I think we've had in a long, long time.

    To GNOah, I *think* one of them was Humpty Dumpty or Mr. Amygdala, though I'm not sure. Didn't recognize the rest yet, though it's hard to tell. I also wonder if they'll get introduced in Arkham manor.

  4. My sentiments line up with yours, it was a really cool way to bring the Joker back all around, and I loved Death of the Family and saw no major problems with it so I'm interested to see how Snyder caps off his version of Joker. The only thing that sorta bums me out is that it seems like we won't be getting much more of Batman surviving and incapacitating the Justice League, as that'd be something worth getting into with more depth. But I suppose there can only be so much time dedicated to any one part if it's supposed to be so jam packed with guest stars.

  5. Good point, that could definitely be the case that some or all of these guys could be introduced in Arkham Manor. I definitely thought Humpty Dumpty was the fat guy though there's nothing to confirm that other than a strong resemblance.

  6. All I can say is that was an amazing issue. I did not see that coming at all. That was the best issue of Batman for me in a long time. I thought Zero Year was great, but went on too long for my tastes. I'm so glad nothing was spoiled with this issue. Watching Batman take down every other Leaguer one by one until Superman showed up was awesome. I can't wait for next month. I love that the arc is only 6 issues so I feel pacing won't be an issue. It is going to be epic.