Wednesday, January 28, 2015

SPOILERS: Batman #38

There is just... so much to tackle in this issue, it's hard to even begin explaining.

The Spoilers:

So, Bruce escapes with this Duke kid we've seen for awhile now. Makes it to James Gordon's house where he finds an axe in the chest of his oldest ally. Gordon tries to explain what happened, how the Joker was dead then not, but eventually he turns all HAHA on Batman, but gets put down by two tranq darts from Julia who followed them to the apartment. Julia takes Duke to safety after giving Batman a report on the virus which has a cellular degeneration compound in it.

Bruce goes back into the city trying to figure out what to do next, and contacts Dick with a sample of Joker's blood, which has some sort of regenerative compound in it, similar to the Lazarus Pit, but not the same. Bruce and Dick figure that whatever the compound in the virus that is causing cellular break down has to be the inverse of whatever was given to the Joker, like love and hate, comedy and tragedy. Only three scientists come to mind when Bruce tries to figure out who could make a compound that advance. Dr. Death, Hugo Strange, and Dr. Dekker, all three men who worked for his uncle in secret labs back around Zero Year. Death is dead, Strange hasn't been in Gotham for years, but Dekker is still in the city, and was released from Arkham by one Doctor Eric Border.

Also, if you're not up to date on your civilian names Dekker = Crazy Quilt. Yep.

Bruce pays Dekker a visit, and is met by a very mad (the looney type) man, who raves on and on about how in every ancient society there are legends of men who come to be immortal in a way, and given their prevalence throughout various ancient societies, there has to be a truth to the legends. Dekker claims that Joker is like the "Savage" and the "Demon," he is Gotham's "Pale Man" and whatever the extinct compound of legend that he had been trying to recreate, lays within Joker and only comes out in times of catastrophic damage to the body. 

Batman is sick of Dekker's shit and dangles him by his quilt out a window, over the crazed raving lunatics, demanding to know what Dekker gave the Joker. In the middle of the confrontation, Julia radios in to tell Bruce that she's been running facial recognition software on photos throughout the history and she's gotten countless hits on the Joker. Batman thinks it's a trick, buuuuuut there's a lot of evidence to say otherwise. While distracted by the news, Batman doesn't notice Dekker bring out a syringe which is the version of his own compound he believes is within the Joker, and injects it into himself... safe to say, it fails miserably and he dies.

With no leads left, and the possibility that Joker very well could be an immortal force that has plagued Gotham long before his time, Batman feels it's time for a Gotham history lesson in order to find some answers. Who better to ask about Gotham's history?

Who is the question.

And the answer is: The Court of Owls.


The Opinion:

I mean, just fuck. Fuck, this story is fantastic. I enjoyed "Death of the Family" but this story is just balls to the wall fucking crazy, and is just bringing everything Snyder and Capullo have done on this book full circle. Did anyone see the Court of Owls coming? No. No one did, and that's what this story is doing, just bringing out surprise after surprise and they're all sort of amazing. On top of everything, Grayson cameo! Always appreciated. Hope we get some Damian at some point, but Snyder recently said on twitter he doesn't feel he's got a good grasp on the character, so boo... Anyways... God damn, Endgame. 


  1. I think what's going on here is that the chemicals the Red Hood fell into that made him Joker had that regenerative element and its side effect was making him look like he does. But it's why he was always able to bounce back from grievous injuries. Perhaps it was a synthetic version of the thing that could also be found in the Lazarus Pits and so on. It could explain why Joker has his face back.

    Throughout history, there have been people with similar reactions to the chemical, whether exposed to it by accident or on purpose, maybe as a precursor to the Court of Owl's own regenerative compound.

  2. Yeah, the hype surrounding Snyder and Capullo's run has been usually deserved, but this story is especially good. The elements of Zero Year, Return of Bruce Wayne, and Crazy Quilt also really do make it feel like the entire history of Batman and the Joker is relevant in some way to it, which matches the tone perfectly and lives up to its status as a Batman anniversary story. I mean, it'd be awesome regardless, but I am enjoying how much of Batman's history factors into it.

    1. Oh, I also enjoyed how it stopped just short of ever calling Dekker "Crazy Quilt", as if Batman's embarrassed that he has an enemy named Crazy Quilt.

  3. Snyder's United Glowy Green Chemical Theorem? Lazarus after all does drive Ra's slightly mad for a spell after its use. Perhaps someone at Ace Chemical was secretly working on something more potent?

    Or it's all BS!

  4. Definitely my favorite issue of Endgame so far, not counting the Annual because that was too epic to comprehend.