Batman #16

by Alan Rapp on January 18, 2013

in Comics

batman-new-52-16-coverAnd I’m done. Writer Scott Snyder built up an extreme amount of good will with me with his terrific run on Detective Comics before the New 52 reboot. Shifting over to Batman with the launch of New 52 he’s delivered some individually strong issues but several forgettable and some downright bad issues as well. None, however, have lowered the bar more than Batman #16.

I’ve argued often that the entire New 52 seems to have been made off the gritty and hugely popular Arkham Asylum video game. DC proves me correct in this issue where it actually becomes Arkaham Asylum as the Dark Knight enters a Joker-controlled Arkham to stop the madman’s latest plans.

The Death of the Family issues dealing directly with the Joker have only gotten worse as the months have dragged on, finally hitting rock bottom here in this NC-17 horror fetish fantasy that’s so far removed from classic Batman stories it’s nearly unrecognizable. For those who enjoy it I’m leaving it to you. Mr. Snyder thanks for the memories, but I’m getting off this particular roller coaster with this issue. Pass.

[DC, $3.99]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh January 26, 2013 at 12:11 am

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up. It’s not much of a review if you just give it a poor score without listing the reasons why you didn’t like it. No offense, I get everyone has their tastes, but I thought this issue was fantastic. I can’t possibly see how this got a lower score than Red Hood and the Outlaws #16
The art was better here, the dialogue, the storytelling. It just gripped me a hell of a lot more than RHATO. I just don’t understand


Alan Rapp January 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

I haven’t liked the direction overall of Death of the Family and this issue was the culmination of everything I disliked. If I wanted an Arkham Asylum Video Game comic I’d buy one. I don’t. At all.

You might be right that I’m being unfair in to this comic in particular, but as it is the climax of the event it felt the full fury of my dismay at the current arc of the Bat-books. And that last panel made me throw the comic across the room.

None of the motivations make sense here among the rest of the Joker’s royal court, nor the fact that he could take over Arkham and have no one notice for weeks (or months, given the time necessary for his elaborate set-up).

I hate this Face-Off version of the Joker with a passion and his constant “does he know” bullshit. I usually like Snyder’s work and Capullo’s art is good here but all they’ve really done is taken an iconic comic book villain and turned him into a B-movie horror bad guy.

I know there are plenty of people that have been enjoying this storyline, but (except on the far fringes) I’m not one of them.


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