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Best Batman and Joker Story Ever
on January 4, 2017
Throughout literature there has always been classic battles of good and evil. These battles have been fought by numerous figures. But some of the best battles occur between two foes who are the perfect match for each other. We see this in Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Moriarty, or Dracula facing Van Helsing. But no fiercer rivalry and struggle has ever been encapsulated in the 20th century in comics than that of the Joker and Batman. When the two fight it is the ultimate struggle of good and evil that, to me, transcends comics and leaves a lasting impact on literature. In the Death of the Family story arc, collected here in volume 3, Scott Snyder brings one of the best Joker stories ever. In Detective Comics #1, Batman faces the Joker and defeats him. However, the Clown Prince of Crime wanted to be caught so that he may gain an audience with the Dollmaker who proceeds to cut his face off which is what the Joker wanted. In issues 13-17, the Joker enacts his master plan and attacks Batman and the whole Bat-family. He believes that all of Batman’s allies and friends have made him soft and weak, the Joker wants things to return to the way they were many years ago, when it was just him and Batman. So, he retrieves his rotting face from the GCPD and begins his reign of terror on Gotham but specifically targets Batman and his allies. Out of all of Snyder’s work on Batman, this one is hands down my favorite. There is so much depth and meaning to what occurs and what the Joker says, and the story is almost a love letter in a sense to all the great Joker stories that have come before and the history of Batman and the Joker. Snyder’s writing and characterization is on point with so many beautiful and disturbing moments spread throughout. Snyder is known outside of Batman, Swamp Thing and his other DC work as the author of American Vampire and other horror novels. So, he brings an element of horror to this book. Which makes sense because the concept and creation of the Joker was inspired by a horror movie called The Man Who Laughs. The horror and disturbing elements of this story make it so enjoyable and the characterization of the Joker as this almost evil force of nature counterbalanced with Batman who is struggling desperately to stop him makes this book fantastic. Greg Capullo is always the best and he brings his best to the book, the detail and the environments that he brings to life is incredible and well as the character that he draws. The coloring as well contributes to the darkness and grittiness that is in this book. In several of the issues there is a flashback of sorts that is drawn by a different artist which are ok, but I’m not a big fan of another artist coming in for five or six pages and then the art style reverts to the original artist. I find those things to be very distracting. No Batman fan should be without this book. By far Snyder’s best work, in my opinion, on the series, and that is saying a lot about how great it is. The Joker and Batman will always continue to face one another, but this time, the Joker will leave a scar so deep that it will forever haunt the Bat-Family.