Best Shots Advance Review: BATMAN #13 - JOKER Returns!

 

Batman #13

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia

Lettering by Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

Published by DC Comics

Review by David Pepose

'Rama Rating: 10 out of 10

Click here for a preview

He's baaaaaaack.

And holy hell, is he scary.

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's first arc was to bring back the Bat — to show that he was the top dog, the biggest badass of the DC Universe. By the end of "Night of the Owls," that mission was handily accomplished. And now, for their second epic on Batman, Snyder and Capullo are upping the ante even further.

You can almost hear the sick chuckle. The Joker has returned to Gotham City — and like any good showman, his entrance is pitch-perfect.

While I enjoyed Scott Snyder's plotting and pacing during "Night of the Owls," there was always a part of me that felt that it was Greg Capullo that really made that story, that it was a hit more because of the stellar art rather than just the writing.

Well, Scott Snyder is making me eat my words right now — his Joker is downright terrifying, a monster in the shadows that very much evokes Heath Ledger's guttural anarchist from The Dark Knight. "Stop me if you've heard this one before!" Snyder's Joker is a shark, a force of nature that by his very gravity pulls in the rest of the Batman family in his wake. For better or for worse, he is a member of Bruce Wayne's nearest and dearest — in Snyder's hands, the Joker gives everyone else context.

And that's just the exposition. There's plenty of suspense and action to this book, with Snyder and Greg Capullo really knocking it out of the park. I love the strobe effect Capullo works in as the Joker begins picking off victims in a darkened room. Capullo's edgy lines also really bring up the heightened tension as Batman shouts his frustrations — and his fears — into the darkness. There is one moment near the end where the storytelling does take a hiccup, but a second reading will only heighten the danger Batman finds himself in.

Since the New 52, Batman has been blessed with an indomitable winning streak, thanks to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. But it's even more exciting that this issue is their best one yet. The Clown Prince of Crime might be at his most murderous, but make no mistake — he's going to put a smile on your face. 

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