What Comics Are All About...
I don't normally write reviews for contemporary comics, but this one practically demanded it.
I can't remember the last time i felt such pure satisfaction from reading as comic book, from any media form in fact (Snowpiercer came pretty close, though).
Wild, inventive, imaginative, dramatic, action packed, moving, emotional, shocking... this one has it all. Though don't be fooled into thinking of it as sensationalism, as many comics these days can be guilty of. No, there is a real resonance to this tale, a consideration of all that has gone before, whilst leaving very real repercussions and an open door of possibilities for all that is to come.
It is a very special gift that Snyder shares with Geoff Johns and a few other contemporary writers (Hickman and Morrison leap to mind) who are so able to bring conclusions that also enrich the mythology of the character in very real, and resoundingly truthful ways.
This Batman story is one of them. It's not for the faint of heart; the confrontation between Batman and Joker is one of the most visceral on record (if not THE most visceral, yes, even more so than the legendary Dark Knight returns battle) but then, it has to be, doesn't it?
Between these two characters lay the foundations of all great confrontations in comics; the history, the admiration, the bitterness, the hatred, the strange emotional connection that's most certainly not love, but which somehow runs deeper. All those emotions are touched on and even though i most certainly won't spoil the ending, there is something... almost sweet about it's disturbing finale.
I was not a fan of the Endgame arc when it began, but Mister Snyder has proven me wrong.
This has been one of the most gripping, disturbing and exhilarating Batman stories in memory. It will be interesting to see what fan response is to the ending, but i challenge any to say that it didn't make the hairs stand up on the backs of their bat caves (see what i did there? :) )
Scott Snyder and the team say that they are not done with Mr Wayne yet and where they are going to go from here is anyone's guess.
Needless to say, i'll be along for the ride, with an air of complete excitement and nothing but commiserations for whichever poor writer has to follow them on this book.