Comic Vine Review

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Batman #15 - But Here's the Kicker; Red Light, Green Light

5

Joker's scheme continues to unfold and the tension builds as the 'family' tries to find out what secrets Joker knows and what Batman's been keeping from them.

The Good

Let's just start with the first page. Scott Snyder likes to open most issues with a bit of prose. This is accompanied by an incredibly eerie image of Joker staring into your soul. Hearing Bruce's thoughts and thinking about something most would take for granted, like the way a person's pupils dilates, is what makes Batman a great character and Snyder a great writer. I would love to read more of Snyder's insight into these random things if he were to write a book on them.

This issue shows what we want to see in a Batman/Joker conflict. You can see that Batman is close to the edge here. He doesn't have time for Joker's games when the lives of those close to him are at risk. That also puts Batman at a slight advantage. He knows Joker is dangerous but could still be underestimating him. Batman usually keeps his emotions in check but even these events might be too much.

Then there's the other part of Joker's plan. Last issue he told 'everyone' in the family that Batman was keeping a secret from them. This is where the tension arises. Hearing the details of a past event is almost chilling. This is where Joker excels. He's not a physical character. He may have his poisons and gadgets but being able to get under everyone's skin is his greatest weapon. Hearing about this past encounter just makes me want to see more of Batman's past in the New 52.

The ending absolutely makes me want to see the next stage of Joker's plan.

The back-up continues the series of Joker and one of Batman's other villains. This time we get to see Riddler. Snyder has stated that he has a story planned with him. The big question we've had is what will Snyder's interpretation be like? He (and James Tynion IV) give us a pretty good idea. This is how you want to see him. Jock's interpretation offers an eerie look at where he currently resides.

The Bad

Batman is in a trap set by Joker. He manages to escape (of course) but it's not absolutely clear how or why he waited to escape until he did. Perhaps he was trying to get Joker to talk more, in a classic 'villain reveals all the plans' way. He also loses his gloves, which we can assume assisted in his escape but you don't really see it happen.

There's also a scene where it appears that Barbara is the same height as Tim but later shown as clearly taller (when in costume). Sure her boots have a bit of a heel on them but not one that would explain the height difference later. Capullo has been knocking it out of the park with each issue and this is the first time I've commented against it.

The Verdict

Joker and Scott Snyder are continuing the war against Batman. It's hard to believe that a story stacking the odds against Batman can be so captivating. That's what Snyder does best, he sets up stories with Batman taking a beating, to remind us that he is a non-powered human. Everyone jokes how Batman should always win but Snyder shows it's not an easy task. We get to see some insight into how Batman's mind works. I can't recall seeing this sort of depth into how he thinks or reflects on a simple matter. With Joker having planned this all out for the past year, we're seeing how many layers there are to his scheme. He is prepared to really put Batman and his family to the test. The tension of what Joker knows and what Batman might be hiding from the others will keep you hanging to the edge of your seat. Capullo's art has a couple hiccups but is still great to see, combined with Jonathan Glapion's inks and FCO Plascencia's colors. The back-up by Snyder, Tynion IV and Jock gives a great look at another Bat-villain. This is clearly a great time to be a Batman fan.

56 Comments

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TheCheeseStabber

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Edited By TheCheeseStabber

I can't wait to read this!

I read the previews and the artwork and prose about the Jokers eyes is just chilling....

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velvetmeds

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Edited By velvetmeds

I hope it's an actual 5 star comic this time, unlike 14...

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JLDoom

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Edited By JLDoom

Man, I cant wait for this!

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tjs4759

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Edited By tjs4759

Is it Wednesday yet? That's the worst part about Snyder's Batman thus far...............the new issue comes out, its great, I read is 3-4 times. Then have to wait another damn month to read the next one.

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cloudzackvincent

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Edited By cloudzackvincent

can't wait to read it....

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CairoEvans

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Edited By CairoEvans

Great insight! I definitely intend on picking up the "Death of the Family" mini series in the near future. Gotta love the Joker's mind games.

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doordoor123

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Edited By doordoor123

@Glitch_Spawn said:

LALALALALALAALALALALALALALA Not listening

There is no listening involved. This is an article. Do you mean you didn't read the review? UNLESS of course you are reading, but you aren't listening to the opinion or review. In other words, you're disregarding it.

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Press Oblivion

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Edited By Press Oblivion

I like how you said:

Joker and Scott Snyder are continuing the war against Batman.

Ha! That's classic!

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sledgemeyers

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Edited By sledgemeyers

Great review, Tony.

My only complaint is well... your complaint on the height difference. Capullo mentioned earlier on Twitter that she would appear to be the same height because she's technically in the background of the shot. In reality, she's taller than Tim, I believe.

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LiamB8

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Edited By LiamB8

The covers, omg I don't even read Batman but I wanna buy this just for the cover. 

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sweetesttoaster

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Edited By sweetesttoaster

The only complaint is the height difference? That's a little weak. Could just be perspective or something. I understand its the opinion of the reviewer, but that doesn't seem like a big deal to put in the bad column.

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StMichalofWilson

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Edited By StMichalofWilson

The Clown Prince of Crime continues to regin supreme! I can wait to read this issue!

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CombatSpoon86

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Edited By CombatSpoon86

Wednesday can't come fast enough

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Cavemold

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Edited By Cavemold

sweet.

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Twentyfive

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Edited By Twentyfive

For the first time, I am stoked about a Batman book. When I saw the preview, I knew I had to buy it.

Good job Snyder!

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gotwillpower

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Edited By gotwillpower

I think the thing with the gloves was skipped over because we've seen Batman do it before. Wasn't it in The Black Glove, when Batman was in the chair under the GCPD, that he escaped by wiggling his arms out of his gloves? Looking at the preview, that's what I figured anyway.

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JoeEddie

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Edited By JoeEddie

Hopefully, I am not disappointed like I was for #14

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iaconpoint

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Edited By iaconpoint

Wait, wouldn't the skin from Joker's face have wasted to dust and he have grown a whole new layer of skin over his face within a year?

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Eternal19

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Edited By Eternal19

cant wait to read this. I'm enjoying snyder's "Death of the family" storyline much more than "the court of owls" storyine.

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EdBlank

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Edited By EdBlank

@iaconpoint : leather is skin so the skin itself could survive but unless they had treated it somehow I would guess it would be shriveled up. Also: I was just wondering if his face would still be able to be surgically repaired after a year.

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Loki2u

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Edited By Loki2u

@velvetmeds said:

I hope it's an actual 5 star comic this time, unlike 14...

Agreed.

Then again, I think every issue of Snyders run has received 5 stars. Not sure how to interpret that. I've ranted before about the rating system, but I'm learning to live with it now.

I would summarize that while not every issue in Synerders run has been perfect....its been a terrific read, and probably one of the best written books out there right now.

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dmkicksballs13

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Edited By dmkicksballs13

@velvetmeds: I thought 13 was overrated and 14 was awesome.

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dmkicksballs13

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Edited By dmkicksballs13

Debating which cover to buy.

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ScreamingGhost

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Edited By ScreamingGhost

The height feels like nitpicking, given the demanding schedule of a comic artist is a forgivable and not really worthy of note. Never the less nice review.

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Shipster360

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Edited By Shipster360

ive been seeing a lot of hate on the DOTF storyline but no real reasons. why dont people like it? im loving it. the part with Joker in the GCPD gave me chills. same with the part about him being under Gordons bed while he sleeps. the only thing i really dislike about it is that someone has to die in the end. please not alfred! take the boy not the butler!

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Jawshco

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Edited By Jawshco

Sounds pretty awesome. "another Bat Villain" ? Is it the Riddler?

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frankcmu

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Edited By frankcmu

Because of this review I could not get over the glove thing and the height thing... lol... I reread the pages leading up to the gloves coming off like 3 or 4 times ... and the height thing drove me crazy... it also go me thinking... how does she fight crime in high heels? lol

On a side not I loved the Bat fam hanging out... very cool... good read.

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That60sGuy

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Edited By That60sGuy

I don't regularly read Batman but have picked up the last 2 issues (which I'm yet to read!). Do I REALLY need to read all the other titles to "get" the DotF arc or will just Batman do?

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Vulshock

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Edited By Vulshock

@That60sGuy: I don't think so. I don't read any of the other bat-family books and I'm not having any problems yet.

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That60sGuy

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Edited By That60sGuy

@Vulshock: Thanks that's good to know. I finally decided to buy Batman and was pissed thinking this was the wrong place to start.

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SmashBrawler

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Edited By SmashBrawler

This issue was good, although I don't get why Batman was so damn sure about what the Joker did (or rather didn't do), didn't he learn anything from his past experience with the Court of Owls? Also, still not sold on Snyder's Joker. Those would be my only two criticisms.

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Ett

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Edited By Ett

Yeesh Snyder should have read Red Hood and the outlaws #0. We already know Joker knows.

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Shipster360

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Edited By Shipster360

@That60sGuy: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Batman:_Death_of_the_Family thats where i go for summaries on the other issues in the arc. better than finding them all and buying them

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x_29

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Edited By x_29

Great review, Tony.

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rav4

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Edited By rav4

@frankcmu said:

it also go me thinking... how does she fight crime in high heels? lol

She doesn't, that was an artist mistake. She wears flats in her solo.

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BatWatch

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Edited By BatWatch

I think was the best issue of the main story arc so far. I was so relieved that Joker did not do anything superhuman in this issue, but at the same time, it appears that Batman now has super powers apparently surviving a rocket blast and drowning. These...mistakes can somewhat be explained away, but they still bug me.

The BatWatch Review is up.

@JoeEddie said:

Hopefully, I am not disappointed like I was for #14

This issue is much better than 14.

@iaconpoint said:

Wait, wouldn't the skin from Joker's face have wasted to dust and he have grown a whole new layer of skin over his face within a year?

I've been wondering about that myself. Maybe I should do some research and write an article on it.

The face was kept in a special holding device as evidence, so maybe that would preserve it, but it is clearly rotting (as seen most clearly in Batman and Robin #15) now that it is out in the open. I know people sometimes need skin graphs. Maybe skin does not grow back if whole sections have been removed? I do not know.

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bob808

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Edited By bob808

Best Death of the Family story yet.

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Booster_Bronze

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Edited By Booster_Bronze

I love how Joker shut Bullock up in this issue. Classic Joker, although I'm having trouble buying the whole notion of how he's so damn omniscient. At least it can be explained for Batman that he has all his surveillance tech, but Joker isn't as well connected, is he?

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JoeEddie

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Edited By JoeEddie

@BatWatch:

Love the writing in your review. I picked it up this morning along with Punisher: War Zone #2. Going to read both later tonight. I don't see how Snyder can end this arc with two more issues left.

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zachkastner

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Edited By zachkastner

Eh, the gloves thing didn't both me at all. Especially with this arc, Capullo has been delivering some silent plot beats (like Bruce taking the Joker tape out of the forensics bag right after sealing it in there in iss14) so the book actually plays better off the art now instead of Snyder's terrific prose and Capullo's gorgeous art in the same book, now they intermingle.

This was a really great set up issue and I can not wait for next month. 5/5

AND friggin' Riddler is back with an awesome scene in the back up! His arc following this should be great!

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entropy_aegis

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Edited By entropy_aegis

@Shipster360 said:

ive been seeing a lot of hate on the DOTF storyline but no real reasons. why dont people like it? im loving it. the part with Joker in the GCPD gave me chills. same with the part about him being under Gordons bed while he sleeps. the only thing i really dislike about it is that someone has to die in the end. please not alfred! take the boy not the butler!

I dont see any hate here,it's not a bad story by any means.Snyder' work is basically 2000-2005 era Batman done better.The problem starts when fans,reviewers,DC start overhyping his stories as the "MOST EPIC AND DEFINITE BATMAN EVAH".

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RedOwl_1

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Edited By RedOwl_1

Oh my dear lord...... this is SO creepy disturbing and awesome at the same time. Joker is sooooooo f*cked up, he's is like the ultimate insane fangirl, so obsessed so wrecked up..... that's disgusting and epic at the same time O_O

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Stormbox

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Edited By Stormbox

Loved this issue! Even better than 14, thats for sure!!"

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frankcmu

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Edited By frankcmu

@Ravager4: I see :D

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entropy_aegis

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Edited By entropy_aegis

My favorite issue from Snyders run after Batman#1,very much enjoyed the main story.

The backup I thought was weak,this started as a Joker story so I hope it stays one.

Riddler is a genius criminal,not a tactical and strategic genius,that's my complaint with the backup.

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k4tzm4n

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Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

I can't get over how good Capullo's art is in this. That first page is haunting.

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JohnnyGat

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Edited By JohnnyGat

@entropy_aegis said:

My favorite issue from Snyders run after Batman#1,very much enjoyed the main story.

The backup I thought was weak,this started as a Joker story so I hope it stays one.

Riddler is a genius criminal,not a tactical and strategic genius,that's my complaint with the backup.

inb4itisnew52

I agree though.

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Edimasta

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Edited By Edimasta

I am starting to wonder how long the will let the Joker stay alive... I mean seriously, with his face peeled off he must be in the middle of developing some nasty infections, parasites and bugs eating his flesh away... how long will it take him? Will they finally finish off JOKER, himself killed by is own madness? I know that this is just Fantasy / Sci-Fi / a comicbook but... I would love a little bit more seriousness in there. Someone try to stay alive with his whole skin in his face ripped off...

Now you could say his drop in the acid made him kinda immune to pain or any infections... dunno. Or mabye he is so messed up in his mind that he does not care about the pain... who knows.

But he really takes things to the edge and I have to admit, I would LOVE to see him finally finished off... and gone forever. I can't stand this madman!

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Manbehindthewires

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Loved it. Last page was great and something longdebated in the Batman/Joker war. Glad to see a writer confront it!

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