Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Batman: Endgame [2014-2015] by Scott Snyder | Greg Capullo

Batman #35 takes place following Batman Eternal and Bruce has a Batman bunker in Gotham as Julia Pennyworth joins the team. Bruce is attacked by Wonder Woman so he clears the city as he is also attacked by the Flash, Aquaman, and Superman. Bruce discovers who is pulling the Justice League strings and it’s the Joker who has returned following the events of Death of the Family

Endgame continues in Batman #36 as the Joker returns armed with the Justice League in tow. Batman finally takes down Superman by spitting Kryptonite gum in his face. He searches at the collapse of Akham Asylum to find clues of the Joker. Batman is confronted by an orderly by the name of Eric Border who locks him up and reveals himself as the Joker promising to bring havoc to Gotham.

Eric Border was first introduced in Batman Annual #2 where Batman tests the cells of Arkham Asylum. Border visits the first patient of Arkham the Anchoress who is seeking revenge of Batman for turning the asylum into a place of punishment instead of healing. The Anchoress plans to release every patient of Arkham. Batman remembers her from Zero Year as the she makes him relive his nightmares of his brother Owlman and the death of Robin his son. Border and another orderly rescues Batman.

His second appearance is in the Joker’s Daughter where both Eric Border and the Anchoress show up. We are given the origin of the Joker’s Daughter and the Joker communicates with her as Eric Border. 

Batman #37 begins as the Joker contaminated Gotham with his toxin. Gordon discovers Joker has appeared throughout Gotham’s history. He deals with the Joker however he is taken out as the Joker reveals to Batman that he knows his identity. 

The last Batman Annual introduced Eric Border who later is revealed to be the Joker in Batman: Endgame. The third Batman Annual brings us Thomas Blackcrow a reporter who told the Joker he has no friends. A year later after the Joker escaped Arkham, they found Tommy’s article under his bed. When Tommy went home he found his friend dead by the Joker’s hand. Joker wants to be Tommy’s friend and systematically emotionally tortures him and his wife who later leaves him. Tommy is eventually sent to Arkham Manor with Eric Border as his new friend. This annual seems to be the origin of Eric Border and answering the question why the Joker became an orderly at Arkham – to be close to his friend Tommy. 

Batman discovers the Joker enhanced the virus which has both a decaying and regenerative factor in Batman #38 Endgame. Batman tracks down the doctor who helped him revealing the chemical compound in the Joker’s blood existed in other immortals including Vandal Savage and Ras Al Ghul. Batman thinks the story is unbelievable and decides the only option is to the find truth leading him to the Court of Owls. The lingering question of whether Joker is immortal lingers as we hit the next issue. 

Batman #39 continues Endgame as Batman confronts the Court of Owls to learn the true origins of the Joker. Last issue the we saw the Joker swimming however this issue we find out where he was swimming towards: the Batcave. Alfred comfronts him and the Joker chops off his hand. Now Batman teams up with his two families the heroes and the dysfunctional villains to stop the Joker’s madness before it consumes Gotham. Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo pushes the limits of the story for the grand finale next issue. 

Batman #40 begins with Batman teaming up with his family and villains to stop the Joker who gains the upper end. However when the Joker unmasks Batman he finds out its Richard Grayson while the real Batman is attempting to find the cure to the Joker’s toxin beneath Gotham. The Joker has rigged the cave to collapse as Batman finds the chemical that healed the Joker’s face and body from the events of Death of the Family. After a fierce battle between both of them, Batman manages to get a sample of the toxin to Julia Pennyworth as the Joker collapses the cave with both of them inside. The issue ends with both Batman and the Joker dead setting up a new status quo next issue with a new Batman following Convergence.