SpartanNerd Thoughts…Death of Batman and Joker, as well as the New 52

We all knew it was coming…The Convergence, and the end of the New 52 branding.  Months of announcements.  Lots of speculation and a few spoilers.

We read “Batman Eternal” all the way through, and slogged through Forever Evil, Future’s End, and Batman Zero Year.  We saw Robin (Damien Wayne) fall and rise.

It has been thrilling, really.  A far better expense than buying satellite or cable TV.  Much better investment.  (The only thing I miss about live TV is no NFL.  Otherwise, Netflix and DVDs and other media do just fine.)

I have to say it hasn’t been without its problems, though.  I haven’t been entirely happy with every storyline.  I canceled my subscription to Action Comics, Justice League, and Aquaman.  I didn’t even care about the characters or the story the way a good comic book should make you.  Shazam!  (who cares?)  (The Others. Etc)  I would receive my books ninety percent of the time over a week after the release date, and with these three titles, I would not even have remembered what happened in the issue prior.  In the case of Masters of the Universe (which I still will be reading) I cancelled the subscription because many of the books arrived damaged!  (I will be picking up my MOTU books from The Tangled Web from now on.)

But Batman has been different.  When I started reading The New 52, I found a character that I could really relate to.  I watched “Batman the Animated Series” and all of the Batman movies as a kid, and also watched re-runs of that campy TV show from the 1960’s.  We had some Batman comics around as well, and Batman was something my Grandma could relate to and talk about some…she said she read Batman comics as a child.  The character of Robin has always had some appeal to me as well.  Always somehow balancing the seriousness of Batman.  Robin is someone usually missing from the movies, and it makes me feel like the stories are missing a crucial element.

So I hung onto the titles Detective Comics, Batman, and Batman and Robin.  And didn’t even think twice about purchasing the weekly Batman Eternal title…I was dedicated!

The Joker is the other part of this.  Readers were captivated by Detective comics #1.  Joker’s face was cut off!  What did this mean?  How would this work?  DC got our attention!  And it about drove me insane.  For an entire year I loyally read every Batman book (except Batman Incorporated, a lingering soul from the old universe), and was then rewarded with the HUGE “Death of the Family” story arc.  It was brilliant!

And after the epic conclusion to that story, we went right into Robin’s death, and the Batman and Robin title became a sort of variety show, with Batman either teaming up with or having drama with some other main character.

I could go on and on.  But I am finally satisfied at where it all ends.

Batman #40 is the finale of the Joker returns story…And at the end of this strangely covered issue, (in contrast to the other covers in the “Endgame” arc,) the two arch enemies find their demise.  The fight was SO EPIC!  Of all the Batman fights, this one may be the most gruesome.  More blood spilt in this comic than almost any other Batman book before now.  And did I see Batman bite off the Joker’s ear?  Incredible.  And then he turns the Joker’s own deception against him.

For me, this is the perfect conclusion.  I’m still a little shocked.  I didn’t really see it coming.  Sure, I heard the spoiler about the Jim Gordon in the robotic Batman suit.  But killing Batman and Joker seemed out of the question.  This is sort of old hat, no?  Bruce Wayne has been killed before.  And we always know that Joker will be back.  And Bruce was just re-unified with Damien…

With Batman and Joker’s deaths…I feel I have a complete Batman collection of stories.  I picked up the free comic book…which confirms at least Bruce Wayne Batman is gone for the next foreseeable run of DC books.  We all know both characters will be back…But I don’t feel the need to read this for awhile.  I have a story from Zero Year (beginning) to Endgame (conclusion).  And feel a sense of relief.

Thanks, DC for a great run on Batman!

What’s next for the SpartanNerd?

More Masters of the Universe…

More Gundams…(forthcoming!)

More action figure reviews…

More Magic the Gathering posts…

Possibly a return to Spider-Man.

I am interested in Transformers…especially classic types.

But I am going to take the time to go back and re-read my Batman books, from beginning to end.  And enjoy them.  Summer Vacation is just around the corner!  Maybe I’ll even post reviews about the story arcs, like I originally intended.

Keep reading, oh Hub City Geeks!

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SpartanNerd Comics Commentary…He’s BAAACK!

“No.  No. Not HIM!”  Batman utters this line pretty often.  Is it poor writing?

He says this as Superman grins a Joker-ish grin at him.

Yes indeed.  The Joker returned before Robin has been claimed.  BIG SURPRISE!

Back in Summer 2013, as the “Zero Year” storyline was hitting the shelves, and the “Death of the Family” story fresh in our minds, not to mention Damian’s sudden death, there was an innocuous “Batman Annual #2” issue promising a blurb from Zero Year.  To me, I read this issue and enjoyed it, but thought the Zero Year part of the story was just added as hype to sell the book and maximize money from that particular story event.

But here we are.  November 2014.  A year and a half later or round about.  And all this time, sitting in my comic book storage box and yours too, was a secondary character named Eric Border.  A nice guy.  Someone who cared for the patients…a truly caring doctor.

And he was the Joker.  Biding his time!  (I dug through my comics to re-read “Annual #2”.  Oh the planning that went into this!  There were hints in that issue we would have never seen!)

 

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This twist had me reeling!  When I read this in Batman #36,  I was shocked!  Not real clear entirely how he got his new “mug.”  But he has one, and is looking younger and more current.  (He also has his old face, so what has “Joker’s Daughter” been wearing?)

This storyline, “Endgame,” has been a little disjunct so far.  For instance, suddenly without warning, the Justice League starts attacking Batman.  He is prepared to neutralize them all, but when he spits the “kryptonite gum” in Superman’s face, we don’t really see it making Superman suddenly crash.  A tiny dose of the stuff was enough to beat him?  And because Batman Eternal hasn’t been completed yet, we are having to infer where and why Batman has set up shop by reading the tiny details between the lines.  And we keep seeing a couple of sidekicks, one “Lark” and the other “Bluebird.”  These haven’t been explained sufficiently.  At least “Lark” hasn’t.  (Isn’t Lark the Penguin’s lackey?)

(I’m starting to think Stephanie Brown may be the next Robin.  I’m thinking the “Damian Resurrection” story might be a bait and switch.)

So, I’m not the least bit worried about Batman being stuck in that cell paralyzed by the Joker and being poisoned by gas.  This is the classic Batman scenario.  Classic like in “1960’s” TV show!  Batman will get out of it somehow in issue #37.  Can’t wait!

One more thing…there is a backup story going on, which evidently will give us new information about the Joker and his origin.  A bunch of minor sickos have kidnapped Maureen, (who was dropped off by Eric Border,) and are telling her the stories the Joker told them to tell her.  All different crazy takes on who the Joker is and where he is from.  The first one in Batman #35 about the Joker being a demon rising out of the swamp on a mystical crossroads was pretty freaky.  Actually really disturbing.  And then #36’s story about him being an alien robot, also weird.  We the readers know for certain that these stories can’t be true.

Time to go back and read Zero Year again, and get a look at that chemistry teacher who was loading tanks for the Red Hood gang.  (was this in issue #24?)