Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Batman #14

I FINALLY got this after resisting the urge to see spoilers and it's much better than last issue.

Things I didn't like:

There are a few things that leave you scratching your head like how Batman didn't break every bone in his body escaping the tank. The voice over even warns him about bodily harm but it never shows if he was hurt.

This is going to sound bad but hear me out: some of the panel of art Capullos'. Now I don't know how Snyder and him work, if Snyder says "this is the type of expression I want on their faces." There are some rather odd choices for Bruces' reaction shots to the package Joker leaves. Bruce says "no" but his facial expressions seemed detached until he plays the tape. Shouldn't he be more concerned that Alfred is missing and a gift wrapped in Jokers' colors was left? Then there's a panel Dicks' having enough of Bruce talking in code and worried over Alfred. Dick doesn't look mad or frustrated. He looks like he's trying to be charming with his little smile.

I still don't see how the Joker face mask was needed for this story. It hasn't added anything.

Things I enjoyed:

This issue felt more tense than last issue. While I don't like the idea of Alfred being blind it certainly added that gut punch that makes you concerned. Seeing Bruces' reaction to that along with Alfred trying to encourage him were little touches that made that scene work. Bruce doesn't tell Dick that Joker blinded Alfred but sharing the information that he was taken leads to another part I'm sure will have some serious fallout. Telling Dick not to let the others know Alfred is missing. Now I can see the reasoning for this. Out of the "kids" Tim would likely take it the best as he currently lacks the history with the Joker and never took a life. Yes, I could see them all being emotional but this has serious warning signs all over it. All of them were taught to be detectives. The Joker is trying to taunt them and break them. Who doesn't see this blowing up in Bruces' face?

My favorite part had to be the Joker confronting Batman at the end and taunting them all. Yes Snyder beat that court jester/king thing into the ground in nearly every interview but I liked how this was written. It felt more natural than his talk via radio last issue. Seeing how well the Joker thought this out, how he knew Batman had played things last time was expertly done. I did think Joker was funnier here, the soap line being my favorite. The art helps show his personality as he leans back and forth on the rail and makes little gestures. This was very entertaining and makes me want the next issue now.

Questions Raised?: A lot but let's start with the tank. The mask covering Batmans' mouth is gone, was he affected by it? I mean there are covers with the family turning into Jokers.

What does he need Alfred to do? All I can think of is a server like the type Joker claims he is.

Batman is transmitting the conversation through the police wire? Wouldn't it make more sense to say it was the channel he has opened to talk to Dick? If their all listening (including Jason who just returned from space) then Bruce already let the cat out of the bag by bringing up Alfred being taken.

What is up with that book and Joker claiming it's made from Bat skin?

Did You Notice?: The symbols of Batmans' allies have Jasons' bat symbol (though it's done in blue.) This is the closest that any of the family has gotten to acknowledging the fact he wears it. I'm hoping Snyder explains why Jason shows up: whether he somehow has his contact infor or if Tim calls him, etc. Because Morrison has done nothing to make sense out of why Jason would be working with Bruce in his title.

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