Some Quick Thoughts on Batman #40 (Endgame Finale) (SPOILERS)

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He took the time to put lipstick on the T-Rex. That is commitment.

 

- The Bat Family & rogues gallery vs Joker was great. Loved the chaos of it all.

- Joker quips, makes dark jokes, etc. People are always bitching about Joker being too dark, never being funny anymore, and I guess it all depends on how "funny" you want the clown to be, or in what way, but I think we see that Mistah J isn't just some horror beast

 

Batman is just doing what you want, Joker. He gave you the Dick.

 

- Batman using his smarts to outdo the Joker, not just his brawn, is great. Switching places with Dick Grayson, having Dick fight Joker as Batman while he goes to find the elixir, was clever thinking

- Batman uses the same kind of "eye" analyzer device that his father had made in Zero Year, tying into his examination of what became the Batcave and now Joker's own cave, which is a good callback.

 

"Kind of puts my mad dash to restore Damian to life into prospective."

 

- So wait, there was just a pool of that regenerative stuff that Joker found after falling in the Batcave at the end of Death of the Family, and that's how he's been regenerating from injuries in this story arc? I... I don't know how to feel about that. It's a bit contrived on its face, but it's also kind of amusing how far Joker went to convince everyone he'd been immortal all this time, and long-lived.

- Holy shit that fight is bloody. Maybe Capullo went a little overboard with the blood, actually. Snyder & Capullo like to go for a more horror-tinged feel, but this is a blood ocean! Still, I ultimately understand the use, because Batman and Joker are really doing a "final battle" thing here, with Joker hoping to just reuse the regenerative fluid to take care of any injury, so he's throwing himself at Batman suicidally.

- What I love is that, ultimately, Joker DOES want to live. When Batman is preventing him from crawling over to heal himself, he's pleading. Joker's really full of shit about being immortal, or wanting Batman to kill him. He just wanted to use the fluid so that Batman and he could continue doing this forever. But Batman isn't having that.

- I'm a little disappointed that the regenerative fluid was just some proto-Lazarus Pit that was just in some random cave under Gotham this whole time. It makes the reveal too ordinary. Not that I wanted Joker to be immortal, but I thought it would have been a great tie-in to the past storyline, Zero Year, if it turned out that the stuff Red Hood fell into that made him Joker was also the Dionesium, which is why Joker's come back from bad injuries his whole career. But a story doesn't have to conform to the way I want it to play out to the letter to satisfy me.

- I know it's supposed to be poetic, but please, Mr. Snyder, don't ever have Batman refer to the Joker as "my friend", even ironically. It takes Joker's "romance" angle too far.

 

"We coulda had it allllll... rolling in the deeeeeep..."

 

- I love Alfred's interpretation of Bruce's "final message" to him, the message of Batman. That Batman is trancendant because he WILL die, and it's the moment he's alive that will live forever, not the life itself, but the fight.

- The harness/deus ex machina armor from the first part of the story reppears in the dumpster at the end of the issue. During the issue a big deal was made of whether Batman was hooked into the harness Julia had hiim on while he was beneath in the caves. Does this image mean that Batman was somehow saved or is in confirmation of the opposite, since it's trashed? Obviously there'll be a new Batman for a while, given the previews of the Robo-Batman, and it's not Bruce Wayne, but he'll return eventually. But how?

- You know, Batman himself is like that figure who swoops in to save people on a harness. Batman himself is a deus ex machina, by theater terms described in the first chapter.

 

An hour later, a new Gotham City villain stole the armor for his costume.

 

Overall, a good ending, not as clever as I'd have liked it to be (again, that Joker just randomly stumbled upon the regenerative stuff was weird), the coda leaves out the Justice League (who Joker had Jokerized previously and were recovering the last time we saw them) or the reactions of the rest of the Bat family outside of Alfred and Julia. Snyder doesn't have a great record for sticking the landing, but I expected a little better after Zero Year had ended excellently. I'm not saying this was a bad story - everything Snyder has written for Batman has been worth reading - but maybe he should stop trying to do blockbusters and just do regular Batman stories. I can't very well criticize Grant Morrison for always trying to be postmodern and deep and then ignore all of Snyder's indulgences.

 

I'm definitely buying this storyline in TPB form, and hopefully the wait won't be so long.

 

 

- Penguin Truth
(2015)