Ever wonder who would win: Batman vs. Superman? What about Batman vs. the Justice League? Although Bruce Wayne is infamous for preparing for these scenarios, they’d never really happen, right? In Endgame, this is just the beginning. From the creative team that brought us the Court of Owls, Death of the Family and Zero Year, we’re getting what might just be the ultimate showdown between Batman and his arch nemesis, the Joker.
Endgame’s story is a direct result of Death of the Family as well as Batman Eternal. For readers who weren’t around for those, you’re partially covered. Julia Pennyworth, Alfred’s daughter who’s still relatively new in town, has your back with plenty of exposition. The cast of this story utilizes a group of Batman’s allies, several members of the justice league, as well as several members of Gotham’s criminal element and even some civilian roles. Among all of these supporting character roles, Alfred really takes a commanding presence. The butler’s determination to protect his family (consisting of Waynes, Pennyworths, and various bat-family members) is only matched by the determination of Batman and Joker themselves.
Bruce Wayne is a capable man with a staggering intellect and a persistent sense of justice. He sees himself as something more than his body, more than his name. Batman is an idea. Scott Snyder masterfully brings out Bruce’s narration from his encyclopedic knowledge of his beloved Gotham City, to his experience in both science and the arcane, and even to his inner doubts that he can maintain his presence as something more than a man. Readers really find a way into the enigmatic mind of their favorite superhero thanks to Snyder’s thorough and efficient explanations. Bruce is written as being both vulnerable from the traumatic experiences the Joker has put him through as well as strong and quick enough to determine what the best plan of action is (even when that includes gambling with people’s lives). If anyone thought Scott Snyder pushed Batman to his breaking point in the Court of Owls storyline, they never could have imagined the physical and psychological hurdles Batman would have to endure.
The Joker’s famous “multiple-choice” style of origin has been a favorite of fans since it was first introduced in the Killing Joke. Endgame takes the most ambitious concept to date for who the Joker is and where he came from. Could Joker be an immortal being from over 4 centuries ago? Has he been pulling the strings from the background of Gotham City for more than just Jason Todd? This mystery plagues our heroes while Joker sets in motion one of his most horrifying plans centering around a “masterpiece” strain of virus that spreads though (what else?) laughs. And when I say horrifying, I mean that this Joker is SCARY! Between Snyder’s ominous, suspenseful script and the masterful delivery of Greg Capullo’s artwork, the Dark Knight known for being a beacon of confidence and preparation is rendered totally helpless.
Not enough can be said in a visual medium about the importance of artistic delivery. Greg Capullo utilizes every panel at his disposal to deliver a cinematic sense of urgency. Even in scenes that don’t contain his incredible, heart-pounding action, Capullo knows just how to keep a reader engaged and eager to see what happens next. Calling Endgame a page-turner is a severe understatement. If you want a Batman story with a palpable impact on the DC Universe, this is the story for you.
Believably “Batman” narrations
Scott Snyder’s intricate and dreadful story
Greg Capullo’s knack for creating suspenseful action
New possible Joker origin
“Batman vs.” scenarios and team-ups
The scale can be overwhelming if you haven’t read the stories leading up to this
The use of fictional science and real science can be daunting to those uninterested in the details
Final Judgement: 10