writer: Scott Snyder / artist: Greg Capullo

Scott Snyder has us holding on for dear life as the Endgame story pushes forward. If you haven’t been reading this book until now, I’ll bring you up to speed. Short version: Snyder has messed around and written some of the best Batman mythology of the past 15 years. This book is nothing short of incendiary.

Batman has snapped out of his Joker induced fever dream only to discover his beloved Gotham is contaminated with a new form of toxin. Now, the Dark Knight is in a race against time to save the city from literally dying laughing. But as it turns out, the Clown Prince of Crime is nowhere near finished giving our boy the blues. Thus far, Endgame has been heavy on the slugfest, but transitions well into the sort of tale that allows Batman to show off his detective skills while tracking down his greatest foe. The story has stepped up its game, transforming from “superhero/nemesis showdown” to “worst case scenario epidemic story”, blending equal parts Jeph Loeb and Robin Cook. Snyder is swinging for the fence, telling a story worthy of the title, “Endgame.”

This is for all the marbles and, on every page, we are in the presence of a Joker who is done playing games. Every panel screams, “This is personal now.” As effective as Snyder is at creating moments of true terror in superhero comics, he’s only that much better with the help of Greg Capullo pencils. Page after page feels eerie and claustrophobic. You feel trapped with Batman on his search for answers as the infected Gothamites are on hot on his heels.

Bottom Line: This story’s greatness is how its depth unfolds layer after layer of challenges for our hero. Much like the Joker, Snyder shows Batman absolutely no quarter. The biggest mystery here is how much worse they can make it on him. 9.5 out of 10

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