Today’s Super Comic — Batman #17 (2013)

batman_vol_2_17Batman’s “Death of the Family” story arc is one of the most disturbing Joker stories I’ve read. It’s also one of the richest psychologically.

Writer Scott Snyder drills into the heads of Batman and the Joker, amazingly giving a fresh spin to an antagonistic relationship that’s been going on for over seventy years. On the surface, it’s creepy as hell and far too nightmarish for children to read, but lots of careful thought clearly went into the narrative. The payoff in issue #17 is brilliant. Once you get past the grotesqueries, you find an intelligent comic hiding within.

It really shows just how versatile these characters are. They fit a seemingly endless variety of stories.

But keep the kiddies away from this one!

Writer: Scott Snyder

Penciler: Greg Capullo

Inker: Jonathan Glapion

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Batman vol. 3: Death of the Family (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 15 and up

Today’s Super Comic — Batman #40 (2015)

batman_vol_2_40Batman was easily the best series of DC’s New 52 relaunch, and that’s due to superb writing and art by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, respectively. Not content to simply rehash what’s come before, they built on the Batman mythos, contributing new details and injecting fresh energy into this septuagenarian franchise.

Even though issue #40 concludes yet another climactic Batman vs. Joker storyline, it never feels like “yet another” clash between the classic foes. It’s entirely its own thing, and it’s the natural progression of events from the previous 39 issues. (The story is too recent that I don’t want to spoil anything.)

I wouldn’t call it definitive—Batman is a versatile enough character to defy “definitive”—but it is distinctive. It’s a Batman story as only Snyder and Capullo can tell it. They take this iconic character who has appeared in countless stories in practically every medium over the course of decades, and they make him their own…for the moment. And we can only hope that the next writers and artists to get their “turns” with the Dark Knight will be just as talented as these guys.

Writer: Scott Snyder

Penciler: Greg Capullo

Inker: Danny Miki

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Batman vol. 7: Endgame (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 13 and up