After tracking down The Joker to his lair in Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, Batman has finally gained the upper hand he’s been looking for. But is Batman truly prepared for what Joker has in store for him within the walls of Arkham?
I have to tip my hat to series writer Scott Snyder for this issue. Every issue into the “Death of the Family” arc has done a great job of showing how sick and twisted the Joker is, but issue #16 manages to up the ante tenfold. The horrors that Batman faces on his way to Joker are so downright disturbing that a lesser man would have gone insane five minutes in! Batman’s almost nervous self-reassurance and Joker’s mocking while remaining in his ‘Court Jester’ character are my favorite things about this issue.
The art in issue #16 has also managed to surpass expectations. Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and Fco Plascencia absolutely kill in this issue, and bring the horrors within Arkham to life. Even Joker’s gruesome, rotting and fly covered “face-mask” is more sinister looking than usual. I would go into more specifics, but I don’t want to spoil the fun.
This month’s backup for issue #16, “Judgment,” focuses on Harvey “Two-Face” Dent. Co-Written by Snyder and Talon writer James Tynion IV and Penciled by Jock, this backup shows just how verbally ruthless and manipulating Joker can be to even the likes of Dent, as well as teasing what is to come in issue #17.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have ramped it up immensely for issue #17. This issue is easily one of, if not the most disturbing Batman book I’ve read to date, and has set a very high bar for next month’s conclusion.
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
Colors by Fco Plascencia