It has hit the internet like a cruel joke waiting to intensify… And sure enough, The Dark Knight’s world will never be the same with this “Endgame” testing him to his very limits.
As revealed by DC Comics via Hitflix, the cover to Batman #37 shows the return of The Caped Crusader’s eternal adversary and mortal enemy – The Clown Prince of Crime himself – The Joker. Last seen in the pivotal “New 52” era Batman storyline called “Death of the Family” which irrevocably changed the dynamics of the Batfamily for all time to come, the mad jester returns with a brand new makeover, discarding his “old face” and showing off his “new look” complete with a shorter haircut to boot.
If that’s any indication of the great danger to come for Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, you’d be spot on that the World’s Greatest Detective won’t come out unscathed after all is said and done. Batman: Endgame – the current storyline that’s penned and drawn by the creative force of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, has already begun on a high note even before the maniacal and evil psychopath was revealed to be the one behind it all, and here are a couple of reasons why readers should keep tabs on Joker’s return and the entire “Batman: Endgame” saga to boot.
SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW BELOW, SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
THE JOKER’S REVENGE – GETTING BACK AT BATMAN FOR “DESTROYING THEIR RELATIONSHIP”
Possibly the most insane and complex adversarial relationship in comics is the one shared between Batman and The Joker. For many years The Dark Knight has made it his mission to rid Gotham City of the cowardly and superstitious, while The Clown Prince of Crime exists to be the “anti-thesis” of that and bring anarchy and chaos into the fold. “Death of the Family” saw Batman triumph against his archfoe, who systematically captured and manipulated everything The Caped Crusader held dear. Unfortunately for Bats, his relationship with his closest allies in Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Robin were damaged. Nobody trusted him anymore due to the secrets he withheld, and the traumatic attacks the mad clown left looked irreparable even after seemingly “falling to his death” and leaving just his rotten face as a reminder of fighting The Dark Knight.
Well, you can’t keep The Clown down for long… And he’s back to finish what he started. Getting even with Batman means attacking him where everything means the most and he’ll be tested to his very limits, which leads to this next phase.
BATMAN VS A “JOKERIZED” JUSTICE LEAGUE
In the very first part of “Endgame” starting with Batman #35, Batman finds himself face-to-face with his entire team of heroes in the Justice League, who have been brainwashed by The Joker to unleash their powers and furies at the Caped Crusader. Naturally, Batman always finds a way to fight back and has contingency plans necessary to take on his superfriends should they ever go rogue… But it is also his personal relationships and knowledge that these are his allies that are making it his greatest fight to date. The battle will cost him and ultimately push The Dark Knight to his limits… Which brings us to the second reason why this battle is his most challenging yet.
BATMAN V. JOKER SUPERMAN – END OF JUSTICE?
His greatest ally and arguably his best friend in the entire Justice League, Superman/ Clark Kent is the polar opposite of Batman – he stands for truth, justice, and fights for his adopted planet with the kind heart of a boy scout that’s shaped by the love and affection brought to him by his adopted parents. So what happens when Joker turns that power into a corrupted laughing mess? Something that even Batman has to stand ready and fight with whatever means necessary.
To that end, he has this pretty EPIC Bat Mecha/ Justice Buster suit…
So yes, currently Batman fights and will find a way to disable Supes and the rest of his teammates before they do more harm than good… But is this just a prelude of more sinister things to come? For sure where the Joker’s concerned, and it’ll be darkest just before the dawn arrives.
BEYOND THE JOKER – A FUTURE OF “ETERNAL DAMNATION”?
With Endgame taking place AFTER the events of the currently ongoing weekly series “Batman: Eternal”, Bruce Wayne and Batman have adapted to a new status quo that has yet to be fully explained or resolved, but sees new allies like his trusted butler Alfred Pennyworth’s daughter Julia and Harper Row as Bluebird by The Dark Knight’s side. That also leads to a “supposed future” where The Dark Knight fights in a post-apocalyptic Gotham against unkillable machines that are shades of the ones seen in “Future’s End”. Does The Joker’s return and presence in “Endgame” kickstart these chain of events that spiral downward for The Caped Crusader and his allies? One can only speculate and read on for now as the storyline continues.
So what’s next for Batman? Something that won’t mean that a smile means “fine and dandy with everything” that’s for sure. Given that the character celebrated his 75th Anniversary and The Joker not too far behind, it’s going to be a BIG DEAL when all is said and done.
Stay tuned for more and keep on reading “Endgame” to see where this all leads up to.