My Batman #17 review -- SPOILERS

Posted by MuyJingo (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

So, I've managed to read Batman 17 early. I'm sure some regulars in the Batman forum know that I'm not generally a fan of Snyder on the book, but even so I found this issue enjoyable.

The biggest problem I have had with this arc after this conclusion is that nothing changed...absolutely nothing.There were no deaths, there was no tragedy....just some trauma which, relatively speaking, wasn't that bad. Everyone comes out OK and everything continues as normal. We find out that Joker has been in the cave, which really annoyed me. It's why I don't like Snyder on Batman...he writes him for a fool. Batman is not arrogant enough to say that he was 100% sure that Joker has not been in the cave because of all the security unless he was 100% sure. He is the World's Greatest Detective for a reason, although not in this book.

The other thing that didn't make sense to me was....why did he make fake faces of that family? Why did he actually leave their faces on? This is Joker we're talking about....the best he could do for a joke was making them think their faces were taken off? Why not switching their faces or something along those lines...I found it very lackluster. Also, what ever happened with Alfred's eyes being burnt out? The Joker is not someone who makes idle threats, so I found that annoying.

I do this issue is a good wrap up to the Death of the Family storyline, which I have enjoyed considerably more than the poorly scripted and trite Court of the Owls. It was weird to see Joker not being Joker, but rather an almost superhuman in a mechanics outfit, but meh. In this issue he is back in his Purple suit and a lot more Joker like. The biggest issues I with the arc are Bruce being written a a fool, and Joker being almost unrecognizable. Those issues are less apparent in this issue, but they pervaded the whole arc. It's a good wrap-up. I give it 3 stars. If they had kept with the classic Joker and had him do something actually horrific and had Bruce be less of an arrogant fool, then it would have been an easy 5.

#1 Posted by MuyJingo (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

I meant to attach this to the Batman forum....sorry.

#2 Edited by Humanoid (132 posts) - - Show Bio

Even though it says spoilers in the title, SPOILERS!!

  • Joker burnt out Alfreds eyes, but then they were fine at the end.
  • Batman telling Joker his secret identity. (COME THE F*CK ON)
  • The family don't want to see Alfred after he'd been kidnapped for the entire crossover event.
  • Nobody wants to talk to Batman because Joker told them something, but we don't know what.
  • Batman and Robin are still a family, same with Alfred. There was no Death of the Family. The family were never that tight to begin with.
  • How did Joker make those faces?
  • The Joker falling off the cliff instead of having Batman killing him. Cop-out extraordinaire.

I'm still hoping that it was Jason Todd that fell off the cliff and the Joker was sitting where Jason was.

#3 Posted by mhanuroth (208 posts) - - Show Bio

@Humanoid: no it s show that is jason todd fighting the others in the table when you see the end you get to see jason face

#4 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

"The biggest problem I have had with this arc after this conclusion is that nothing changed...absolutely nothing.There were no deaths, there was no tragedy....just some trauma which, relatively speaking, wasn't that bad."

I don't think a story should be measured by the significance it has in the comics universe. Instead, it's the effect on the reader that makes it good. I've been satisfied by the arc up to this issue (not necessarily impressed, except for the art), but this issue more than makes up for the previous ones. Thinking that Joker cut off each Bat-family member's face was horrifying, but when it is revealed that their faces were intact I was relieved. It was a great twist, and you could only pull it off that well in a comic book.

Also, this is the new Batman and a new Joker, and seeing as Batman's arrogance and Joker's supernatural abilities made the story work, I think they are fine.

@Humanoid said:

  • Batman and Robin are still a family, same with Alfred. There was no Death of the Family. The family were never that tight to begin with.

We haven't even seen the full reaction of the Bat-family. We did see that Damian is avoiding Bruce, and that Dick left as well. Is that not indicative of the family breaking up? Because whatever Joker told them before Batman woke up made them angry?

#5 Posted by Batnandez (511 posts) - - Show Bio

ign gave this a 10, it wasn't that good, it didn't suck but I want the Joker to die if Snyder uses him again

#6 Posted by MuyJingo (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

@gotwillpower said:

"The biggest problem I have had with this arc after this conclusion is that nothing changed...absolutely nothing.There were no deaths, there was no tragedy....just some trauma which, relatively speaking, wasn't that bad."

I don't think a story should be measured by the significance it has in the comics universe. Instead, it's the effect on the reader that makes it good. I've been satisfied by the arc up to this issue (not necessarily impressed, except for the art), but this issue more than makes up for the previous ones. Thinking that Joker cut off each Bat-family member's face was horrifying, but when it is revealed that their faces were intact I was relieved. It was a great twist, and you could only pull it off that well in a comic book.

Normally you would be right, but when the story arc kept being hyped about there being big changes coming with the conclusion, that's a different story. Batman 17 is the equivalent of the Mass Effect 3 ending.

Also, this is the new Batman and a new Joker, and seeing as Batman's arrogance and Joker's supernatural abilities made the story work, I think they are fine.

Except it's not meant to be a new Batman. They keep saying Batman didn't change, despite that obviously being hogwash.

We haven't even seen the full reaction of the Bat-family. We did see that Damian is avoiding Bruce, and that Dick left as well. Is that not indicative of the family breaking up? Because whatever Joker told them before Batman woke up made them angry?

If there is any sort of death of the family, it's stupid, as nothing happened that should cause it. Snyder is going to ruin the Riddler next, and I will bet any amount of money they will have no problem meeting and teaming up to help stop him. That's right, a cross over team up to stop the Riddler. Sigh.

#7 Posted by yowereggaesir (6 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally I've really enjoyed the entire story arc, including this issue.

I like that Snyder is writing a younger, more arrogant Batman. He's no less intelligent or any more of a fool than he ever was he's just cock-sure and over confident, and to be fair he has every reason to be he's never really been beaten and is rarely proven wrong so I think it's completely in keeping with the character to have this be his one fatal flaw. He still has time to over-come this and it never hurts a story to show some character development over time so I think this is a good way to go.

I also like the ending as you see that despite everything The Joker does know Batman better than anyone else. His big punchline, delivering the Ha Ha Ha message to Batman would only work if Joker knew exactly how Batman would react to everything and exactly how it would all turn out. In the end The Joker was revealed to have been in control the whole time and in a sense even though everything turned out fine Batman still lost. It's completely in keeping with Joker's character, he doesn't always have to be brutal and murderous (although he has killed many people to get Batman to this point let's not forget) but he does have to have a punchline in mind.

#8 Posted by Humanoid (132 posts) - - Show Bio

@gotwillpower said:

@Humanoid said:

  • Batman and Robin are still a family, same with Alfred. There was no Death of the Family. The family were never that tight to begin with.

We haven't even seen the full reaction of the Bat-family. We did see that Damian is avoiding Bruce, and that Dick left as well. Is that not indicative of the family breaking up? Because whatever Joker told them before Batman woke up made them angry?

Well, we still have a Batman & Robin ongoing so they'll be working together surely? The bat family never really get utilized unless there's a crossover event.

#9 Posted by Jigme (25 posts) - - Show Bio

batman........joker.........Sherlock holmes.......moriarty.....waterfall.......THERES SOMETHING FAMILIAR ABOUT ALL THIS!!!!!!

#10 Posted by Humanoid (132 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jigme said:

batman........joker.........Sherlock holmes.......moriarty.....waterfall.......THERES SOMETHING FAMILIAR ABOUT ALL THIS!!!!!!

Yeah lol, that's what I thought too.

#11 Posted by Teerack (6266 posts) - - Show Bio

Just read it. Super disappointing.

Jason was the only one that didn't take off his bandages, but Bruce said "Everyone was physically fine" I really hope that Jason has a face :(

Online
#12 Posted by Humanoid (132 posts) - - Show Bio

@Teerack said:

Just read it. Super disappointing.

Jason was the only one that didn't take off his bandages, but Bruce said "Everyone was physically fine" I really hope that Jason has a face :(

Not too sure but I think you see him in a bar drinking without his bandages, looking fine.

#13 Posted by VaizD (249 posts) - - Show Bio

When he uncovered the plates, I had a serious oh-my-god-i-can't-believe-he-did-it moment.

And then he didn't, and the whole issue was ruined for me. I don't know if it's DC not allowing huge changes or if writers don't have the balls to do it, but I expected a serious game changer for once, and I didn't get one. It was all a giant bluff and when Bats called it, it fell apart. I expect more from The Joker. And Scott Snyder.

#14 Posted by Teerack (6266 posts) - - Show Bio

@Humanoid: Not in Batman 17 you don't.

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#15 Posted by MuyJingo (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

@yowereggaesir said:

Personally I've really enjoyed the entire story arc, including this issue.

I like that Snyder is writing a younger, more arrogant Batman. He's no less intelligent or any more of a fool than he ever was he's just cock-sure and over confident,\

He is certainly being written or a fool. Batman ore new 52 would not have accepted that an investigation he did as a kid should hold any merit at all, especially before he learned how to be a detective. He would not reveal his identity to Joker. He would not just sit in the electric chair like he did at the end of 16. He would have expected Joker to be up to stuff, given that Joker was recreating his old crimes.

I continue to be thoroughly disappointed in how Snyder writes the character of Batman.

#16 Posted by Humanoid (132 posts) - - Show Bio

@MuyJingo said:

@yowereggaesir said:

Personally I've really enjoyed the entire story arc, including this issue.

I like that Snyder is writing a younger, more arrogant Batman. He's no less intelligent or any more of a fool than he ever was he's just cock-sure and over confident,\

He is certainly being written or a fool. Batman ore new 52 would not have accepted that an investigation he did as a kid should hold any merit at all, especially before he learned how to be a detective. He would not reveal his identity to Joker. He would not just sit in the electric chair like he did at the end of 16. He would have expected Joker to be up to stuff, given that Joker was recreating his old crimes.

I continue to be thoroughly disappointed in how Snyder writes the character of Batman.

Weirdly enough, it's the complete opposite as Grant Morrison bat-god.

#17 Posted by yowereggaesir (6 posts) - - Show Bio

@MuyJingo: I think him revealing his identity to The Joker is perfect for a young, inexperienced but confident to the point of arrogance Batman. He has a theory, which is "Joker doesn't care about Batman's secret identity". Once that idea is in his head he can't let it go until he is completely sure one way or the other, he is the world's greatest detective after all and an investigative mind is a hard thing to silence. Also bear in mind this is a man who is rarely, if ever wrong so at this stage he has no reason to even entertain the possibility he might be wrong.

Same goes for the Court of Owls and sticking to a childhood investigation. He has trained his mind from the youngest age to be a precision tool for investigating and has been so successful at doing so he has become a relentlessly empirical man, unless he can 100% confirm something he will never be satisfied and so in his mind the owls 100% don't exist because he couldn't find them and there is absolutely 0% chance that Joker was in the Batcave.

It's kind of like he thinks in binary things are either good or bad, right or wrong, things exist or they don't there is absolutely no middle ground for the Batman.

That's my reading of it anyway.

#18 Posted by DEGRAAF (7881 posts) - - Show Bio

So no one dies?

#19 Posted by Kerrigan (234 posts) - - Show Bio

@Teerack: Yes you do. Last panel of the third-from-last page, with caption "Still no word from Jason." Has a couple band-aids, that's all.

#20 Posted by Kerrigan (234 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm generally a fan of Snyder's work on Batman, with reservations, but my main feeling at the conclusion of this arc was, "Well, thank goodness that's over." Not a good sign.

And how many times is Bats going to fall for the acid-squirting flower gag? Come on, Bruce, work smarter, not harder...

#21 Posted by akbogert (3222 posts) - - Show Bio

@MuyJingo said:

The other thing that didn't make sense to me was....why did he make fake faces of that family? Why did he actually leave their faces on? This is Joker we're talking about....the best he could do for a joke was making them think their faces were taken off? Why not switching their faces or something along those lines...I found it very lackluster.

Without addressing other things (I'm still not sure what I thought about it all): the moment I saw the bloody bandages, I guessed that it was all for show (and I was right). Joker wanted to make Batman believe he had done something truly terrible to galvanize him into breaking his own code. As is already abundantly clear, if Batman ever kills Joker, Joker beats him (this reminds me of Se7en). Had Joker actually done the horrible thing, Batman may even have been justified in his vengeance. But say Batman had actually leapt up and killed Joker, and then found out that his family was perfectly fine? Then he'd really have lost.

#22 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

@Batnandez said:

ign gave this a 10, it wasn't that good, it didn't suck but I want the Joker to die if Snyder uses him again

DC will never kill off (permanently anyway) one of their most -if not THE most recognizable villain. The Joker will be back

#23 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

@DEGRAAF said:

So no one dies?

NO - did you really expect them to? This whole story arc has been about the psychology that the Joker uses against Batman and those closest to him. As far as I could see this issue was never going to be about Joker killing members of the Bat-family, but rather about destroying any bond of trust that there may be between them. In that sense Joker has "killed" the sense of family

#24 Edited by MuyJingo (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mighty Thorion said:

NO - did you really expect them to? This whole story arc has been about the psychology that the Joker uses against Batman and those closest to him. As far as I could see this issue was never going to be about Joker killing members of the Bat-family, but rather about destroying any bond of trust that there may be between them. In that sense Joker has "killed" the sense of family

You're right, I'm fine with no one dying. But then if all that is left is the family being broken up, it's a waste of time. They have been though far worse, and this won't amount to an issue or 2 of feeling hurt. Damien will still be Robin, Nightwing will come when called....it changed nothing except to show how stupid Bruce has become after Flashpoint.

#25 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

I suspect how much it has changed things is for Snyder and other Bat-writers to explore in the months to come

#26 Posted by Teerack (6266 posts) - - Show Bio

@Kerrigan: I'll check it again when I get home, but I'd pretty sure that was dick.

Online
#27 Posted by havoc1201 (514 posts) - - Show Bio

@Teerack: it is one of the last pages Jason is sitting at a bar drinking with no bandages on his face

#28 Posted by God_Spawn (37879 posts) - - Show Bio

@Humanoid: Watch the cursing, please. If you have to swear, censor it.

Moderator
#29 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved the whole arc including this issue. Yeah nobody died but the way their "family" was scarred at the end may have lasting repercussions we may yet to see.

#30 Posted by Teerack (6266 posts) - - Show Bio

@havoc1201: @Humanoid: @Kerrigan: You guys were right. Two of my pages were stuck together :P

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#31 Edited by InnerVenom123 (29500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Humanoid said:

  • Joker burnt out Alfreds eyes, but then they were fine at the end.

He was lying. The same way Joker was lying in Arkham Aslyum when he used a pencil to gouge out that young woman's eyes. Both were over the phone.

@Humanoid said:

  • How did Joker make those faces?

He made a living wall of flesh last issue thanks to Dollmaker's assistance, so that's how we should assume he made the faces.

#32 Posted by DEGRAAF (7881 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mighty Thorion said:

So no one dies?

NO - did you really expect them to? This whole story arc has been about the psychology that the Joker uses against Batman and those closest to him. As far as I could see this issue was never going to be about Joker killing members of the Bat-family, but rather about destroying any bond of trust that there may be between them. In that sense Joker has "killed" the sense of family

interesting. after thinking about it im ok with this as long as there are real lasting effects between the characters

#33 Posted by Jigme (25 posts) - - Show Bio

Im not that surprised that no one died.say,if joker died.we ALL know hell come back.same goes for the other characters.wheres the suspense in that?

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