Comic Vine Review


Batman #13 - Knock, Knock; Tease Review


The moment we've been waiting for has arrived. Joker returns to Gotham City and he is ready to make up for his recent absence.

The Good

Two words: Joker and Snyder. Heck, let's make it three and throw in Capullo. This is exactly what we would want in the return of the Joker.

Thirteen is definitely a bad luck number for Batman. Since the New 52 started, we haven't really seen Joker. The big question is what happened to him since we found out his face had been cut off. How and why this could happen has been a mystery as well as what has he been doing since.

Scott Snyder is a versatile writer. He has wowed us throughout this series. There's no arguing his knack to generate a dark and creepy atmosphere in his comics. That vibe along with Greg Capullo's pencils and Jonathan Glapion's inks makes this the dark and twisted comic we would expect. As this is the beginning of the major Joker story, Death of the Family, there's really only one chance to do his reappearance after being absent for so long. We have seen many different versions of Joker over the years and Snyder and Capullo gives us the perfect one. There may be some questions or doubts about characters in the New 52 but there is no doubting how vile and flat out evil Joker is. Capullo perfectly captures the tone for Joker's grand entrance. If this is what the rest of the arc will be like, dealing with the Court of Owls will pale in comparison.

There's also the size of this issue. There is more to the story than simply Joker returning to Gotham. There is a lot that happens here. Having the story span in different settings adds to that. Joker's entrance is brilliant and lasts several pages but the story far from ends there. We get to see plenty of the reactions to his return as well what his next move is. You can feel the ties to the original Joker stories. Using those stories as inspiration to define Joker along with amping him up with a new level of despicableness shows just how Snyder's mind works. He is able to take an old and familiar character, update him in a great way while still making the connection to who he was when first created.

Having a fantastic back up dealing with Joker and a certain other character by Snyder, James Tynion IV and Jock is the icing on the cake. This further illustrates what goes on in Joker's mind. Obviously we don't fully enter his mind, nor would we want to. We do get to see how twisted and cruel he can be. Jock's style may differ quite a bit from Capullo but seeing a different side to part of a scene gives a set of chills only Jock could deliver.

The Bad

This is off to an incredibly dark beginning. That's exactly what we'd want from a major Joker story. Don't look for an uplifting story here.

The Verdict

Court of Owls

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Posted by cyberchop979

This issue was soooo good. I totally agree that the combo of Capullo and Glapion gives this book a very dark and gritty feeling.

Posted by xtremekidx

why is the verdict "court of owls"?

Posted by RedX9

This issue was so good! Kind of creepy but the way it flowed made you read each panel and page carefully as you waited for the final panel, and man was that a shocker!

Posted by stormtrance1618

Sup with The Verdict?

Posted by Booster_Bronze

This issue was genius. Snyder has a great way of tying things together in a creepy manner. Even the mention of the omens at the opening of the book sets the tone nicely. This Joker seemed very familiar to the one from The Dark Knight movie, and that Joker portrayal both scared and mesmerized me. I can't wait to see how this arc plays out.

Posted by PortlandsBatman

I want to know if Joker's tongue is split from Batman RIP, now that we are in the new 52.

Posted by Mr_Athrilla

@PortlandsBatman: it wasn't even split when in the Batman and Robin must die and Strange Fruit story ark. and took story took place well before the New 52

Posted by TDK_1997

I still haven't read it but from the cover I know it would be awesome.

Posted by fodigg

@xtremekidx said:

why is the verdict "court of owls"?

@stormtrance1618 said:

Sup with The Verdict?

Posted by Utandi

@xtremekidx said:

why is the verdict "court of owls"?

Posted by movieartman

@xtremekidx: cus Court of Owls is Astonishingly Good

Posted by theTimeStreamer

so the verdict is: good (not great) batman story with crappy ending. dodged a bullet there. thanks g-man.

Posted by Krissyjump

I am honestly at a loss of words to describe this issue because I can't think of a way to word my feelings on it to do it justice.

Posted by yo_yo_fun

I can't wait to get this later today!!

Posted by UltimateSMfan

the bad point of the issue mentioned in this review is dead on,its like watching a horror movie,its chilling n i cannot wait for more!!

P.S- don't read before going to bed!

Posted by danhimself

this is one of those issues where it's hard to get the words out about how you feel about amazing....I agree with was like a horror know something horrible is about to happen so from the first panel on you're just waiting for that moment....the suspense in this issue was ridiculous

Posted by 73ComicFan

This issue of batman is absolutely great. It really is a great start as well as a really neat cover design. 5 Stars +

Posted by dboy4dashing

This was so F@!#ING brilliant!!!!

Posted by GBrutality

see, this issue was a masterpiece. my only complaint has zero to do with the issue but the overall muddied clarity of the new 52 concept. when joker's face was cut off in Detective Comics #1, that was supposed to be his first appearance. Batman didn't have a clue who he was. Just that he was this criminal doing these heinous acts. Then the villain the dollmaker came out of nowhere and took off his face.

I think DC thought they had some new, great creepy villain in the Dollmaker in so much that he was the one that could do that to the Joker (marvel makes this mistake ALL the time with their new villains, like dragonball z) and of course he ended up being a dud. I know I'm getting away from the point but the thing is, this issue was so phenomenal. my favorite of snyder's entire run so far. and they keep bringing up all of the stuff that happened in the past, another fact that i love. but when you recall at what period he supposedly got his face taken and that was when Batman was sort of new and hadn't even met dick yet and that now they're saying it's only been a year and damian is all excited (awesome timeframe, makes me question damian beating him with a crowbar and the sexton thing though) it just sort of makes it seem like the reason for the new 52, all the continuity, they've already kind of screwed up.

Posted by Scott757

Did anyone else have a hard time getting ahold of Batgirl #13? All of my local shops were out

Posted by dmkicksballs13

I'm really worried that this issue won't live up to the hype people are giving it.

Posted by Reignmaker

This issue was rock-solid. I agree that it deserved a 5 out of 5. Having said that, I think it's a stretch to call this Snyder's best issue.

Posted by Batnandez

@Scott757: start a pull list or ask one of the stores to order you a copy

Edited by johnny_spam

A much more interesting premise than those damn Owls. I like the ambition that this story is trying to tell a major Joker event but the thing is that nothing in this story is that much different than other Joker stories sure it makes for a good standard Joker but not much different or even scarier than others. Hopefully the next issues will have some good twists. The art itself is amazing and well worth the price liked the back up a bit more.

Posted by Cavemold

5/5 the back up wasn't even a back it fits right into the story. Loved it! This joker is definitely a bit meaner. I love how scott has used joker and the flashback style. The die cut is pretty cool as well.

Posted by SmashBrawler

Mindblowingly amazing beggining. That's the only way I can describe this issue with words.

Edited by Funrush

Best issue yet IMO. It also doesn't hurt that Joker is my favorite villain ever.

I wonder if they're really killing off Alfred. This is probably the biggest cliffhanger in Batman history.

Posted by Target_X

I loved this issue. Snyder draws me in with every new issue of Batman he writes, and this... This is just eating away at me with the anticipation of what's to come.

Edited by Funrush

@Scott757 said:

Did anyone else have a hard time getting ahold of Batgirl #13? All of my local shops were out

Weird... my store didn't have any either. There were quite a few copies of Batman, though.

Posted by DanteTheRedKnight

This book was F***ing awesome! Best New 52 book ever!

Oh and why is the verdict court of owls?

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Cant wait to read it

Posted by Reignmaker

@Funrush: From what I heard, Batgirl #13 isn't even really part of the "Death of the Family" arc. Though I guess it's technically supposed to be a "prelude," all it has is a 1-page preview of what's going to happen in the next issue. It's actually the conclusion of a 4-part arc currently happening in the book that's unrelated. However, if you've been following that book monthly anyway, I guess that wouldn't matter.

Posted by PortlandsBatman

@Mr_Athrilla: The last non new 52 thing I read with joker in it was RIP. Thank you. You don't happen to know if they ever addressed his tongue getting fixed anywhere do you?

Posted by bookerman20

Holy s**t!!!!! Great start!!!!!

Posted by bunkerbuster05

AMAZING. I haven't been truly frightened at a comic in a long time. This arc is looking to be insane, and I can't wait!

Anything Snyder touches turns to gold. Batman, American Vampire, Swamp Thing.

I know it's a shot in the dark, but if Snyder could take over Action Comics after Morrison leaves, I'll happily accept :]

Posted by bunkerbuster05

@Funrush said:

@Scott757 said:

Did anyone else have a hard time getting ahold of Batgirl #13? All of my local shops were out

Weird... my store didn't have any either. There were quite a few copies of Batman, though.

DC didn't let the stores know Batgirl was part of the event, so the owners didn't overstock for it. I had that problem too.

Posted by cyberchop979

@bunkerbuster05 said:

@Funrush said:

@Scott757 said:

Did anyone else have a hard time getting ahold of Batgirl #13? All of my local shops were out

Weird... my store didn't have any either. There were quite a few copies of Batman, though.

DC didn't let the stores know Batgirl was part of the event, so the owners didn't overstock for it. I had that problem too.

Are you guys sure they were out? The regular cover for Batman (die cut cover) was almost indistinguishable from the Batgirl cover. They both had the same Joker Die-cut over their respective faces. I would have been fooled if I didn't have both titles on my pull list.

Posted by BlackArmor

Verdict: AMAZING

Posted by JamDamage

this book scared me. creepy. By the way................. He knows

Posted by RedOwl_1

Holy f*ck Batman! This is as creepy as hell, I have the feeling this arc is going to be one horrible living nightmare.

I'm so f*cking scared but excited at the same time. This Joker gives me THE chill (not any chill but the ugliest chill I've ever had)

Posted by Dernman
@Funrush said:

Best issue yet IMO. It also doesn't hurt that Joker is my favorite villain ever.

I wonder if they're really killing off Alfred. This is probably the biggest cliffhanger in Batman history.

I totally called something happening to him. I didn't know what but I new something.
Posted by jwalser3

What does it mean by "Court of Owls"? for the verdict? Any way.

I loved this issue, I also loved spotty and hope to see him in more stories, lol.

Posted by Booster_Bronze

@cyberchop979: Yeah when my comic shop guy handed me my stack, I thought he had given me two copies of Batman, and it took me a few seconds to realize they were two different ones.

Edited by secondfallen616

Clap......Clap.......Clap......Clap....Clap...ROARING-APPLAUSE!!! You're the man Mr. Snyder, the fucking man. Raise up your glasses everybody and toast the best writer in Batman history. This version of Joker is by far the most terrifying and will never be known by that lame ass "Clown Prince of Crime" moniker again, "Nightmare clown King of Evil" fits him better.

Edited by dreamfall31

There is there no comparison to the writing that Snyder does! Batgirl seemed like I read it in less than a minute, while Batman felt like a good 20 minute read atleast. Part of me wants to get every "Death of the Family" issues, but I think I'll just stick with Batman and the ones CV rates high.

Posted by Mongoose23

This issue genuinely unnerved me. The stuff at the end with Harley and The Joker was creepy as hell. I can't believe how creeped out I was. This was one hell of an issue and I cannot wait to see more of this story arc.

Posted by hyenascar

Why does it feel like every Joker story before this was just a PG version of Joker. I've read a lot of messed up Joker trades, but this is horrifying. This was well paced and truly puts the fear of god into me when concerning Joker. I would have to come back in a year and see how I feel then, but one of the better single issues I read in some time.

Posted by Duke_Nasty

Man that was a great issue. Its going to be a long wait for #14.

Posted by The_jackolantern

Gbrutality I think you need to go back and read detective comics 1 cause on the 1st page batman says that joker has killed 114 people in 6 years,so the joker has had plenty of time to do all the crazy stuff that he does and even tho the time line for the robins is mess up and batman inc is straight f****** the timeline most of the rest can be kept in if you don't act like like the timeline for a COMIC should be perfect

Posted by 4thhorseman

So from what spoilers I've seen, everything seems to be the most unoriginal idea ever. So he looks like Leatherface and seems more serial killeresque (even though Snyder said in a Bleeding Cool interview he wouldn't be), and has to go and answer things like his history and whether he knows who Batman is which should always have been ambigous.

Thanks Snyder...

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