The Weekly Pull (1/16/13) – BATMAN #16

Batman #16 (2013) Cover

In an effort to make my ramblings more palatable/less tedious, we’re changing the format here at The Weekly Pull. Instead of putting everything in one long post, we’ll break that one post into several small posts published in rapid succession.

First up, it’s BATMAN #16, and the next installment in the “Death of the Family” storyline.

Realizing the Joker would naturally choose an ironic base of operations, Batman enters Arkham Asylum in an attempt to wrangle the mad clown and rescue Alfred. But while Batman came earlier than expected, the Joker has plenty of traps and villains ready to greet the “Bat King”.

Oh yes, we’re getting deep into the Joker’s current shtick: the Batman as king of Gotham, its villains his subjects.

There’s some creepy stuff all up in here, my friends. Guards forced to dance for days on end, bizarre sword-in-the-stone rituals involving a chainsaw and electricity, dudes sewn together by the Dollmaker (yes, there was more to that guy than just cutting off the Joker’s face). And yet more cruelty to horses, something that offends me on a personal level. Remember way back in the Court of Owls saga when Batman got lost in that maze, slowly losing his sanity? This isn’t quite like that, but it’s got much of the same unsettling symbolism and uniformity to the theme. BATMAN #16 is so far the equivalent to that issue. And it’s brilliant in its disturbing glory.

Just like the Joker!

Unlike previous issues where the backup story is a flashback to the Joker recruiting a different villain, this backup follows immediately after the end of the main plot. As such, I can’t explain what it’s about, save it features the Penguin, the Riddler, and Two Face chewing out the clown prince of crime.

Next month, it’s the finale (apparently). Can’t wait, Mr Snyder.

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