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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Feb 19, 2020

It's a sneak preview of our new Patreon exclusive monthly comic reviews. This month we take a look at Joker: Endgame. Which stories are worthy of inclusion, and which should have been dropped? Listen to Anthony & Doc's review now!


  • Introduction

    • Preview for non-Patrons, future episodes will be available to Patrons $3 and up

    • Each month will feature a trade paperback, along with a review of the story and artwork, and whether or not it’s a recommended read

  • Joker: Endgame

    • Collects Batman 35-40, Arkham Manor Endgame, Batgirl Endgame, Batman Annual 3, Detective Comics Endgame, and Gotham Academy Endgame

    • Batman: Endgame is primary story, with tie-ins and adjacent stories in the trade as well

    • Main story written by Scott Snyder, with art by Greg Capullo, ink by Danny Miki, colors by FCO Plascencia, and lettering by Steve Wands

    • Joker has returned after “Death of the Family” storyline – starts off by infecting the Justice League with toxin that causes them to attack Batman – he has contingency plans for each of them, but they take their toll on him – after subduing the League, Bruce goes to Arkham for clues, but is surprised by guard Eric Border, who turns out to be the Joker in disguise – he paralyzes Bruce and leaves

    • Bruce wakes up in the Batcave, where Alfred and his daughter Julia reveal the Joker has infected the city with Joker Venom, which spreads through laughter – and there’s no known antidote

    • Meanwhile, Joker attacks Jim Gordon with an axe, and reveals he knows Bruce Wayne is Batman

    • Batman then discovers the Joker has a regenerative virus within his body, similar to the Lazarus Pits, making him basically immortal, and also discovers the new Joker Venom is the inversion of that virus – whatever is keeping Joker alive will kill Gotham City

    • Batman heads to Arkham to find information on the virus, and finds the doctor, Paul Dekker, who discovered it – Dr. Dekker calls the compound Dionesium, and says somehow Joker has it in his spine

    • Batman goes to confront the Court of Owls about this, but they don’t care if Gotham burns, as they’ll simply rebuild from the ashes – while he battles one of the Talons, the Joker breaks into the Batcave, chops off Alfred’s hand, and steals trophies from the cave

    • Batman gathers his allies, and a few enemies like Bane, Penguin, Ivy, Clayface, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and Mr. Freeze, to help him battle through the Joker’s mob so he can extract the fluid from Joker’s spine to revers the effects of the Venom

    • Batman fights his way to Joker, only to be subdued by an ear-piercing scream – Joker tears off his mask to reveal Dick Grayson – meanwhile, Bruce has discovered a hidden cache of Dionesium under Gotham – Joker shows up, and they battle

    • After a bloody fight, the cave collapses on top of both of them, and both are believed to be dead – but Julia was able to get the Dionesium sample that Bruce sent her, and she synthesized a cure for the Venom, so Gotham was saved

    • Review – enjoyed the story, although the notion that Batman always has a contingency plan for everything that he can draw up at a moment’s notice is tiring

    • Capullo’s artwork is engaging and incredibly detailed, and enhanced by Miki’s inkwork

    • FCO Plascencia’s colors are bold, like the use of different palates for different locations

  • Substories

    • Mini-story spread throughout – written by James Tynion IV with different artists in each chapter

      • Tells the story of Mahreen Zaheer, a doctor at Arkham who’s grabbed by five inmates, each of whom has a story involving the Joker

      • “Saved” by Tynion and Graham Nolan, where a woman believed the Joker turned her family into robots, and she was only able to save them by killing them and pulling the chip out of their heads

      • “Heart” drawn by Sam Kieth, creator of the Maxx

    • Batman Annual #3 by James Tynion IV, pencils/inks by Roge Antonio, colors by Nick Filardi, and lettering by Steve Wands – tells story of Tommy Blackcrow, who wrote an expose on the Joker, calling him lonely – Joker takes this to heart, and decides to become Tommy’s new “best friend”, killing anyone else who gets close to Tommy – he ends up committing himself to Arkham, where his only friend is Eric Border…

      • Loved the story, notsomuch the artwork – made Joker look like a doof because he always smiles without a lower lip

    • Arkham Manor: Endgame by Frank Tieri – tells the story of an attack on Arkham Asylum through the POV of a worker there, Stone, who is relaying this to Det. Harvey Bullock after the fact

    • Detective Comics: Endgame – story by Brian Buccellato, tells story of Lonnie Machin, a kid who’s an expert hacker – trying to find a way to save his mom during the Venom attack – works with the Bat-family to rescue her

    • Gotham Academy: Endgame – several writers, much more kid-friendly – several kids holed up at Gotham Academy tell each other ghost stories, each somehow related back to the Joker – enjoyed this one quite a bit, because aside from Joker aspect, it felt very real that kids would be telling ghost stories during a scary time

    • Batgirl: Endgame – written by Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher, with art by Bengal – wordless story about how Babs is rescuing people trapped in the Burnside neighborhood – I always enjoy wordless comics, because it asks so much of the artist, and only the really good ones can pull it off

  • Final review: Main story – Story 7/10, Art 8/10; Side tales: Story 6/10, Art 6/10 (avg.)

  • Next month’s review – Locke & Key: "Welcome to Lovecraft"


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