Spoilers ahead if you have not read so continue at your own risk.
I read the Tradepaper back in about two days.
So the first thing I want to address is the title. WHY, is Batman hyphenated?
Is someone just trying to be cute or annoying? I find it annoying.
What’s next Super-Man, Wonder-Woman, Green-Lantern etc let’s just go hyphenated crazy ( also props to me for correctly spelling hyphenated on the first try and not getting the lil red line of correct thy spelling )
Okay, I got that out of my system.
I find this a bit, eh… a bit of a copy cat move. In that this coming after Failsafe and Failsafe zapped Bruce Wayne, and he was feared dead, Me, I took it as he was just zapped by some ray gun and we would see how bad he was hurt, but turns out I was wrong and cant grasp story telling. So then bloop we get Jim Bones and Batman… To thus find out he was transported to a different world… Sigh, This happened in what ever crisis where Darkseid zaps him with the Omega beams, instead of killing him, he got sent back in time or forward in time, what ever it is confusing.
BUT it aint big deal, I just find it a bit sloppy.
so the story progresses, and we get to a cool fight scene. In which a certain some one ( like how I don’t give the name? ) goes and chops off Bruce Waynes hand! like a big WTF.
Now let’s think about this, how many fights has Bruce been in, that has involved a normal Gotham Villain getting the best of him in a fight one on one. I think most if not everyone would agree, Batman Vs Bane.
Well now we get the one armed bandit/ vigilante who then gets wait for it… HE GETS LUKE SKYWALERED!
I mean come on. How goofy, I thought. All the help that is available to him via magic members of the League, etc, and nope we go with a scene practically right out of star wars… sigh… fine.
So that there are my gripes.
The rest was pretty awesome, Now I remember reading a blog on this series giving The Joker a new civilian name… After reading the story it makes sense that in the normal world where Bruce is from, that indeed the name that is found out in the story is indeed the name that would be for Joker… But here is the thing. I find it trivial. I guess it is in a way kinda cool, but what does it really bring to the character having a normal name when his identity is bonkers. VS i suppose, Batman White Knight where we have Jack Napier trying to hold on to his sanity and drop The Joker personality forever. That is kind of interesting I think. But for the I guess normal cannon I dont think it helps much. Maybe you do?
Because in some storyline, I remember there is a scene where Bruce and Alfred are having a chat, about The Jokers’ real identity, and it was obvious he was lying to Alfred about not knowing it, but that he had to keep it a secret, to go to the next panel, to see that Bruce won’t tell anyone, because if it slips out even by accident, it could put the family that the Joker had when he went with the Red Hood Gang, into jeopardy.
I guess the real questions should be, does The Joker even remember being in the Red Hood Gang, does he remember he had a family, and does he remember his own real name? Is he choosing not to remember, or is he so far gone he can’t remember one day to the next anymore.?
So for further stories in the cannon of Batman, I would like to see that addressed if writers are going to shove in our faces that The Joker has a name. I want the entire shebang to be addressed. An maybe that can be done via Joker being locked up in Arkham Asylum and being in therapy and it gets addressed that way, Could be a really cool story.
Now what I loved in this story, was Tim Drake getting some major props.
He and Dick had a chat, and in that scene, it was interesting to see Dick not as concerned with Bruce, and more nonchalant almost; that Hey, He’s Batman he can handle it.
Where as Tim is like nope I am still Robin ( a Robin ) and Robin doesn’t leave Batman hanging. off to the rescue AND he takes down a Metropolis bad guy in the process, which I thought was cool.
I also have to admit, I am tired of the mental backup with Batmans’ alter ego, Zur En Arrh,( also look up what that means, pretty neat if you dont know ) this psychological back up, after what happened with Failsafe, should show Bruce he needs to get rid of this alter ego, which granted he does lock him up, in his mind, and did say he made it to be untouchable by telepaths… seeing the break down Bruce was having at the end of the story on top of the mess Failsafe and Zur En Arrh made, seems like it is time to let it go for good.
Well, I got that off my chest.