BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #2
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciler: Greg Capullo
Inker: Johnathan Glapion
Colorist: FCP Plascencia
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
After one of the most mind blowing first issues, BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH is back. This is, by no means, your typical Batman book. It's a whirlwind of insanity that leaves you constantly on the edge of your seat, never knowing what to expect or who you're gonna see.
Snyder and Capullo, along with Glapion, Plascencia, and Napolitano, are bringing their Batman saga to its epic crescendo. What started all the way back in the "New52", is almost at it's end. This creative team has been my favorite team in comics for years (tied with Brubaker and Phillips), so while I love this book it's also bittersweet because I don't want it to end. They have defined Batman for this generation and have forever cemented their place among the great Batman creators. This issue once again shows that there is no stopping the creative madness that they have planned.
The issue picks up in Joe Chill's apartment... Yeah I thought this was a little strange too. Where Batman confronts him about the little boy in Crime Alley, which goes back to the opening part of last issue. The way Capullo sets up the scene visually gives you a sense of uneasiness and chaos. You're not completely sure what's going on or if it's real. It turns out that this was all a dream, at least that's what I took from it.
We then pick up where we left off last issue, with Batman traversing this post apocalyptic wasteland with the Joker (just his head in a jar) as his companion. That last sentence alone should have you chomping at the bit to get a hold of this book. The banter between these two characters is hilarious, Joker constantly wanting to be "Robin" and Batman yelling and telling him no. While traveling they encounter one crazy threat after another, Speed Force storms (consisted of past Flashes), Unknown Soldiers, Animal Men, Haunted Tanks and more. Snyder cleverly uses DC's rich history and leaves no stone unturned in this sprawling story.
When we catch up with Alfred, we see him confronted by Bane and Scarecrow. But Capullo has twisted them into the most terrifying versions of them yet. Scarecrow has no bottom half, has syringes for fingers and is draped across the massive body of Bane. Bane has neve looked more hulking, veins pulsing and coursing with venom. It's here that we learn that they serve a new master, Omega. Who this mysterious character is, we don't know. He look likes like some dark version of Batman and seems to rule over Gotham. It's here that Alfred meets his final fate.
Snyder's writing seems to be on a whole other level with this book. He has crafted a story full of complexities yet almost poetic at times. If this is his last Batman story, he's clearly making it one that nobody will ever forget.
After a chaotic first half, Batman finally makes his way to the Fortress of Solitude. He's confronted by Superman, or so it seems. It turns out tat it's just a creation of Lex Luthor, who by the way is a mere shadow of the man he once was. Capullo does a wonderful job showing a withered and frail Lex, that you almost feel sorry for him. Then Snyder drops the bomb of what happened to Superman. Lex had challenged Superman to a debate between "Justice" and "Doom". With the outcome being the opposite of what Luthor thought. He realized he made a mistake and spends his days trying to find a way too rectify that mistake.
There are so many things going on in this issue that it feels like your on a rollercoaster of insanity. The conclusion sees Batman teamed up with Wonder Woman. After jumping through a portal to the afterlife (which happens to be The Spectre's lifeless cloak), Batman sees all of his fallen friends, including Alfred. When the re-enter our world, they are met by the Court of Owls. It's a nice touch on Snyder's part to bring his Batman saga full circle. I won't spoil the last page, but.... HOLY SHIT!
This is a hell of a way for Snyder and Capullo to go out. They have one more issue to cap off years of storytelling. How they plan on ending it, is anyone's guess. But I'm calling it now, this will be in the Top 3 best Batman stories of all time.