Batman and Robin #15
Peter J. Tomasi
This was freaking awesome! Patrick Gleason's artwork with Mick Gray's inks are so wonderfully grotesque, expressive and beautiful. Joker looks scarier here than he does in any of the other "Death of the Family" tie-ins that I've seen. His face is literally upside down for a chunk of the story. It's so disgusting. But he's so purely psychotic. It's something amusing for him that he can literally "turn his frown upside down."
Joker is come face to face with Damian in this issue. Joker wants to play his games, like convincing the cult they needed to eat Damian in the previous issue. I see this issue as the two of them sizing each other up a lot. Damian doesn't look like he's going to get to fight the Joker really head on as the issue ends with what appears to be Batman dosed with Joker's toxic laughing gas there to confront the little boy wonder. It could be something very difficult to deal with psychologically with Bruce being Damian's father. Which would play into the idea that Joker knew who everyone was underneath the masks. Damian is such an emotionally toughened character, though. I can't see him flipping out like Batgirl when she kept remembering the Joker shooting her in her home with his sunglasses and hawaiian t-shirt.
I loved the details in the artwork. Though the storytelling and dialogue is nice and fluid and I like the pacing of how everything is unfolding, the details, the maggots and the filth are all almost decadent the way they are drawn. It ups the intensity of the story.
I liked reading this issue much more than I did the main Batman title. There was the perfect amount of action. Damian didn't talk an exorbitant amount. It was very good. I root for Damian's character because even though he is highly trained at combat, etc. he is also still just a little boy.