There are times when a book or storyline will hit you so hard visually that it immediately takes your breath away. There are times when a writer can move you with as little as a single word, captivating you in their world which then transcends everything around you. Then there are times that you get the perfect combination of both aspects and you marvel at how few times this caliber of greatness actually occurs. Batman #15 is such an instance, revel in what great comics look like!
I used the first page of the issue as my teaser image, a bit unorthodox, but I wanted everyone to see just how captivating a single page can be when done to perfection. You are drawn in immediately, first by Capullo's completely unnerving rendering of the Joker. The image dredges up such deep rooted emotions in the reader in a single second. It appalls, and yet hypnotizes you with the sheer horror of the image. An unsettling visage that seems to stare through your eyes and directly into your soul. As you gaze away, it lingers there deep in the recesses of your mind, turning and forever grinning that Cheshire smile. It is an image that will become as iconic as the the first time he appeared 73 years ago!
Secondly, as you peel your eyes away from the toothy leer, Snyder ensnares you with the written word. He taunts you stating, "Look into his eyes and tell yourself he's just a man." He breaks you with but a single phrase, cracking the fourth wall and sending you back for another look at the diabolical creatures face glaring at you. You read on, realizing that it is Batman talking, but not to you. He is speaking to himself, trying to rationalize the creature in front of him exactly as you do the same. Just as you feel safe again with the notion that someone else is here, standing beside you, giving you hope that the lights may soon come on and the thing in the dark isn't truly as scary as it seems -- the hero blinks. He maybe here but he is unnerved as well and your hope slides out of you as chill laces it's fingers around your heart.
Dwell on this outstanding page and then realize it occurs another thirty times throughout the book, each page an emotional whiplash of revelation, speculation, fissures and breakdowns. It is a breathtaking whirlwind that solidifies itself as some of the best storytelling in the Batman mythos! Fall into this book and pray that you will have the strength to pull the light switch on by books end. If you can't -- you never will again!