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Review: 'The Joker: Endgame'

Comic book is sure to please heroes, villains

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By Rob Cline, correspondent

Folks have complaints about “Suicide Squad,” the new movie featuring a team of DC Comics supervillains. Those complaints are various and plentiful, but among them is the notion that Jared Leto’s Joker doesn’t get enough screen time. After all, The Joker is one of the great villains of all time and so surely warrants a sizable slice of a villain-driven comic book flick.

For those looking for more of the Clown Prince of Crime, I have a suggestion: “The Joker: Endgame.”

Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo have been the top team in Gotham City for some time, and “The Joker: Endgame” is a milestone in their run. The Joker has decided the time has come to destroy Batman, his beloved city, and his allies for good. Batman goes to extraordinary lengths — and uncovers a shocking secret — to stop his most evil foe.

Snyder and Capullo deliver a gripping tale, with sharp dialogue and appealing art. The six-issue story is collected in “Batman Vol. 7: Endgame.” And that story holds up well on its own. But readers who want more of the story — including James Tynion IV’s backup stories exploring different possible origins of The Joker — will need “The Joker: Endgame.”

In addition to Snyder, Capullo and Tynion’s work, “The Joker: Endgame” includes issues of “Arkham Manor,” “Batgirl,” “Detective Comics,” and “Gotham Academy.” The dialogue-free issue of “Batgirl,” titled “The Battle for Burnside Bridge,” is a standout among the material. Writers Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher and artist Bengal throw Batgirl into a crisis she addresses with a combination of flying fists and quick thinking.

“The Joker: Endgame” is a stirring read, whether you root for the hero or the villain. The ending is stunning and heralds a major change in Gotham City.

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