Cover-Up: Batman 14
You know how they say you should never judge a book by it’s cover? We’re looking to break that with the latest feature here on the site. Called Cover-Up we will examine a comic book’s cover to see what it hints at as far as story goes BEFORE we read the actual comic. After we finish that, we shall read the comic and see how much the material on the cover actually matches what happens in the book.
For our first attempt at this, we’re going to talk about one of this week’s hottest books, Batman 14. Which yes, I know we haven’t read yet even if it is Thursday.
Batman 14’s cover features the Joker with his back to the audience dressed up in a garage worker’s uniform. The back of the uniform has Joe’s Garage on it in case you didn’t get it. In this image, the Joker is sitting back while having various members of the Bat-family on different monitors.
To me, this seems to suggest that the Joker will take a bit less active role in this issue. Instead spying on and picking his spots when it comes to the Bat-family.
You will also notice that the Joker’s attention is focused on the Bat-Family, and not Batman himself. As a matter of fact, Batman’s monitor is what the Joker is using to sit on. Symbolic this could be seen as the Joker taking a dump on Batman by eliminating all of those he holds dear without Batman being able to fight back. It also represents the isolation, he is going to attempt by eliminating any and everyone who can assist Batman in this fight.
There’s the usual assortment of Joker gadgets with his clapping teeth making several appearances in the image. The most striking thing though is the car battery with the word “Die” which implies that the Joker doesn’t just plan on getting the Bat-family out of the way, but killing them!
That’s all I’ve picked up from the cover. Now it’s time to read the comic and see how much it matches up.
*Reads comics here*
After reading the comic, I will say the cover was kind of on point and kind of off. In some ways, the cover was a “prequel” to the issue if Joker’s revelation at the end is to be taken seriously.
From the issue, it seems that the Joker has been in the shadows for some time plotting his great return to Gotham. He has taken inventory on the Bat-family, and has even thought ahead of any and all moves Batman would make. It’s actually quite scary seeing the Joker so on the ball. It’s one thing to deal with a foe who is unpredictable in nature, it’s another to deal with one who is unpredictable and knows your playbook!
One thing that I seem to have gotten wrong based on the cover is that it implied the Joker was saving Batman for last while he tore apart the Bat-family, instead it seems like his focus is on Batman and using him to tear apart the family. It is an interesting twist and I would love to see it develop.
Finally, the clapping teeth do make an appearance in the comics so that much was accurate!
The verdict: The cover does a decent job of selling the issue. It doesn’t mislead you so.. we’ll give it a PASS.Â