With all the craziness this week, what with The Dark Knight Rises being released in theaters, I found myself a little drawn into all the hype and sat down to read a Batman mini series. It may surprise you to know that it wasn’t Knightfall. In fact it wasn’t even a Bane centric series. No, my friends, I sat myself down and picked up Batman: Cacophony. I hadn’t read it since it first released and I have to say that it drew me right back in like it did the first time around.
For those of you not familiar with the story, it centers around a character first seen in Green Arrow #12 named Onomatopoeia. He has been hunting superheros and has now set his sights on The Batman. The series starts with Deadshot breaking into Arkham Asylum with the full intention of killing the Joker. However he is stopped by Onomatopoeia who shoots him in the head. He then releases the Joker and gives him a briefcase full of money and lets him loose on Gotham allowing him to draw out Onomatopoeia’s real target, Batman.
It is revealed that Maxi Zeus has turned Jokers toxic venom into a designer drug which doesn’t sit well with Joker. Joker hatches a plan to kill Maxi and at the same time draw Batman into a trap. Batman realizes that Onomatopoeia is hunting non super powered heroes and he is in fact the next target. He springs his own trap in an attempt to catch both of the villains but Onomatopoeia escapes after he stabs Joker in the chest. Gordon urges the Bat to just let Joker die but Batman insists that he cant just let another human being die, even if that person is the Joker.
A few months later Batman visits Joker in the hospital just after he regains consciousness disguised as his lawyer. Because Joker has just woken from a coma he is still tied down and on quite a few painkillers, that Batman takes the opportunity to have a sane (well sort of) conversation with Joker. He asks him if Joker truly wants him dead or if there is some deeper reason for his actions. Joker reveals, in what I feel to be one of the most human moments ever from the clown prince of crime, that he doesnt hate batman because he is crazy, he is crazy because he hates him. He tells Batman that he will “retire” once Batman is dead.
Now I know this seems like a strange series to pick up and read instead of Knightfall but I truly love the writing and the art in this series. Everyone that knows me, knows that I love Kevin Smith and I didn’t pick this one to read because of that. The story itself is wonderfully engaging and Kevin’s brand of humor lightly peppering these pages makes it alot of fun to boot. one of my favorite parts of the book is when Batman goes and visits the joker in the hospital. While there he goes behind a curtain and changes into his costume. Joker makes a crack about how he saw a little bit of his package while he was changing. The art done by Mr. Smith’s long time friend Walt Flanagan brings a new look to the joker that is familiar but refreshing at the same time.
If you haven’t already given this series a read check it out. It just might surprise you. Enjoy Batfans and remember The Dark Knight Rises in two days!