Something Shocking Just Happened to Batman and Joker in BATMAN #40
SPOILERS ahead for those of you who haven't read Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman #40 yet. I'm just going to jump right into it.
Batman and The Joker have a long violent history with each other, ever since Joker made his debut in 1940 in Batman #1, but it looks like that has all come to an end with the conclusion of the comic series "Endgame."
The Dark Knight basically was willing to sacrifice himself to take down the Clown Prince of Crime during the violent climatic conclusion of the comic series. It seems as if The Joker really is dead. While Batman is trying to stop the Joker from reaching a pit with a mysterious healing fluid, the two characters are left for dead in a bloody mess. When it comes to comics it's hard to believe that characters like this are actually dead. I also thought it was an interesting reveal that the Joker knew Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same person.
After being fatally wounded and buried deep underground, I don't see how they are going to come back, but Bruce Wayne will. Who knows about The Joker though. Scott Snyder talked about the issue in an interview with Comic Book Resources earlier today in which he seems hint that Batman went down fighting Joker to the death. Here's what he had to say:
"Batman knows that he is going to go down fighting. And that's the way that Batman will always end. He's not going to retire, at least our version of him. He's not going to ride off into the sunset. He's going to go down fighting for the city whether old or young. Giving him the chance to fight his greatest enemy, who represents everything that he stands against is the perfect ending for him. The Joker represents meaningless and the idea that everyone is laughing at him and you. Joker doesn't think that your life means anything whereas Batman says, 'Stand up and make your life matter.' Who wouldn't want to go down in a blaze of glory? If you're going to go down some way, what better way than saving the city and making sure that this monster never gets out of the box on your watch. It's almost a happy ending for Batman."
Sounds to me like Joker could actually be dead, and when Capullo is asked if Batman is dead he said:
"Of course not. Like Scott has said before, you don't do a story like this without the backdoor to bring him back. And you have to do a story like this to tell a better story. And we are doing a better story. But come on, of course I don't want Bruce Wayne to never return. [Laughs] No fan would ever want to see that and Scott and I are two of the biggest Batman fans on the planet. Would we want to crush, kill destroy Bruce Wayne so that he's gone forever? Absolutely not because he's as entrenched in our hearts as is he is for every fan that loves him."
Did they leave a backdoor open for the Joker though? If not it's sure to change the DC Universe in a major way. I have the two pages of the comic below for you to check out that gives you a little bit of what happens, but make sure to buy the comic to read the full thing. I think it's a bold move to kill off these characters, but I'm sure they'll be back.