Batman: Death of the Family Saga

GameStop, Inc.

Whitney Graceby Whitney Grace
Staff Writer
[email protected]

 

Batman’s rogue’s gallery is full of insane villains, but the Joker stands out as the most crazed as well as presenting the greatest mystery. It is impossible to predict what Batman’s writers will have the Joker do, because just as you think he’s committed the worst crime, he does something even more psychotic. The Joker takes great pleasure in toying with Batman, ceaselessly playing a game of bait and trap with the intention of outdoing him. Batman, however, always wins. In the New 52, the Joker’s obsessive relationship with Batman has driven him to the cut off his own face and then he disappeared for a year. The Joker knows “Bats” missed him, so he returns and invites Batman and his team to a reunion dinner. These four collected books chronicle the Batman family as they handle the Joker’s deadliest joke in the new universe.Teen_Titans_Vol_4_15

In Batman’s account, the Joker returns with his cut-off face strapped to his head. He announces his return with a crime spree that leads Batman on a scavenger hunt that puts countless lives in jeopardy. The Joker kidnaps Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Batgirl and invites Batman to a gruesome dinner party, ending the hunt. He then informs the Dark Knight that he has removed each of victims’ faces and has strapped each of them to explosives. Joker’s warped brain believes he’s following orders from Batman; he’s gone way down Arkham’s crazy chute and lost whatever sanity remained. Batman manages to save the day, but the repercussions will affect his family like ripples on the water.

Nightwing, Red Hood, and the Robin in the Teen Titans each tell their version of events in their respected books. Some of the events, especially in Teen Titans, follow the exciting storylines that are common in comics. The consequences are always dire, but the long lasting effects of the other events that take place in the books are overshadowed by Joker’s plotting. Each volume adds a new layer of depth to Joker’s insanity and how it affects them personally. Some comics in the Death in the Family arc overlap in each book, depending on the reader that can be a good or bad thing—will the reader get bored or will it intensify the drama?

The art is nothing to frown at (which would make the Joker happy). Each comic in the arc is drawn to have the Joker at his most gruesome and the heroes’ at their best in deadly situation.

DC fans should be aware that the Death in the Family arc will probably go down in Batman history, comparable to No Man’s Land, The Killing Joke, and the first Death in the Family-the death of Jason Todd. Joker’s crossed a line and the New 52 is going to push it further and further.

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