Martin Deer reviews the latest issue of Batman, featuring the conclusion of Death of the Family…
“Death of the Family comes to a close as The Joker’s plan reaches its climax.“
My own personal synopsis would include the words “huge” and “let down” prior to ‘climax’. I’ve been a big fan of this run by Snyder – Court and Night of the Owls too – and this Joker has been terrific to read. He has been at his most despicable, his most deplorable and with the way things were building I was expecting – as had been teased – some game changing, momentousness event that would rock the Bat-family to its core. But it failed to live up to the hype quite frankly.
We’ll get to specifics later in a spoilers section below, but let’s leave that for the moment.
The issue for the most part is enjoyable, as the tension builds and the anticipation for the culmination of The Joker’s scheme edges closer to fruition. The relationship between Batman and The Joker is really well written and there is some great dialogue here, but it isn’t really anything new. We know all this about The Joker and Batman, it’s all been said before – in previous issues of the same run I might add. Nothing new was brought to the table. It works as a great love letter from a fan to the characters, but for all the hype DC and Snyder himself has built around the story, it really just doesn’t deliver anything new.
Greg Capullo again puts in some tremendous work, there are some excellent visuals here in this issue, really top notch work.
My final non-spoiler thought; Death of the Family is a good Joker story, a really fun read, but not a classic. I do feel like I am being overly critical, because it has been a really fun run.
Still here? Thanks for sticking around for my gripes with this arc now that it is finished.
What did The Joker actually accomplish? He killed a few red shirts, but he creates no real damage to anyone physically or emotionally. He put them all through a lot, but they all survived, unscathed and since they are crime fighters with excellent mental strength they should be able to handle the fall out of this. The fall out: why are the Bat-family members so disgruntled with Bruce that they won’t attend dinner to visit Alfred? They thought he’d died, and the man who has helped them so much like he was there own father doesn’t even get a visit now that he is safe? Come on Snyder, that was poor.
The hype surrounding the platter was huge, and then, there was nothing in it? Nothing?!
Joker loves Batman. Batman doesn’t know who Joker is. Joker doesn’t want to know who Batman is. It’s all been said before. This is just repeating everything done previously.
I’ve heard people say that the beauty of the story is that The Joker played a trick on everyone, a huge bait-and-switch which fooled even the audience. I can accept that, but I can’t accept that they built this story up as a game changing arc, but it isn’t! Don’t tease the audience if there is no payoff.
I guess this is the problem with comic books – they need these characters to come back week after week, which I completely understand. What has aggravated me so much is the hype that was built around this story with no payoff; no deaths, no major shakeup – seriously now, what do the Bat-family have to be hold against Bruce? Nothing at all quite frankly. It was a weak execution. And because of that I think my getting in to monthly comics thanks to the New 52 – I only picked up trades previously – could be at an end. We’ll have to see how I feel next month. Death of the Family? I’ve had bigger fallings out over who ate the last Twix!