The Joker: Death of the Family

Like any avid Batman sports fan, finding out that the Joker will be returning in the New 52 line-up was instantaneously gratifying, specially since I consider him my most favored Batman villain ever since Mark Hamill ‘s version in Batman: The Animated Series. But DC did not make having the Joker back a walk-in-the-park either. He is, after all, Batman ‘s ultimate nemesis so you bet your american samoa they ‘re gon na make a boastfully crossing event about it. And that is precisely what is collected in this deluxe version. From a

Like any avid Batman fan, finding out that the Joker will be returning in the New 52 line-up was immediately gratifying, particularly since I consider him my most favorite Batman villain always since Mark Hamill ‘s version in Batman: The Animated Series. But DC did not make having the Joker back a walk-in-the-park either. He is, after all, Batman ‘s ultimate nemesis so you bet your buttocks they ‘re gon na make a big crossover event about it. And that is precisely what is collected in this deluxe version. From a more objective perspective, putting every Joker appearance since his expansive return in one impressive volume is hardheaded if you ‘re the kind of fan who wants to keep traverse of everything. But in a more critical charge of horizon, The Joker: Death of the Family is a debatable anthology merely because some stand-alone stories do not connect with each other and there are quite a few that were better off not read if what you aim for is Joker ‘s direct connection with Batman and the rest of the Robins ( plus Batgirl ).

To far illustrate my point, I will give a short description of each report included and whether or not you need to check them out in order to amply digest and appreciate Scott Synder ‘s Death of the Family. What you should keep in mind is there is a separate collected edition that alone included Scott Snyder ‘s version of events and if you already have that but you feel like you besides wanted to check out what the early writers have done in their crossing over stories, I sure hope that my insights will help you discern for yourself if you still need to buy this particular version. Do n’t worry about any major spoilers ahead.


Batman investigates a serial of Joker-themed menace committed by mentally brainsick people who identify strongly with the clown prince of crime. Written by John Layman, this is a very absorb history that one could view as the ripple impression of Joker ‘s return to Gotham ‘s outcasts. It examines the magnetism of the Joker as an elusive human body and why dangerous men like him appeals to a certain kind of lost individuals such as the ones featured here. If you follow the Detective Comics yourself, you will recognize that this is a sequel of the Emperor Penguin plot but readers who will barely pick up this issue do not need to business themselves with that because # 16- # 17 focuses wholly on the Joker groupies who call themselves The League of Smiles and what havoc they inspire.

RECOMMENDED: YES, only because it ‘s a well-written exploration about the kind of folly that the Joker inflicts on frail-minded and anti-social people. The artwork by Jason Fabok and Andy Clarke is a tantalizing feat adenine well.


This is one of the stories that very do not add anything to Snyder ‘s Death of the Family. The Joker trying to entice Catwoman to join whatever sick plot he is about to perpetrate is not that much of a worthwhile read because I could never understand why he jilted Catwoman around in the first identify. aside from the periodic laugh I got from the Joker ‘s crafty if not bumbling gags to lure or belittle Catwoman, there in truth is n’t anything to this fib that has any effect on what is about to take seat once the Joker confronts the Bat kin.



The Joker visits Harley Quinn during a funeral and proceeds to torment her with a ferociousness and cruelty that we have n’t seen him do ahead. As a shipper and athletic supporter of this couple, it was an faze situation to read and yet I distillery thought that this narrative presented the most make bold if not erotic interactions between the Joker and his favorite pet/toy. I ‘m one of those fans who constantly considered Harley Quinn as the best companion to the Joker because she always understood absolutely what she was getting into whenever she commits flagitious crimes for her Mr. J. She may be slavish to him but it ‘s by choice and her own brand of insanity is the reason why the joker wants her around and secretly needs her in his biography. She ‘s the captive consultation, the will player and the ultimate groupie that person with Joker ‘s vanity and level of theatrics requires. In these issues, Harley Quinn tries to resist the Joker, recognizing that he is not the same man she gave up her sanity for in the first gear plaza. What follows is an acute read of why comics ‘ arguably most dysfunctional relationship actually works.

RECOMMENDED: IT DEPENDS. If you ‘re a shipper like I am, this is something you should check out. If not, it ‘s in truth approve to skip this one.

BATGIRL #14-16

This is decidedly my absolute darling link among all of the Joker crossing over stories. It was good stun and breathtaking in all the correct places. The narrative is crisp with haunting monologues from Barbara Gordon specially her gloomy contemplation to kill the Joker herself ( given the familiar degree of destruction he inflicted upon her in The Killing Joke ). The action sequences are amazing to peruse through. The Joker ‘s baffling actions toward Batgirl were cringe-worthy with the misplace screen of affection that made me sick to my own stomach. I have never realized how much their dynamics could work so compellingly until I read these issues.

RECOMMENDED: YES. This is a crossover report that works in truth well. Gail Simone ‘s Barbara/Batgirl is fabulously sympathetic and quite menacing herself. You in truth root for her to succeed and drive a blade into the Joker ‘s heart after the hell she ‘s been through because of him.

RED HOOD #15-16; TEEN TITANS #15-16

In this collection, Red Robin and Red Hood stories were crammed together as one boring and often derivative instrument storyline. The Joker abducts the former Robins and their own respective teams try to save them. This is the most free floor of all specially if you do n’t follow Teen Titans or The Outlaws. Their appearances would confuse raw readers and have besides diluted the diagram, to be honest. The lone redemptive quality of these issues is the confrontation faced by Tim Drake and Jason Todd who very do have unresolved issues with their deputy founder, Bruce Wayne/Batman. The Joker tries to get them to turn against each other through bringing out those issues to light. If lone we focused more on that and lessened the Teen Titans/Outlaws scenes then this crossing over history could have been more enjoyable.



My moment favorite link adjacent to Batgirl, the original Robin Dick Grayson in this report is taken for a flex storm when the Joker threatens to kill everyone he upholds and obliterate the position he once called home before he was whisked away by Batman long ago when his own parents were murdered. This was emotionally engaging particularly if you ‘re person like me who had always loved Dick Grayson as the first Robin and followed his development to his own choice of hero, and legal separation from Batman ‘s overbearing shadow. The Joker knew what buttons to push but Dick never sincerely gives in to the darkness and that says a draw about him and his idolatry to the early Robins including Batman himself. Dick Grayson ‘s resilence shines through in these issues even if he ultimately recognizes how messed up his entire childhood had been as the Boy Wonder.



Damian Wayne, the current Robin and besides Bruce Wayne ‘s illegitimate son, is the focus of these issues. Unlike the early Robins who have their own personal encounters with the Joker before, Damian was able to challenge the Joker and call out his bluffs because he has no cause to fear him — at least not however. Watching the Joker psychologically torture another Robin is very disgust and yet a enjoyable read to see unfold however. The highlight of this history is Damian ‘s relationship with Batman which is overabundant with more complexities because the man underneath the cowl is besides his own pulp and rake. Young as he is, Damian is besides an intelligent Robin who is able to think promptly on his feet. His complete trust over Batman is the reason why the joker is never in truth able to break his will down.



Ah, the very bone and marrow of the Death of the Family itself. This was marketed as the most stimulate and best Joker report so far which actually hurts its chances to survive and be appreciated as its own report, actually. The hype built around it will mislead readers who tend to have overblown expectations. So I suggest you adjust your expectations and do n’t expect this to be an blink of an eye classical or any it is being marketed as. It ‘s not. But it ‘s still a very enjoyable read.

The integral point of the Joker ‘s massively tormented ( and, may I add, drawn out ) reappearance is to destroy the family that has made Batman weak because they humanized him. The Joker powerfully believes that such relationships had reduced Batman into an ordinary and fallible man, and since the Joker ‘s amour propre is centered around the fact that he is unique and his bane is precisely as that excessively ; and they are locked into an ageless conflict of will and wits everlastingly and always ( it ‘s worth noting that there are lots of accidental homoerotic layers to the manner the Joker pines over the Batman in Snyder ‘s narrative framework ), he thinks he ‘s actually doing Batman a favor by eliminating his deputy children and own son and heir. It makes perfect common sense for the Joker to be this possessive and entitled to Batman. There ‘s something vaguely pathetic about it excessively.

The seventeenth offspring, Death of the Family was personally satisfying if you focus on the echoing thematic noise between the Batman and the Joker as the dichotomy that they ‘ve always been : order and chaos ; and placing that in a more humanistic context where they are more than precisely mere concepts but besides people who are afraid to own up and face the flaws of their world and how much they have alienated and much damaged the few people who are authoritative to them. There is that affecting scene where Batman threatens to reveal to the Joker his real identity and the Joker actually flats-out refuses. That for me was a significant look at how the Joker wants to operate ; he desperately wants to cut himself off from any kind of humanity including his own, but there is loneliness to that so it would be comforting for him to know that Batman will do the lapp american samoa well, considering the only survive and meaningful association he always had was with the Dark Knight.

If you do n’t believe the ballyhoo created around this narrative and the entire crossing over event then The Joker: Death of the Family will be an impressive accomplishment that is worth the leverage. The writers have tried their best to add some new property to the Joker, particularly Snyder who I believe wanted to reveal fair how much Batman and the Joker are intrinsically tied to one another. This for me is besides a major milestone among Batman and his children and I ‘m matter to to see how it plays out for everyone concerned since they basically good endured another traumatic event that should re-define their relationships.


* If you don’t have the same emotional investment on Batman, then these stories may receive lower ratings, but if you are just as addicted to the Dark Knight and his mythology as I am, then this is something that will move you deeply.


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