Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils by Greg Capullo
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
It all comes down to this, the finale of Death Of The Family. The Joker has taken the Bat Family hostage and forces Batman to watch as he tortures the Bat Family, playing mind games with Batman. First of all, I just have to put this out there, the guys that worked on this story, and the last two issues in particular, are some sick-minded individuals, and I love them for it. It takes a twisted mind to come up with some of the stuff that was laid out in these pages. Seeing the Bat Family tied up with bloodied bandages wrapped around their faces with what we were to presume were their skinned faces lying out before us made me quite squeamish, almost to the point where I got sick. That feeling is usually something reserved for the most grisly of horror movies, my hat is off to you Snyder, Capullo and Glapion.
This issue was quite the story and I actually felt every minute of mental anguish and pain that Batman was put through. If you could’ve seen me reading it you would’ve seen that my facial expression almost mirrored Batman’s as I progressed from page to page. Joker’s set up was perfectly played out and it’s probably the best Joker I have ever read. Every panel was so intense you could feel the pain oozing from the pages. I loved how to save the Bat Family, Batman refused to play the Joker’s game and did it his own way playing by his own set of rules. When you play it the Joker’s way he always wins, time and time again Batman has prevailed by changing the rules of the game. The dialogue about Batman loving the Joker more than the Bat Family was a bit odd at first, but I could see it just because Batman thrives off his rogues gallery, not from petty street criminals.
Once Batman saves the day and chases down the Joker the big moment came when Batman reveals that he has uncovered whom the Joker really is, or was before the Joker’s transforming accident. I’m not sure if he was bluffing or not just to get in the Joker’s head, but it worked, talk about beating the Joker at his own game. I really wish they would’ve at least revealed the name though as it’s one of those things in comics that intrigues me the most, of course not revealing it also leads me to believe Batman may have been bluffing. The Joker almost had the last laugh when his plan b went into effect, gassing the Bat Family and causing them to turn on each other. I loved how this didn’t shake Batman in the slightest though; instead he just says he has faith in them. A faith that proved to be well placed when they overcame the gas’s affect, just like Batman knew they would. Of course the Joker gets away, but that just means he’ll be back, so I’m good with it.
Overall this was one slam bang of an issue filled with tension from cover to cover. I thought it would be hard to top the Night of the Owls story arc, but when the Joker is involved and you have a guy like Snyder writing him you can only strike gold. The whole arc, though it moved slowly at first and had a few too many tie-ins, was one hell of an arc. I highly look forward to the Joker’s return, again, and to where Snyder and company takes Batman next.
5 out of 5 nerds
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