COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Batman: Death Of The Family
By The Masked Medic
Okay, so it’s clearly been a while since I sat down to read a comic book. And this is technically the first comic book review for the new blog. I thought to myself, what comic book should I review for this momentous occasion, and also what novel is going to get back into the mode of reading comic books. There’s only ever one answer to that question. It has to be Batman.
‘Death of the Family’ is a multi-series spanning arc that sees the Joker return to Gotham. The novel starts with Commissioner Gordon and Detective Bullock discussing a few disturbing events that have been happening in Gotham at the time. Whilst at the precinct, the lights go out and Gordon sees that the Joker is in the room. Joker kills the officers in the room but escapes before Batman gets there. Naturally the Joker being back causes panic, but Batman is quick to inform the rest of the Bat-Family that they should stay away from this. Despite their insistence, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman begins his investigation and realises that The Joker is remixing all of his first few crimes and all of his and Batman’s initial meetings. Despite Batman’s best attempts, he’s not able to catch him, however one night when he manages to track him to a bridge, Joker reveals a massive secret. He apparently knows the real identities of all the Bat-Family. Naturally, Batman attempts to call his adversary’s bluff, but when the Joker kidnaps Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler, there’s a worry left in Batman’s mind. Whilst the Bat-Family clamber to figure out what to do, Joker recruits all of Batman’s adversaries for a showdown in Arkham asylum. Batman attempts to enter alone and take down all this foes to get to the Joker, but his arch nemesis has one more trick up his sleeve. Can Batman figure out what exactly the Joker has planned before it’s too late? And just where do his Bat-Family fit into this?
I’m fairly sure that this was the last novel left for me to read in this ‘Death of the Family’ arc and technically it was the main one. I have to say, it was clearly the best one but it’s not particularly surprising. Any Batman story arc where the Joker is in the picture always generates a lot of hype and this novel was no different. I think that having Joker remix his first few crimes was a good choice, because the New 52 was meant to be a sort of reboot, but these characters have history, so it takes into account what has happened before, but makes it different for new readers. I particularly enjoyed the latter half of the novel, although the chaotic nature of this one, made it a perfect representation of the villain orchestrating the plot!
Greg Capullo has been the artist for all the Batman novels I’ve been reviewing, and although his style is a little different to what I prefer, I think it’s perfect for this story. The covers were okay, but none of them really stood out to me unfortunately. Overall, this was a good way for me to jump back into reading comic books and writing reviews for you guys. I hope that 2024 can be a productive year of reading for me!
Oof. The implications of this panel are massive. Does he know? Doesn’t he know?
I have to say, this novel was a dance between two characters, and both shone equally. I’m talking about Batman and The Joker. Good stuff!
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★½