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28.8.14 1821
The W - Print - Batman #17 - Death of the Family Conclusion
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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 60 days
Last activity: 60 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
Honestly, I wasn't digging Death of the Family overall. It was the inverse of Court of Owls; I loved Court all the way through the but the ending and shocking twist left me cold. With DOTF, despite the great horror opening and some cool high points (yes, Batman punching a horse), I wasn't as enamored with the story. Snyder's take on Joker, a cross between Mark Hamill's animated clown and the weirdly homosexual-fixated Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns version with all his talk of "darling" and "you love meeee the mosssst" grated on me. Just not a take on Joker I enjoy.

However, in reverse of how I felt about Court of Owls, I thought Snyder stuck the landing. That last issue was gangbusters good. Snyder pulled it all together, with some nifty slight of hand on the Bat Family and on the readers, and delivered, by my count, FOUR huge gasp-worthy moments. Snyder and Greg Capullo really had me going and there's one page in particular with the sickest visual that honestly made me wonder, "How the fuck did DC allow this? And how can they fix it?!?"


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
The Joker cut off Damian, Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Tim Drake's faces just like he cut off his own. Snyder and Capullo have you going and thinking this is for real until the big relief reveal that he did no such thing. But then he gasses the Bat Family with Smylex and they all become Jokerized and fight each other.


The endgame showdown between Batman and Joker is where Snyder reveals his cards and we see he not only fully understands the dynamic between those two arch enemies, but he provided some new insight that is thoroughly satisfying and makes perfect sense.


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Bruce Wayne visited Joker in Arkham Asylum years ago and outed himself as Batman to him. And Joker didn't care. Didn't acknowledge it. Settling the idea: Regardless of whether Joker knows who Batman is, he simply doesn't care who the man is behind the mask. He only cares about waging war with Batman. Awesome.


A stunning, magnificent conclusion. Now, I need to reread the entire story in one sitting to take it all in as a whole, now that I fully understand what Joker was doing and what it all meant. Bravo, Snyder.



"Cody, I mustache you a question." - The Miz
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thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.30
You've got me wondering - why did Batman do the thing that he did in that second spoiler? That doesn't seem like a thing he normally does.



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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 60 days
Last activity: 60 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
I agree. Even in the context shown in the issue, it's a WHOA WTF? moment. But basically...


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
The conflict between Batman and his Family (the Robins, Nightwing and Batgirl) arise because, when The Joker began his attack and teased that he knew all their identities (which he does for sure for Jason Todd, Batman told them something he'd kept from them. That early in his career, he fought the Joker and the Joker seemingly died on Gotham River. Batman brought the Batboat back to the cave and then later saw a Joker playing card on the Batboat. This indicated that somehow Joker was there in the Batcave, that he'd visited and left his calling card. Did the Joker explore the cave? Did he go upstairs and explore Wayne Manor? Does he know he's Bruce Wayne. Batman held firm to the Family that the Joker couldn't have, that Joker doesn't know who any of them are, that he's lying. That final revelation flashback in Arkham showed Batman lied to his Family, because he went to Arkham as Bruce Wayne and showed Joker the playing card. Bruce Wayne admitted he was Batman. And Joker didn't give two shits about Bruce Wayne. But yes, it's a very un-Batman like thing to do. Which is part of its impact.


(edited by John Orquiola on 13.2.13 0944)


"Cody, I mustache you a question." - The Miz
Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 2 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.79
But we know already that ...


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Joker knew who Batman was. At the end of the original Death in the Family, Joker is named UN ambassador for whatever fake Middle Eastern country where he killed Robin. Bruce Wayne is at the UN with an aisle seat as Joker walks by. They lock eyes. Joker walks away laughing. That's when he realizes who Batman is.


This was a whopper of a Joker story. Genuinely spooky and scary, it ended with a way that allows for future Joker stories while satisfactorily wrapping up this one.



(edited by Matt Tracker on 13.2.13 1317)


"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 60 days
Last activity: 60 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    But we know already that ...


    Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
    Joker knew who Batman was. At the end of the original Death in the Family, Joker is named UN ambassador for whatever fake Middle Eastern country where he killed Robin. Bruce Wayne is at the UN with an aisle seat as Joker walks by. They lock eyes. Joker walks away laughing. That's when he realizes who Batman is.




Hey, that's right. It's funny, I read Death in the Family again over the summer and I forgot that moment.

I like how this colors everything that happened in the past and all the Batman vs. Joker stories still to come. That...


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Yes, Joker knows Batman is Bruce Wayne and it means absolutely nothing to him. And Batman knows Joker knows and has a weird sense of security because he knows his greatest secret is irrelevant to his greatest enemy. Revealing his identity is the one thing Batman is semi-secure Joker WON'T do. Unless, one day, Joker just suddenly decides to...




"Cody, I mustache you a question." - The Miz
Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 7 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.46

Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Geez, who DOESN'T know Bruce is Batman? Joker, Catwoman, Bane, Ra's, Talia, Dr. Hurt, Hush, and even Riddler (somewhere in the recesses of his mind) all know the secret, plus all of the Bat family, most of the JLA, and you figure most of the greater DC superhero community at large (if Dick and Tim's teammates know who they are, surely they can put two and two together to realize that Bruce is Batman). The impact of Joker knowing is lessened by the fact that it's not a very deep secret at this point.




"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
dMp
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Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 5 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.88

I liked it a lot. I don't usually read Batman, but Snyder's been creating an interesting story.
What I especially appreciated about it was how they timed the tie-ins. All ending with the same type of shot, the dish being presented.

When the Joker does his big reveals I did gasp for a moment, wondering if I saw things right.

It will set up some interesting stories for the future I suppose. Thank to this I'll keep following the book.

Llakor
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.44
This also ties in really nicely with all of the stories where someone is selling the secret identity of Batman and the Joker sabotages the auction because he doesn't want anyone to know. ("It would spoil all the fun")





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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 23 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.21
Really enjoyed this. It was the first batch of New 52 titles I read.

Was something supposed to have been in that little book that Batman picked up at the end? Did I miss a plot piece?
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 60 days
Last activity: 60 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
There was nothing in the book, it was purposely blank. All part of The Joker's mindfuck.

If you want to get much, much deeper into Scott Snyder's process in writing DOTF, there are numerous interviews with him that ran yesterday. They're all linked from DC's website blog. (dccomics.com)

(edited by John Orquiola on 14.2.13 1403)

"Cody, I mustache you a question." - The Miz
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 40 min.
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.12
I had to flip through it at the comic book store due to the subscription I order from tangae still not in. I liked it. It felt it open ended and gave Batman something to use on Joker in the coming conflicts. I am not sure what the outrage is over, did people want Joker to win?



The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
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