This is about as dark as you can imagine the Dark Knight getting.
Batman’s old foe, The Joker, re-appears after some time away from Gotham and his nemesis. Somewhere along the line I seemed to have missed the fact that the Joker’s face had been ripped away and he’s now sewn it back on, making his features more gruesome than ever.
The time away has apparently gotten the Joker thinking as to how best to hurt the Batman… by hurting Batman’s family. And so he’s carefully planned an intricate, foolproof plan to not only kill, but first psychologically destroy, them all.
While it has been some time since I reguarly read comics/graphic novels, I do feel that with this story, Joker has reached an apex. I truly can’t imagine this particular villian to be any more terrifying — both as he is created by Scott Snyder, and as he is drawn by Greg Capullo. I can’t imagine a future appearance that could possibly half a frightening as the Joker we have here.
Because this story involves the Batman, superhero family, the story cycle appears in other titles as well. I am not sure if there’s an order in which to read them, to maintain a surprise. Perhaps as I read the other titles, that will be revealed.
Without giving too much away. the destruction of the family is to occur at a dinner, as provided by our villian, the man with the sewn-on face. And of course our hero needs to live up to his title. With this story, and some basic knowledge of Batman history, we know that it is very possible that not everyone will come out of this scenario unscathed, or even alive. The drama lies in wondering who will meet their doom here.
I am constantly amazed at stories, such as this, in which someone goes to such incredible lengths to set up a situation, such as the joker does. The planning. The knoweldge. The technical set-up. years in the making and studying. And despite constant fall-back plans, is still un-done by a basic, and simple matter. Really? This ‘conclusion’ seemed so anti-climactic, compared to all the rest of the story. I definitely wanted more, and was just a little let down.
Still…if you are interested in graphic novels, and stories that tend toward high drama…even if you aren’t typically a Batman fan…this is well worth a read.
Looking for a good book? This dramatic graphic novel is a gripping story.
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Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family
author: Scott Snyder
artist: Greg Capullo
publisher: DC Comics
hardcover, 176 pages