Thursday, March 20, 2014

Batman: Death of the Family (# 13 - #17)

 By. Samurai Millo

Publishing House: DC Comics
Rating: Teen
Language: English
Written by: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Cover Price: $ 3.99
Number of pages: 40

  Synopsis: The Joker is back and wants two things: to retrieve his face and take away Batman’s family. The first one is easy, but the second one will require a meticulous and perverse plan that will put Batman and all that he holds dear to the test. 

  These days it takes a lot for a comic book or a comic book event to get my attention and Batman: Death of the Family was the kind of event that succeeded in doing so, with frightening ease. On October 10, 2012 (my birthday no less) Batman # 13 hit the shelves and that gave me another reason to continue reading DC Comics. Issue #13 marks the beginning of a twisted villainous saga told in 24 parts through key titles within the Bat-universe. It illustrates the most recent and explosive clash to date between Batman and the Joker.

The Joker is the most formidable villain the Caped Crusader ever had. He shares with Batman an epic rivalry that expands from its first appearance in 1940 in Batman # 1 (Vol. 1, 1940) to the present. As the decades passed, the sophistication and intensity of these stories has varied according to the demands of the times. From its beginnings as an eccentric master criminal to its present incarnation as a sadistic / psychopathic lover of chaos, the Joker is Batman’s most formidable enemy. The Death of the Family storyline is probably among the most vicious and decisive battles in the history of both characters.

The script by Scott Snyder is simple, direct, and crisp as an Export Soda cracker, freshly taken out of its tin can. The suspense starts to build up and grab you from page one. Little by little the pieces fall into place showing Mr. Snyder’s master craftsmanship. The characterization among the main players of this adventure is rich in depth and with the nuances that we have come to expect. Lovers of the good, old-fashioned Bat-stuff will find that the classic exchanges between Batman and Commissioner Gordon and between Batman and Alfred are still there. Snyder’s characterization of the Joker is a delightfully sordid and carefully controlled portrait of a madman. This villain has a master plan and that final page on issue #13 was hair rising. Issues #13 to #16 include a second story each that recounts the meetings the Joker has with his fellow colleagues Harley Queen, The Penguin, The Riddler, and Two Face at specific points during the main story. 

Greg Capullo's penciling is excellent. His figures have a mixture of caricature and detail that made me remember his days in the Spawn comic book. Nobody draws a rainy night in Gotham as Greg Capullo. Nobody puts that delicious attention to the smallest details that Greg puts in each panel. FCO Placencia is to be commended for doing a superb coloring through the story.
In short, Batman: Death of the Family has my highest recommendation.

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