Death of the Family has been played along these past few months bleeding outwards into the other Bat family books, but all that came back to head in to the latest and finale issue of the story in the Batman proper. And….Holy S&*%! Sorry that is a bit of an unprofessional way to examine a comic. But really, this was just a story that had amazing journey to it and to get to the end of it, you just wanted to sigh and fall down in the chair you were reading it in and take it all in. And in some sick and twisted fashion this story was not just a Batman vs the Joker, it was a love story between them.
A jaded lover that wanted nothing more than to see his 'King' returned to the glory that he knew. To remove the weakness of him, to be the only real member of his family.
Synder has been teasing the readers with each different step of the story and hinting at certain items. Where is Alfred? What is Jokers plan in all of this? Does he truly know everyone behind the mask? What is under those tray covers! And in a rare time for me as a reader I couldn't guess and point it all out. That shows the writing put together there. And with each little page turn and reveal left me with sighing in relief or back to the edge of my seat. For fans of Alfred everything is well with our favorite butler, there was a time I thought he would not make it out of this alive or in great condition. Then you have to think though with a title of story being ‘Death of the Family’ and here it stands with no one actually dead what seemed to be the point of it all.
Well, in some way Joker has if only a short amount of time killed the idea of the family aspect of Batman. His family was taken to the edge and some learned many things about one another, this has left them separate from one another, a metaphoric death in them working so close together if even for a small amount of time. And speaking of metaphors about the relationship between Joker and Batman is getting titled to one side in this, the idea of why Batman just doesn't kill the clown is brought up and examined from Jokers eyes as well as forcing Batman to admit that simple idea that killing him means the Joker wins. But, that is laughed off and added that there is maybe even a fear behind killing the Joker. That keeping him alive is the safer route than killing him and something worse come after him.
It sounds like something discussed before by fans and creators alike, and this isn't to say this is the right version, but with how the story unfolded it makes sense for Batman to have these thoughts and the Joker to challenge him on it. And the reveal towards the end that Joker is it this for the long game, he doesn't truly care about who Batman really is or who is family are. He just wants Batman.
And never before have had I really seen art work put together like this book. Greg Capullo has taken scenes that would scare even the most harden people and having us yell. HOLY S&*$%! Dang I did it again. But when you see Joker finally reveal what was on the trays and you see the eyes of the Bat family around them finally having the idea they were victims in all of this Or Jokerfied Alfred coming on to the scene. If really there is only one item I may not like about Capullo’s is his Bruce Wayne, he tends to give him this odd sleepy eyed look to him, but even then that could be a another mask he wears during the day.
Synder and Capullo have made Batman theirs, each time it seems like we might know where things are going or things might be the same old same old. They throw you into a brand new direction like this one and floor it all the way. It is cliché to consider how great Batman is now, but with stories like this, you can see why we say it.
OVERALL: 9.5 out of 10
Bryan "BAC" Clendening is a comic reviewer and sometimes video producer, you can follow him on Twitter by clicking Here