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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joker's "Love" for his Bat-King
Horror goes hand-in-hand with the concept of Batman so well; it's no wonder modern day phenom writer Scott Snyder's work on the character is so darn good. His work in other horror genres like American Vampire, Severed, The Wake, and Swamp Thing are all horror based, so putting his frame of reference with Batman on his earlier work like the Black Mirror and Court of Owls...
Published 15 months ago by Anarchy in the US

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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously Overrated. Solid Build-Up, Great Art, Terrible Ending.
I know most of the sheep out there think Scott Snyder is the next Alan Moore or Frank Miller or something and believe me, I wish he was.

His first work on the Batman books started on Detective Comics with a story called The Black Mirror and I have to say, THAT story is brilliant. Everything he's done since though has been strong as hell at the start and middle...
Published 7 months ago by T.Bass


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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joker's "Love" for his Bat-King, November 5, 2013
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Horror goes hand-in-hand with the concept of Batman so well; it's no wonder modern day phenom writer Scott Snyder's work on the character is so darn good. His work in other horror genres like American Vampire, Severed, The Wake, and Swamp Thing are all horror based, so putting his frame of reference with Batman on his earlier work like the Black Mirror and Court of Owls arcs have been stunning. So here we are now with Snyder writing his favorite villain of all time the Joker, who has been away for one year since the beginning of the New 52, where in Detective Comics #1 the Joker got his face ripped off and disappeared from the DC Universe ever since. Now the Joker has made his return in Batman #13 under the penmanship of Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo and what do we get? One of the most horrific and insightful portrayals on the Joker and Batman in modern day story telling.

BATMAN VOL.3: DEATH OF THE FAMILY collects issues #13 - #17. After returning to Gotham one year later from his face being cut off, the Clown Prince of Crime resurfaces in Gotham City by doing some numerous errands like taking back his face from Gotham City police department and re-doing some of his crimes he first committed. But the Joker has a plan he's been working up for that whole year; a plan to bringing Batman back to his old ways when he was a solo crime fighter, because from his adversary's perspective, the Bat-family (Nightwing, Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, Robin, and even Alfred) weigh him down - and Joker believes his "real" family is his rouges, to which Joker will stop at nothing to convince Batman that his Bat-family is the cause of all that makes him weak.

Beyond me giving out the general plot, I will not give out any real spoilers because there far too many details that I do not think should be given away, so I'll stay clear any specific details. Secondly, the companion book The Joker: Death of the Family (The New 52), is supplemental and not necessary. It does go over the various Bat-family and how Joker deals with them single-handly and does explain a certain one-page plot point and the conclusion issues of Snyders Batman...but as someone who has read those, personally, I think it dampens Snyder and Capullos main story. So if you are one who has been holding off buying the Joker: Death of the Family trade until Snyders volume 3, here are your choices. If you get Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family and enjoy it and want to expand upon it, or if you're a completionist and desperately want every chapter good or bad then you can give Joker: DOTF a try. If you read Batman volume 3 and already reading the other Bat-titles, then skip Joker: DOTF altogether and get those series in their own trades when they come out. Or get Batman volume 3 and do not pick up Joker: DOTF. I'm for option three, but it is up to you on your purchasing decisions.

Now that is out of the way, lets talk about this book. This tale of the Joker is not quite like any version you've ever seen. It's made up of two main parts: the horror aspect and the character study of Batman and Joker. The psychological horror aspect alone is a massive deal Snyder and Capullo work at great lengths to accomplish, Joker being shown like a boogeyman and Hannibel Lector rolled into one, with Heath Ledgers Joker amped up by 10x. The opening alone sets the mood by Joker going to the Gotham Police Department and retrieving his face, openly killing police officers left and right in pitch black while Commissioner Gordon shines a mere flashlight into chaotic darkness with Jokers hi-pitched laugh is chilling and sets the mood perfectly. Panels of Batman walking around an empty and barren mansion, to seeing Joker's face stapled on and rotting away as the pages unfold, to seeing mutilated bodies as mosaics make for a dark and disturbing book from the Joker that's never quite been this scary in a long time. It makes a sense of dread from the get-go and doesn't let up at all until the very end.

And the other factor is the Joker/Batman relationship, which is the main factor here. Snyder throws every kind of metaphor, reference, and just about every nod to Batman/Joker lore is here (even Nolans Batman has a mention if you look right). Jokers reenacting his original crimes to Jokers birth to a plot that dates back all the way back from Batman #1 from 1940, to the very idea of the Joker even knowing every Bat-families identities. It's a massive mind game and as every character outside of the clown and Bat start coming apart from what is happening, the main idea is Batman and Joker understand each other far more intimately then Batman wants to admit, to knowing each other so far that you might even label them as being...lovers. Not in the physical way, but in a soul-mate like manner that they know the game and how it's played. It's all a matter of deception, mind games, and false-truths from the deep conversations Batman and Joker have that makes for a fascinating case study that I think Snyder hits on the head with great ease.

Further study goes on the idea of the "death of the family" in not only the Bat-family, but the villains family as well. Snyder represents the family aspect like chess pieces, with Batman being the central piece of the chess board, which is the king; in this case, the Bat-King, and the Joker is the jester that runs the court. It gives more insight on not only the Batman/Joker angle, but the entire look on Batmans rogues gallery and how they define him.

The backup stories are continuations to the main plot lines, whereas most of the time backups are usually stand-alone tales. They're well worth your time to read about, especially since they fill in some voids on Joker setting up his big "finale".

Snyders writing comes out full thanks to Greg Capullo's fine art. The bleakness and horror Capullo draws on the page gives the narrative the chills throughout. The Jokers manic expressions with his rotting face, to the blackout of the GCPD, the fear and questions from the bat-family, to a horror-themed Camelot for Batman; Capullo pulls off the horror with every page. Additional art for the backups are by Batman: The Black Mirror artist Jock, which too fit the horror style very well.

And besides the alternative covers and sketches at the end, this hardcover comes with the special first printing of this new hardcover will feature a special acetate dust jacket. I have to mention it because not only it is for first printings only, but it is a well-constructed cover that is better then the the die-cut covers produced last year of Joker's skin mask that peels back to reveal the musculature of his face. It's a feature I do not think the softcover will capture, so this makes the hardcover something special and worth getting.

Now as much I enjoyed this book, there are a few setbacks, I think. The first one is this is a pretty dark and horrific book which might be unsettling for some. The other is the Joker is borderline omnipotent in all ways here. I know the Clown Prince is a clever fellow and has his share of well done plans in the past, but he does everything right to a fault and is 10-steps ahead of everyone. It is too far fetched to believe Joker has this level of control and smarts if if he's had a year to plan things out. This sort of thing might take you out of the moment. And the other aspect is the ending and the fallout. Much like volume 2, Snyder ends the story arc with a sense of reactions that will either applaud the man or make you feel like he dropped the ball. Again, I do not want to go into detail for fear of spoilers, but the conclusion might make or brake the whole story for you.

And the fallout as well. Going hand-in-hand with the ending and by referencing the famous 1988 Batman story, Batman: A Death in the Family, which lived up to its title and impact on the Bat mythos for years, the "death of the family" part is something, again, might or might not sit well with readers considering the reference. It's the type of thing that doesn't quite resonate, which we'll only know about for future writers or Snyder finishing the job one day.

Either way, BATMAN VOL.3: DEATH OF THE FAMILY is one heck of a Joker story. Talk around town has it as being one of the best Joker stories. I don't know if it will top Killing Joke, Jokers Five-Way Revenger, or The Man Who Laughs...but it is still a darn good character study on the Joker/Batman relationship, the utter horror factor, and the massive amounts of philosophical/Easter eggs for fans of the Bat mythos. But some might be turned off by the violence and bleakness, Joker being overly powerful, and the ending/fallout leave you cold. None the less, I'll give this book a 4 ˝ stars out of 5, but I'll round up to 5 because this is still a great horror/character piece from Snyder and Capullo that I think is worth checking out. Then again, these two have been on fire with Batman, so I think everyone knows that by now.

If this is Joker's way of showing "love" for the Batman, I am interested to see his "hate" for him as well. We'll see the clock role back in the next two volumes of Batman's new DC 52 origins in Batman Vol. 4: Zero Year-Secret City (The New 52).
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Look At The Joker And Batman Dynamic, November 13, 2013
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After sitting out for a bit of the Nu52, the Joker makes his return and what a return it is.

This story arc examines the relationship between batman and the Joker and also that of batman and the bat family and the joker and the bat family. We see the joker close to the recent movie adaptation, that of a true force of anarchy and chaos. But more than that this is a joker with a twisted view of reality. This is a joker who is in his opinion being close with batman.

Up until now in the Joker's mind he has never had an issue with the bat family, just with Batman. Even crippling Batgirl ( before reboot) was an attack on Batman not on Barbara. This storyline changes that with the Joker deciding to go after the entire bat family and show them what happens when he goes after them for real.

This is a joker who like I said, is terrifying but almost frighteningly enough, he seems in a twisted way, more human at the same time. Albeit a sick person who you would run from in fear.

With the recent Court of owls storyline out of the way it was good to have the joker back and unlike other stories that claim to make changes that will last forever, and then everything is the way it was before only a short time later, this story will live up to that claim.

The writing is superb and the dynamic of the joker and batman is explored in new ways that other writers never thought of.
Joker's attack on the bat family really does change the playing field of the bat family comics and the fall out is something I am eager to see more of.

Snyder is a brilliant writer whose run on batman will go down as one of the all time greatest if this keeps up.

The art is spectacular and disturbing when it needs to be. This is one of the top storylines of the year!

Plus as advertised there is special acetate dust jacket showcasing the face of The Joker which is freaking awesome.

All in all this is a must have purchase for any comic fan!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ story ..., November 19, 2013
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I've constantly been wondering what happened to Joker since Detective Comics #1, this book answers that question :) This particular book only covers Batman's side of the story whereas The Joker: Death of the Family neatly combines all of the other applicable tie-ins. After reading both, I can see that this one works well as a stand-alone book but then is greatly enhanced by the tie-ins. If you're looking for a quick read that covers the whole story arc, this one does just fine. But if you're wondering how the rest of the Batman family got to where they did by the end of this story buy The Joker as well.

The art work is masterful and Snyder does not disappoint as usual. A+ for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop Me if You've heard this one Before..., November 17, 2013
Collects Batman issues 13-17.

This one is a punch to the gut. Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo are really cementing quite a legacy run on Batman, and considering Batman has had so many legendary runs to begin with that is saying something.

With the first two volumes of this series we got a new group of baddies entered into the Bat-mythology, The Court of Owls, which provided many twists, turns, and shocks but never really hit that unnerving nerve of horror that Snyder can deliver like in his Swamp Thing run and indie series Severed. He comes at the audience full force with the return of the clown prince of crime, that harlequin of hate: The Joker!

A story featuring The Joker is usually a big deal, as it should because he is Bat's crazed arch nemesis, but over the past few years he has not been used to great effect. Morrison used him nicely, in just a cameo appearance, in comparison to the rest of his run, but no author has put him in the forefront and shown what a messed up and utterly dangerous psychopath he can really be.

As mentioned earlier, Snyder really approaches this as a horror story with the Joker being out of town for a year and coming back and attacking Batman's allies and claiming he knows their deepest secrets. The Joker had his face cut off over in Detective Comics issue one by Tony Daniels. Since then, Daniels was moved off 'Tec' and Snyder decided to take that story bit and run with it as The Joker goes back to Gotham G.C.P.D. to get his face back! This also allows The Joker to strike first at Commissioner Jim Gordon as a warning as he has no secret identity to protect. He is a cop and wears no mask. That also makes him the easiest target and sets the stage for how far the Joker can and will go. The Joker is very upset with Batman in that he has become to reliant on his allies and thinks it has made him weak. He wants their one on one relationship back and will break up the bat-family to do so.

Greg Capullo hits it out of the park with his illustrations. He knows how to pace the panels to create that slasher horror movie tension. His cartoony style is very detailed and conveys such deep emotions in the expressions he makes on characters faces. The "Joker face" is a disgusting piece to witness. Uggh. Fco Planscencia does the coloring and has a very murky and bileish pallet for all the gruesome on goings. Jock provides art for the backup features for issues 13-16 (issue 17 is all Capullo) which showcase the Joker visiting various rouges of the Dark Knight to involve them in his plan. He feels they are the Bat's real family but have not done a great job of challenging him and need to step up their game. Jock's art is nice in portraying the odd world of The Joker and the Gotham rogues with his angular and blocky style.

Wow. What an epic. A love story for two of the craziest people in superhero comics who are destined to play out this dance throughout their existence (I'll let you guess what two hehe). Snyder and Capullo can stay on this title forever and I'll be a happy Bat-fan. Bring on volume 4 that should have some small stories in issues 18-20 and then into the New 52 Batman origin in Zero Year!!!
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously Overrated. Solid Build-Up, Great Art, Terrible Ending., July 30, 2014
This review is from: Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52) (Paperback)
I know most of the sheep out there think Scott Snyder is the next Alan Moore or Frank Miller or something and believe me, I wish he was.

His first work on the Batman books started on Detective Comics with a story called The Black Mirror and I have to say, THAT story is brilliant. Everything he's done since though has been strong as hell at the start and middle portions of the stories but they completely deflate at the end. This story especially. It delivers none of what it promises. Snyder is a horrendous tease.

The ending is so inconsequential it pretty much neuters everything that preceded it. Not to mention he overwrites worse than old school guys like Stan Lee and Chris Claremont. Way too much exposition and info-dumping. He ruins a lot of amazing artwork by doing that.

I just really don't get all the fanboy worshipping of this guy. I guess my whole point is that while Snyder is certainly a talented writer I don't think he's all he's cracked up to be. I think time will tell. I would bet that in 10 years no one is going to look back on this story as anything groundbreaking. If even half of the story points introduced in this book would have been for real this book could have been great. I think that's why I'm being so hard on it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary, entertaining, and fun., November 9, 2013
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Delightfully scary and creepy. The Joker has really been a diverse character and probably one of the most popular DC characters (especially after The Dark Knight). But Scott Snyder is able to take the character to a brand new level of evil. Together with Greg Capullo's artwork, the Death of the Family makes an old character seem fresh. If you love a classic Batman versus Joker story, than this is the book for you. You might not find as deep a development in relationship or theme as in the Killing Joke, but you'll definitely find an entertaining story. Well and beyond worth the price of admission. It's probably a graphic novel you'll go back and read multiple times. Batman likes to be prepared for anything, but no amount of preparation can be useful against the Joker. The Joker is Batman's worst nightmare...after reading this, he might be yours as well.

For people who have bought the single issues, there isn't much added value. You got the typical covers and about 5 pages of artwork and script. Nothing to really warrant another purchase. However, I bought a hardcover copy to share among my friends and to read more conveniently than single issues. Ultimately, for the price, I have no complaints.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it., May 30, 2014
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No spoilers here.

I really liked the Court of the Owls Batman story arc, so when I heard that the Joker was next in line, I was more than excited.

Overall, the story is mostly well-told, the art is creepy and well-done, and the twists are riveting...but Death of the Family won't be considered a Joker "classic" in my opinion. It's still a good read, but left me wanting more. I guess my expectations were a little too high.

In my opinion, this isn't a Joker story that will be remembered and talked about for decades, ala The Killing Joke. It was still better than average Batman story for me, and I would recommend it for Batman or Joker fans. Just tailor your expectations.

The hardcover is really nice and I love the dust jacket cover with the removebale "mask".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, neat cover, worth the money!, November 6, 2013
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Very innovative cover (although the back not so much as the front). But just pray that it isn't shipped in a soft envelope like mine was. It is a lucky book in that it wasn't damaged or destroyed, but just be wary if condition is key.

Its a great storyline. My favorite storyline for Batman in a long time.

If you get one in really good shape, take care of it. The cover is so brittle, its easily going to get knicked and torn. So to those of you who collect that means $$$ down the line.

Ordering another copy to read, as the one I got is immaculate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars joker at his best, November 22, 2013
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There have been so many great stories about batman and the joker in the past, but this one truly takes the cake. This is joker unleashed and it's truly terrifying!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great psychological tale, November 12, 2013
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John A Rodriguez (Ft Myer, Virginia United States) - See all my reviews
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This twisted Joker could be one of my favorites yet. Snyder and Capulo are a master team. A must read
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Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52)
Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52) by Scott Snyder (Paperback - May 13, 2014)
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