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Batman: A Death in the Family Paperback – November 22, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
This depicts the death of Jason Todd at the hands of the joker and Batman's emotional collapse afterwards. A lot of people really didn't like Jason Todd as Robin-which kinda blows my mind in a sense, yet I can understand how his attitude as 'Robin' puts people off. He jumps the gun and runs almost on pure emotion most of the time.
This graphic novel gives the reader a little bit of insight on Jason's attitude in my opinion. (Without spoiling anything.) We (the reader) have to remember that Jason is just a kid who's confused and just wants answers-which this graphic novel really sheds light on.
(Sorta spoiler in a sense.)
In my opinion, Jason's death was an unconditional sacrifice and this graphic novel helped me see that-which gave me more respect for the lad.
I feel like people see Robin less as an adolescent and more as Batman's...almost sort of crutch; They want him to have the same sense of justice as Batman, they want him to look up to Bruce as a mentor and they want his attitude to be optimistic.
Honestly, I enjoyed Jason Todd as a Robin and I enjoy his presence in the Dc Universe as a character even more. I felt his conflicting views with Batman really sheds light on the reader that Robin is just a kid who's been thrown into a confusing and dark world. Seeing Robin with a totally different attitude than his predecessor (Grayson is awesome, don't get me wrong.) is awesome for those reasons.
Overall without more rambling-this comic is awesome. I felt Tim Drake was a bit too pushy and too 'on the ball,' but I get it and I still enjoyed his introduction.
Keep in mind that this graphic novel is a bit older, so don't expect anything super flashy and overly dramatic like the newer Batman stuff. As far as story telling though, it's done incredibly well for its time.
I would definitely recommend this graphic novel.
If you want more Jason Todd as Robin stories, pick up:
Batman the Cult.
So, with all that gushing, what are some of the failings of this work? As with Death of Superman, it suffers from comparison to certain elements of current comics. The dialogue, for example, is less mature and more wooden. What is important to remember about this comic, however, is that it was geared towards younger readers. Despite the current trend, comics have been primarily children's literature. It cannot be faulted too much for being a product of a different era.
The art is respectable, unlike certain late 80s and 90s art, but again looks less impressive when compared to some of today's talent. There is less detail, fewer colors, and a much more 'cartoonish' look. But Batman still captures the look of a brooding hero, and the talent is consistent throughout the entire collection.
As already stated, this book is worth the buy. It's interesting, gripping, and as every bit enjoyable as it is meant to be.
Its well known that Jim Starlin had an immense hatred for the entire concept of Robin and had been lobbying for his death since he began his run on Batman. As a result, he intentionally wrote the character in an unappealing way. And you see that in A Death in the Family, there are many instances in just the first half of the story alone where all I could think about was the lost opportunities in doing some character development for Jason. But that and having him die isn't even the worst part of the story. The second half of A Death in the Family deals with the Joker becoming the Ambassador to Iran. It felt like I was reading an entirely different book. The concept isn't bad and sounds like an interesting plot for a Bronze Age type story but given that they just killed off Robin it was a weird gear change. I am also not a fan of the dialogue, it just felt really dated and sometimes Batman sounded like he was a hip-cat. The only good things I can say about this story is that its definitely a quick read and that if not for this watershed moment, I would never have gotten my favorite character Tim Drake and for all we know we never would have gotten the reuniting of the Bat-family during Knightfall a few years later.
As for the second story in this book, its much better. While the aim of the first story was to basically destroy the concept of Robin, Marv Wolfman is the exact polar opposite of Starlin. A Lonely Place of Dying seeks to repair the concept and while other writers such as Chuck Dixon will take it to an even higher level by making Robin a solo hero in his own right, Wolfman did a good job given what a debacle the whole Jason Todd thing had become. Honestly, my biggest criticisms of the story is that I felt it could have been a bit longer to really show how Batman needs Robin. I mean Tim meets Bruce in the last 25 pages and so it feels rather rushed. I also feel like the dialogue was a little too heavy, its definitely a longer read compared to the other story. Also the Joker angle kind of annoyed me a bit as well. But overall its a good story and I am glad that DC paired it with A Death in the Family, although I think Robin-The Joker's Wild would have also made a great story to go along with A Death in the Family as it sort of brings the entire Robin saga full circle when Tim Drake goes up against the Joker by himself (to date this story can only be bought in the out of print book, Robin: Tragedy and Triumph). Regardless, this book is worth getting at least for the second story.