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Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52) Hardcover – November 5, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 454 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Batman (The New 52) Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family: Interview with Scott Snyder by Charlie Chang

The Joker is arguably the most popular villain in comics and in entertainment. How do you go about tackling such an icon in not only the Joker?

Scott Snyder: For me personally, the only way to write these iconic characters when there’s 75 years of great stories that have already been written is to make these stories personal. Assume that if you make it personal, then that’s how you make it original. So I came up with the idea for this story when we were about to have our second kid and I just kept finding myself wishing that I could stop worrying about the first kid once in a while and wondering how I was going to do this again. I came to this realization that Batman has this family and he probably thinks that same thing once in a while like, I wish I could stop worrying about them. Then that led me to this idea that someone might ask him, “Well why don’t you just kill all of them? That would make it easy...” and that’s the Joker right there. I knew that was the Joker, I could hear it in my head. It was perfect, you hear that and you know he’s coming. Then it became a process of trying to develop a story of how to go deeper and deeper and darkly into that idea.

Just a few years ago, The Dark Knight film redefined Joker when a lot of people didn’t think that would have been possible. What’s different about this version?

Scott:I love the Heath Ledger Joker, I also love The Joker from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Killing Joke, but we tried to create our version that’s both funny and almost humorously apocalyptic in his own kind of way while at the same time giving this Joker his own look. In another book (Detective Comics, Vol. 1) his face was cut off and we picked that up because it hadn’t been dealt with and we turned it into something for our story where he belts on his own skin-face thing and that’s part of the theme of this story where he’s trying to say, “Let’s look beneath the skin of this relationship and see what you really look like beneath that mask, all of you, you fools.” So in a way, I think this is very different than anything you’ve ever seen, especially if you love the Joker, if you’re new to comics or new to the character at all, hopefully it’s something that gets your attention.

If you could put your favorite thing about this book, what would it be?

Scott: The thing that I love about it is how dark it is. I try to write the Joker with integrity and from the perspective that he genuinely believes that he’s doing Batman a service by getting him to kill his own family because he believes Batman loves his villains more than his heroes or his allies. Because ultimately what’s going to happen is each one of them is going to die or fall to some villain and he’ll end up alone with the villains that he keeps alive and doesn’t kill anyway. So why not just do it now? The twisted truth, brutality, and relentlessness of that conviction is what I love about this book the most. The Joker believes he’s peeling back the face of Batman to show a truth that’s there that Batman does not want to admit is beneath the cowl.

Some of the other writers writing the tie-ins to Death of the Family have touched on this but coming out of this book, what are you most excited to explore after this big huge epic?

Scott: Well for me, it was never really about what happens in continuity, it was never about the idea that the Bat family isn’t going to meet or work together anymore. That was a fun repercussion in the books but it’s the first part of a story within a story about the Joker that I plan to continue. Its part of the relationship I’m fascinated by and this is only one piece of it. So to me it’s really about this part, the Joker saying we love you and you love us so why don’t you admit it.

This book is so full of rich themes and emotional characters, what do you think is the core of this book and what is Death of the Family really all about?

Scott: This book really is a meditation on the dark and twisted nature of Batman’s relationship, both with the Joker and with his own family. How the Joker, as evil and horrifying as he is, sometimes can extrapolate from a kernel of truth, a horrible abomination of that truth that speaks to something that can terrify everybody. That to me is really what this book is about and I’m very proud of that.

Review

"This is a book you need to read. Whether you're a fan of comics or not. If you're a fan of good storytelling and can buy into the conceit that a man dressed as a bat can make a difference in the world, then there's no better book for you than this one."—Huffington Post

"One of the best Batman runs in the history of the character. The fact that two of the biggest names in the industry are handling the return of the Joker is just icing on the cake."—IGN
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Product Details

  • Series: Batman (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401242340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401242343
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (454 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This volume does an excellent job of sorting through what was a very messy event, Death of the Family. Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi delivered one of the most visceral and affecting chapters of the event with Damian and the Joker's heart to heart at the zoo. The scene is swimming with reds and blacks, and Gleason uses shadows to masterful effect. These issues lead perfectly into the conclusion to the event, which I personally felt was lacking, but won't hold against this volume, seeing as it is originally from a different series.

The two remaining issues are the annual and issue 17. They delve deeper into the psyche of our characters, and looks at what their complex family has become. It is a touching, if not dysfunctional, type of love these characters have for each other, and Tomasi couldn't have written it any better.

Nothing has changed from the last two volumes. Tomasi nails the tone of the series, and writes these characters better than anyone out there, while Gleason hits the visuals out of the park every time he puts pen to paper. Batman and Robin continues to be the masterfully written, flawlessly drawn jewel in the crown of DC's many bat series. There isn't really anything left to say other than you should absolutely own this book. An unquestionable buy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read some good Joker stories over the years, most notably 'The Killing Joke' one-shot by Alan Moore. This arc compares very favorably to that. After DC (and Marvel) rebooted most of their lines in 2011, Scott Snyder took over Batman. The first two volumes saw Batman battle a mysterious ancient cult for the control of Gotham.

This volume sees the return of the Joker. After an inexplicable absence of a year the Joker makes a dramatic return to a life of mayhem and chaos. He raids the GCPD to steal his face from an icebox and from there lures Batman into an elaborate trap by systematically and slowly reenacting his famous crimes from the past. Joker's tactics and Batman's response puts a severe strain on Batman's relationship with his extended 'family', hence the title.

Snyder's Batman series is dark, constrained and tense. He likes to put the Dark Knight in the most perilous situations to test his mettle and his morals. Capullo's art is a good complement to this style. He keeps the panels crowded and cluttered and induces a real sense of claustrophobia and fear. Snyder has written the Joker just right, and in some parts he is incredibly creepy. The extent and scope of his crimes (which provides an unwanted glimpse into his twisted psyche) is downright terrifying. The conclusion is sort of bittersweet and a bit ambiguous. Readers will be left to wonder if the Joker really succeeded in his goals or not.

Years from now we will look back at this arc as one of the more memorable Batman stories. This deserves to be in the pantheon of great comic book arcs.
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