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Enthusiast: Batmanon January 4, 2017
Throughout literature there has always been classic battles of good and evil. These battles have been fought by numerous figures. But some of the best battles occur between two foes who are the perfect match for each other. We see this in Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Moriarty, or Dracula facing Van Helsing. But no fiercer rivalry and struggle has ever been encapsulated in the 20th century in comics than that of the Joker and Batman. When the two fight it is the ultimate struggle of good and evil that, to me, transcends comics and leaves a lasting impact on literature. In the Death of the Family story arc, collected here in volume 3, Scott Snyder brings one of the best Joker stories ever. In Detective Comics #1, Batman faces the Joker and defeats him. However, the Clown Prince of Crime wanted to be caught so that he may gain an audience with the Dollmaker who proceeds to cut his face off which is what the Joker wanted. In issues 13-17, the Joker enacts his master plan and attacks Batman and the whole Bat-family. He believes that all of Batman’s allies and friends have made him soft and weak, the Joker wants things to return to the way they were many years ago, when it was just him and Batman. So, he retrieves his rotting face from the GCPD and begins his reign of terror on Gotham but specifically targets Batman and his allies. Out of all of Snyder’s work on Batman, this one is hands down my favorite. There is so much depth and meaning to what occurs and what the Joker says, and the story is almost a love letter in a sense to all the great Joker stories that have come before and the history of Batman and the Joker. Snyder’s writing and characterization is on point with so many beautiful and disturbing moments spread throughout. Snyder is known outside of Batman, Swamp Thing and his other DC work as the author of American Vampire and other horror novels. So, he brings an element of horror to this book. Which makes sense because the concept and creation of the Joker was inspired by a horror movie called The Man Who Laughs. The horror and disturbing elements of this story make it so enjoyable and the characterization of the Joker as this almost evil force of nature counterbalanced with Batman who is struggling desperately to stop him makes this book fantastic. Greg Capullo is always the best and he brings his best to the book, the detail and the environments that he brings to life is incredible and well as the character that he draws. The coloring as well contributes to the darkness and grittiness that is in this book. In several of the issues there is a flashback of sorts that is drawn by a different artist which are ok, but I’m not a big fan of another artist coming in for five or six pages and then the art style reverts to the original artist. I find those things to be very distracting. No Batman fan should be without this book. By far Snyder’s best work, in my opinion, on the series, and that is saying a lot about how great it is. The Joker and Batman will always continue to face one another, but this time, the Joker will leave a scar so deep that it will forever haunt the Bat-Family.
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on May 11, 2017
First off, in my opinion, the Batman title is the best of the New 52 to begin with. This volume is part of a fantastic crossover event that actually keeps each tie in very relevant (except the Catwoman tie in), where I found some of the Night of Owls tie ins to be forced. This is a bit of a different depiction of the Joker than I'm used to (he would fit in the Slasher genre comfortably) and I really like that. You definately want the tie ins when you read this.
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on December 4, 2013
Batman Death of the Family is the 3rd trade since the New 52 relaunch of the title. In this title Snyder continues what has been an excellent run to date. In the previous arc (Court of Owls), Snyder shook up one of the presumed foundations of the Batman universe: Bruce's absolute knowledge of Gotham. In this title he takes his shot at the "Bat Family." While Court of Owls was about introducing new villains, Death of the Family let's Snyder roll out Batman's rogue's gallery and try his hand at the most iconic of them all: The Joker. Happily, he is up to the task. Snyder's Joker takes an excellent base of psychopathic insanity and mixes it with devious cunning and a peculiar intimacy with Batman. It's hard to talk about the story at length without spoilers, but the heart of this book is the relationship between Batman and The Joker, and the way that each man views this relationship might prove surprising to some. Capullo continues a profitable partnership with Snyder on this book, and his art really shines with his Joker. The jagged lines of the Joker's "mask" set-up a nice juxtaposition with the clean symmetry of Batman's cowl. The coloring also shows some solid range, which is nice in a Batman book, which can sometimes dip too firmly into "everything is dark" territory.

Onto the physical book itself. This is where my complaints are (I'd take a 1/2 star off if possible). The dust jacket is a clear piece which overlays cover. The cover features The Joker's skinned face and the jacket has his face strapped on. The idea is cool, but the execution isn't quite there. Unfortunately, the plastic is perforated as opposed to creased so the top and bottom are prone to tears. Also worth noting is that those collectors who love an orderly shelf might be annoyed that the spine is white unlike the previous Court if Owls (and most other New 52) books that have black spines. The DC logo has changed again as well. That said, this is an exceedingly minor quibble, and all but the most optimistic fans have long since given up hope that DC will put out ongoing books with consistent spines.
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on April 25, 2015
In one short sentence to paraphrase this: Batman: Death of the Family is an amazing book that everyone should read! Batman's New 52 comic series truly has been an amazing read and having read every trade paperback, it only gets better. The basics of the story is that The Joker returns to Gotham after a year or so after his last confrontation with The Dark Knight. After he cuts off his own face in Detective Comics (You don't need to read that to read this) The Joker returns and tries to prove to Batman that he is weaker and the Bat-Family is bringing him down. I'm not going to put anymore in because it's truly an amazing read and I don't want to spoil anything. Batman Vol.3 is accompanied by Greg Capullo's amazing art and Scott Snyder's masterful story telling. Snyder writes a gripping book that you won't want to put down. I read this non stop when I got it in the mail. While Capullo brings amazing art that makes every panel a work of art. One of the many things I have to praise about this book is that it's strong on it's own, its not a huge tie story in series where you need to get multiple series. Now there are other series that have tie ins but they are more of personal takes with the joker than Batman stories. I love how the Bat-Family is included in this, Being a huge fan of Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood it was nice to see them included without needing to buy other volumes. Batman's New 52 run is always praised but not seen as apart of the masterpieces of the Dark Knight Returns (Loved that) and The Killing Joke. Some say that Joker gets boring after a while and is always used, but this reinvents the character in new ways where he's the same joker you know but then a different one you learning about at the same time. Now there are little after stories in each issue that are nice. You may feel at first you want to skip them to get onto Snyder and Capullo's main story but they are great stories about how Joker gets ready for the whole book. On the delivery side of things, it came fast and was in great condition.

Batman Vol. 3 is a Masterpiece of storytelling that brings The Joker and Batman to the next level while submersing you more into Snyder and Capullo's world of Batman. This is a book that anyone who calls themselves a comic book fan should pick up. This book will definitely make you want more Snyder and Capullo Batman which on a side note I would also recommend Zero Year.
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on October 19, 2016
Great book however it did not come with the special cover. I received one that did not have the acetate dust jacket with the joker's face peeled back.
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on July 17, 2014
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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on March 23, 2016
This book was good but not amazing.
It was really weird and dark.
Which was good at times, and not at others.

Sometimes it felt like it was pointless to read if you already know the Joker.
Other times it felt like it was being weird and dark just because...

Not a bad book though. I like the portrayal of Barman...even though this is more of a Joker book than a Batman one.
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on December 26, 2013
I read The Killing Joke again, after reading Death of the Family for the first time. I think Scott Snyder got it about as right as can be. He builds off of Joker mythos from comics history as well as Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger's recent film incarnation. Snyder creates a Joker that is terrifying, unpredictable, and gruesomely violent. Still, the Joker hasn't forgotten his comedic timing. He's cool, he's slick, he's got style. He's an extremely difficult character to pull off. If you don't believe me, then read most all of DC's other Joker work. And then read Death of the Family. This is very good stuff. Its perfect for fans of Batman and Joker, and the whole Bat-Family is here too, and many of the classic Batman villains as well. There is so much to love about this book for any comics-fan. I would recommend this, just based on the extraordinary writing, to non-comics readers as well.

And the art is absolutely jaw-dropping. I spent years (and years) hoping that Greg Capullo would end up doing something readable after his exquisite, long run on Spawn. This is quite the dream come true for me, now that Capullo is responsible for visually defining my two favorite super heroes. His framing and pacing choices make the script come to life in ways that would be quite impossible in the form of a novel. Snyder's Batman demands huge and intricate visuals, and Capullo delivers in spades.

In short, everything you love about Batman is here. Including Joker. Get the hardback edition while its still in print, because you can literally take Joker's face off with the book jacket. Then you can put it over your own face and scare people. I'm serious.
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on January 20, 2014
Let's face it - since New 52 and The Joker's disappearance after Detective Comics we all wanted to know what was up. Where is he? What is he up to? He has been planning, planning to show Batman something. According to Snyder, to show Batman that his "family" is holding him back and that his real family is Joker and the rogues. Snyder delivers as usual, how does he do this? Firs the Court of Owls and now Joker's return! Let's not forget Capullo's art. I love how Joker's face-er mask is just decaying over time. The idea of attacking the family is very interesting, why hasn't it been done before. It makes me want to get all the other trades to find out what happens to the other family members. The ending is well not what I expected. Is that to say it's bad. It may not seem the conclusion is what Joker initially planned but at the same time I think it is. I don't want to spoil the ending, but think long and hard about the title so you don't build up any high hopes. Admittingly New 52 Joker is slightly more Ledger than Hamill, which up to the reader to decide if you like that more or not. If you are a Joker fan irregardless, definitely buy this!
Also I don't buy hardcovers, I prefer my TPB's they feel more like a comic book and are cheaper but this is well worth it. The wrap around cover that reveals Joker's skinless face is awesome. Who knows, this maybe a collector's item one day.
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on February 15, 2016
This is one of my favorite writers of Batman and Illustrators of the Dark Knight as well. What's not to like about Capullo's downright intensity in imagining the Dark Knight crushing those around him that get in his way?

Capullo next to Snyder is his illustator are just almost too much to handle. Pair that with the hands off approach of DC to allow Snyder to take these stories, whether they be The Court of Owls or the most mentally unstable version of Joker you will likely ever see, you will NEVER be bored of these stories. In fact I have read through this arc a second time and have dedicated to myself that as long as Snyder and Capullo continue working on The Dark Knight together I'll just have to stick with them and cheer them on as I study every panel and word they write and illustrate. Enjoy. It's a blast
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