Batman, Volume III; Death of the Family
Written by Scott Snyder
Additional script by James Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and Jock
Colors by Fco Plascencia and Dave Baron
Letters by Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt, Sal Cipriano and Taylor Esposito
Cover by Greg Capullo and Fco Plascencia
Volume three of DC's New 52 core and bestselling title, Batman, proves to any doubters that this is not your father's Batman. No more Adam West in tight nylons running around, smacking the Joker and calling him a fiend. Scott Snyder's characters are a little bit closer to reality than that.
In this collection of Batman, issues 13-17, the Joker has returned to the spotlight to again torment the Caped Crusader, along with Police Commissioner James Gordon, Mayor Hady and all of Gotham City. His goal this time around; dispose of the "family" that has made the Batman weak. Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin and Red Hood all must die in order for the Batman to be the man he once was.
Snyder is a masterful storyteller. The events of his horrific tales often leave readers shuddering, gasping for breath and craving more. Within the first chapter of Death of the Family, 19 police officers and multiple citizens have perished at the hands of the Joker. You didn't see Cesar Romero doing that.
As if the bloodshed and violence wasn't enough for the new age comics fan, Batman fans will recall that the Joker had his face severed by the Dollmaker in Detective Comics #1. In the first chapter of this series, the madman infiltrates the GCPD to recover his face from the evidence locker. He then goes through the series with his face re-attached via pins and a belt around his head. This particular superhero comic has officially entered the realm of horror. That's what Mr. Snyder does.
I have often given artist Greg Capullo a bad rap in my former reviews. I am a fan of sharp, detailed graphic art, and his pencils did not appeal to me. But Mr. Capullo has certainly grown on me. I now realize that his dark, abstract style compliments Mr. Snyder's dark stories. I see now why he drawing Batman and not Superman.
For any reader or fan who has yet to read this series, but has enjoyed either Snyder's prior works and/or great Batman stories, add this to your collection today.