Batman: Volume 3: Death Of The Family [The New 52] by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion (graphic novel review).

‘Batman: Volume 3: Death of the Family’ covers Batman 13–17 and the return of the Joker. Indeed, ‘Batman: Volume 3: Death of the Family’ primarily focuses on the Joker’s past in Gotham City, during which the dollmaker surgically removed his face. Now he’s back, and after claiming his face, using it as a mask, and killing police officers around Commissioner Gordon, he’s after his real target, the Batman family. Along the way, he needs a butler and kidnaps Alfred Pennyworth, not knowing the connection, as he wants to organise a party.

That sums up the plot, but the reality is far more brutal and far from amusing, let alone entertaining. His drug left his victims with a deathly grin, which now leaves them stricken as well. Batman has to alert all five of his crew members, Nightwing, Robin, Damon, Batgirl, and even the Red Hood, as they are all on the Joker’s list.

Occasionally, the story does jump around, but with little explanation other than filling in the gaps yourself. Even so, the Penguin, Riddler, and Two-Face bow respect to the Joker. I’m more amazed that the Joker survived with no face for a year. Being crazy doesn’t prevent infections and all manner of other problems, and I’m still not sure what happened to Harley Quinn. Much of the story is spoiler-free and only hinted at here.

Bruce Wayne really does look too young in many respects, especially as he has a young son, which has to place him in his mid-30s. Regardless of his Bruce Wayne demeanor, experience has to age him.

Given how many deaths the Joker has caused this time, it really does raise questions about ensuring he never escapes Arkham Asylum if caught.

GF Willmetts

April 2024

(pub: DC Comics, 2013. page graphic novel softcover. Price: varies. ISBN: 978-1-4012-4602-0)

check out website: www.dccomic.com


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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