Batman 3: Death of the Family

batman volume 3 death of the family cover joker
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Great art and solid storytelling

A bit of letdown for all the build up

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batman (Volume 2)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Scott Snyder/James Tynion IV

Artist:  Greg Capullo/Jonathan Glapion/Jock

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2013


Batman (2) #15

Reprints Batman (2) #13-17 (December 2012-April 2013).  Batman’s greatest enemy has returned with a vengeance.  The Joker is back and reclaimed his sever face.  His plans have always been twisted but now the Joker might just know Batman’s true identity as he kidnaps Alfred and targets all of Batman’s “family”.  Allying himself with some of the biggest criminal bosses in Gotham, the Joker is taking on Batman and planning to take him down!

Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, Batman Volume 3:  Death of the Family features art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and Jock.  Following Batman Volume 2:  The City of Owls, Batman 3:  Death of the Family was New 52 multi-series crossover event that was also had issues collected in The Joker:  The Death of the Family.

When the New 52 was released, Batman and the books associated with him were retooled.  One noticeably missing piece was the Joker.  The character’s face had been cut off and then the character disappeared.  For a year, all the Bat-titles hinted the Joker’s return and Death of the Family was the culmination of this storyline.


Batman (2) #17

With many “big events” stories, the writers are often faced with the task of pulling off a series that lives up to the hype…and Snyder comes very close to succeeding.  The comic puts the Joker to his darkest and deepest roots with a homicidal (and scary) Joker with a stapled on face.  This Joker is no-holds-bars and deadly.

With this in mind, I was hoping for a death or even two.  In that sense, Batman 3:  Death of the Family doesn’t pay off.  There is a ton a build-up and no shocking deaths (much like Batman:  R.I.P.).  In fact, the series comes out ok…and then Robin is killed the next month.  It doesn’t quite make sense, and I feel it was rather out of Snyder’s hands, but I wish that Robin’s death could have been in the “Death of the Family” storyline.  It would have solidified the Joker’s deadly methods, echoed the past (Jason Todd’s death), and would have been a complete shocker.  It just didn’t pan out that way.

I did enjoy this title (like many of New 52 titles), but this isn’t my favorite part of the series.  I liked the return to the psychotic Joker, but it just makes it harder for him to be used the next time to top it.  Following Batman 3:  Death of the Family, Batman 4:  Zero Year—Secret City skips Batman (2) #18-20 (which is included in Batman 6:  Graveyard Shift).

Related Links:

Batman 1:  The Court of Owls

Batman 2:  The City of Owls

Batman 4:  Zero Year—Secret City

Batman 5:  Zero Year—Dark City

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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