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Book Title: Batman: La muerte de la familia|
The author of the book: Scott Snyder
Edition: ECC Ediciones
Date of issue: September 30th 2015
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 974 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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Disappointing joke… on us, the readers.
This collected edition features #13-17 from the comic book “Batman”, along with backup related stories.
Writers: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Illustrators: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion & Jock
WILL THE BATMAN’S ARCH-VILLAIN PLEASE STAND UP?
Maybe it can be shocking to some people to know that The Joker wasn’t always the most popular villain in DC Comics. In fact, The Joker had several years without appearing in Batman & Detective Comics until the good ol’ Batman 66’ TV Series came up. People without knowledge of history can talk trash about the campy mood of the TV series, even DC Comics tried to tell that that TV series ruined Batman for many years…
…what some people don’t know is that precisely that campy TV series saved Batman & Detective Comics from being cancelled. In the 60’s, those Bat-Titles were selling so bad that DC Comics seriously thought of cancelling them. However, the hype caused by that campy TV series brought readers again to the comics saving them from disappearing. Even the allegation from DC Comics that the TV series due its campy mood was ruining the character is illogical since precisely DC Comics was using Batman in also campy stories like “The Batman of Planet X” or “The Rainbow Batman” and craps similar to those. So, if the TV series is any guilty of anything is just of translating correctly from the comic books to television what Batman comic books were doing at that moment, even some TV episodes were adaptations of some stories taken from the comic books. Also thanks to the 66´ TV series was created Batgirl Barbara Gordon as a project done in collaboration by the production’s team of the TV series and DC Comics’ staff.
At the beginning of the TV series was thought that The Riddler would be the main arch-villain, since obviously he was the closer thing to an intellectual match for Batman, and because of that, The Riddler was the first villain to be used on the pilot episode. But during the first season, the charismatic performance by Burgess Meredith as The Penguin made him so popular that he was the “unnamed leader” of the four villains in the motion picture produced in the middle of first and second season (the goons were of his personal gang and he was the owner of the submarine).
In any case, it’s clear that the motion picture was the key vehicle to elevate The Penguin, The Riddler, The Catwoman and The Joker as the four main villains of Batman in the minds of general audience (just think that in the Burton’s era, they were the first four villains to be portraited. Recently, at the beginning of Gotham’s second season you have those four villains (sort of) again, all present for a time, in the cast).
But in the 60’s, The Joker was still far from being the most popular villain (just think that in the motion picture, he barely was let to carry the tea to the commodore, even the Riddler was able to fire ICBMs) but thanks to the brilliant performance of Cesar Romero, The Joker was gaining more and more appearances in the TV series, allowing to set the terrain for the idea in the 70s, by Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil, to bring back The Joker to the comics in a big way.
And certainly he became so popular in the 70s that he got even his own comic book series, with a brief publication life, but certainly the first villain to get his own comic book title.
However, the 70s also introduced new villains like Ra’s al Ghul that complicated to The Joker to get the number one slot as most popular (and deadlier) villain in DC Comics.
WHEN THE JOKER USED TO BE BAD IN A GOOD WAY
And then, the 1989’s Batman movie came up, but it’s clear (at least to me now) that Warner and DC Comics needed to establish The Joker as the Big Bad Criminal to justify why he would be the “special guest villain” in the film, so…
…The Killing Joke and A Death in the Family were published.
BANG! CLANK!! KAPOW!!!
Just think, that those two key stories, written by masters such as Alan Moore and Jim Starling, focused on The Joker, were published between 1988 and earlies 1989, just in time to rise up The Joker, before the premiere in June 1989, of Burton’s Batman film, getting his undisputable spot as the most popular villain not only of Batman but the entire DC Comics, the Clown Prince of Crime was ruling, totally justifying why he was the selected main villain for the blockbuster movie.
The Joker then was the deadlier villain of DC Comics, not even Deathstroke, the Terminator, was able to kill and/or crippling any major DC character as The Joker was able to do in those two key storylines.
AND THEN THEY JUST RUINED IT
The Joker was the without a question the biggest villain in DC Comics due his cruel acts against major DC characters.
…for some unexplicable reason, they just “undone” (thanks to those never-ending rebooting universes events) the biggest triumphs of The Joker.
Dead people were alive once more. Paralytic ones were walking again.
That works in The New Testament, but not with The Joker.
It was like: “Hey! We have the most popular comic books’ villain, but we will take back the biggest bad things that he did, that made him to gain that title.” Well, to me, it was just a VERY DUMB move.
He is a villain. He is a crazy psychopath. He is supposed to do nasty things to relevant characters leaving permanent damage.
And sadly, you won’t get that in this volume.
GOOD IDEA, PUSILLANIMOUS EXPLOIT
Seriously, after 25 years, the best “original” title for the storyline that they can came up was Death of the Family? I can’t argue that due the plot in this particular storyline was a valid title, but hey folks! We had already a memorable storyline called A Death in the Family, so, sorry folks! That title or any variation of the words are “a ship that already sailed”, please employ your neurons and came up with a really original title.
Of course, taking in account that this “original title”, Death of the Family, didn’t “live up” (pun intended) to its raw meaning, I guess that it doesn’t really matter what title would be selected to the spineless storyarc.
A poor thing was that concept of cutting off the face of The Joker and now he needs to attach it to his head with belts. It’s an unnecesary theft from the movie character “Leatherface” (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and even you may think about “Dr. Hannibal Lecter” due certain scene in Silence of the Lambs, but you don’t need all that! HE IS THE JOKER!!! He doesn’t need to steal the look of another characters to remain cool and scary.
Maybe one of the saddest things about this storyline is that they indeed have a good idea. The Joker is worried about The Batman that he became “too soft”, “too slow”, due that now he has a “family” (Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood) to rely on. The Joker thinks that Batman needs to be again the lonely crusader of his dark origins where he hadn’t anybody to help him. So, the “family” has to go. Not even good ol’ Alfred is safe. A valid point. A good idea to develop.
However, it seems that Scott Snyder hasn’t the balls that Alan Moore or Jim Starlin have. And don’t take me wrong, Scott Snyder is a brilliant writer with good ideas, superb narrative style, but if you are going to use The Joker, the gloves have to go, morals have to go, there must be consequences, there must be scars, there must be blood, and not any blood, but major relevant blood. If you aren’t up to the challenge to use The Joker as he needs to be used, please go and choose another villain from that vast rogue gallery.
Because you are teased along the whole narrative of all those nasty bloody things that The Joker could do, but noooooooo, they haven’t the balls to walk the whole journey to its most unholy endings.
The storyline implies that The Joker impacted at some level to the characters, that things change, that the Bat-Team’s chemistry was severed, but honestly I think that that’s a very weak attempt to fool readers about it. Since nothing about The Joker can be felt as weak, he is a smashing blow in your head, he is a afflictive shot in your spine, he is a permanent painful reminder in your body or soul, HE IS THE JOKER.
In the worst case scenario, at least, don’t choose the wrong title to a storyline that doesn’t match the most basic expectations.
BUT NOT ALL IS WRONG HERE
To be fair, the story pointed out some very interesting angles.
While Batman vainly tries to explain things to his team, they just don’t believe him, but any single tiny thing that Joker says is believed beyond question. OK, Bruce Wayne isn’t entirely mentally sane (he likes to dress as a bat to beat up to pulp criminals at night) but you can trust that he is enough in control of his mind to believe his explanations about certain situation, but his must trusted allies just don’t believe him and they instead believe in the words of a certified loony case.
Another interesting situation is that it’s clear that Batman is always at edge when it’s about The Joker. Batman doesn’t want to involve his team (or even Commisioner Gordon) in his personal battle against The Joker. Because, everybody knows that anything is possible with The Joker. And I think that a brilliant point that you can find if you can read between the lines, it’s that in certain level, Batman needs to believe that The Joker isn’t just a man, because if The Joker resulted just a man at the end…
…then Batman is just a man too.
And Gotham City can’t be saved by just a man. It’s an impossible task for just a man.
Batman needs think of himself as more than just a man. Therefore, in certain twisted way, The Joker, his most lethal nemesis, also needs to be more than a man. Because if The Joker isn’t, then why is Batman’s most dangerous menace?
Other topic developed here and an eternal question to many fans is: “Why Batman just doesn’t kill The Joker?” Because, certainly no one is safe while The Joker is still alive. I think that it’s all about an escalation thing. I mean, first was cops vs mobsters, then Batman got in, and mobsters escalated to super-villains, introducing The Joker to the scenario. If Batman removes The Joker from the equation, it’s only natural to think that a new escalation will happen, something deadlier than The Joker will take his position. So, again, in a twisted way, Batman needs The Joker alive to avoid the menace of having to deal with something even more dangerous than The Joker.
Welcome to madness. Welcome to Gotham City.
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Read information about the authorScott Snyder is the Eisner and Harvey Award winning writer on DC Comics Batman, Swamp Thing, and his original series for Vertigo, American Vampire. He is also the author of the short story collection, Voodoo Heart, published by the Dial Press in 2006. The paperback version was published in the summer of 2007.
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