In Defense of "Death of the Family" (Warning: Spoilers)
Since the release of Batman #17 (officially or not), we as fans have been split on if Snyder did the character of the Joker justice. Up until the issue, fans were raving about Snyder's work, praising the storyline, yet the ending was (to some) flat. Batman's (seemingly) final battle with the Joker left some throwing their comics against the wall, but I'm not sure it's justified. In Batman #16, Joker himself said, "that's the whole thing with a joke. You have to play with their expectations." Synder GAVE US a heads up. we were teased with the epic storyline and left thinking that someONE in the Bat-family was going to die, but the storyline is named "death OF the family."
Comic Book fans, and more specifically, Batman fans, are split on if the ending of the Joker's rampage in "Death of the Family" was a cop-out, or if it indeed lived up to the hype with an ingenious and well-written plot twist. Here's my take on what went down in the story arc.
The family died in #17. Period. There were no hard feelings between the bats and robins, but no one felt up to the task of taking up their respective mantles again. Damian looks worn out in the bunker when "training." Tim is in bed, Barb is hanging out, and Jason is in a bar. Is Bruce mad at them? No. Should they be mad at him? Maybe. Batman 16 broke the 4th wall; Joker's line was meant for the readers, not Harvey. They played with our expectations, and I personally loved it. Even though nothing was solved (Joker is most-likely still out there, Arkham needs to be reset), it gave us a gut-wrenching story that played with our minds and hearts. No one knew what was going to be under that platter; the "faces" of the family members? Wow. Most of us expected Gordon or Alfred. The Joker played a joke on us all, and that should be the Joker we love. The psychopathic killer Joker is for the police to handle, the Joker who plays sick practical jokes that tug at our emotions will always be Batman's.
The fight in the cave was reminiscent of "The Dark Knight Returns," and if we wanted to read that and see Joker die, we could just go by the graphic novel or watch the movies. Wanna see a bat-family member die? Go buy "A Death in the Family." Snyder is a genius and gave us the best possible storyline for the buildup and it was not at all a letdown. The question is: what's with the fly? It can be found in each issue, and I can't wait to see what it signifies.
This was my first editorial so constructive criticism is appreciated, thanks for reading my take on "DotF."
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