BATMAN #17 Review & SPOILER Discussion
The final chapter in Scott Snyder's superb "Death Of The Family" arc hit shelves yesterday, so we'll assume most of you have read it by now. But if you haven't, WARNING, every major plot point will be discussed in detail after the jump..
So, Batman won!..but no, The Joker won, right? Yesterday one of the finest comic book story-lines in quite some time came to its shocking conclusion. Okay, you might say the biggest shock (the page below) turned out to be nothing more than a bluff from The Joker, but I'm not necessarily talking about what happened around that table, I'm talking about the possibly irreparable damage done to Bruce Wayne's "family", and the revelations about Batman's twisted relationship with The Joker.
Yes, Mr J certainly puts his arch nemesis through the ringer, but as mentioned above, it transpires that the villain didn't actually remove the faces of Batman's young pals. This seems to have been the source of most of the backlash against the issue. After all, why wouldn't he? His plan was to burn them all alive anyway, why waste time with false faces when we all know he's perfectly capable of removing the real ones? I see where people are coming from, and at the time I was also giving the comic the side-eye, but when I read the rest I came away with a slightly different viewpoint. It really doesn't matter that he didn't mutilate them, it only matters that he could have..besides, we can't have the youngsters fighting crime in Gotham without Chevy Chases now can we?
All that aside though, first time I read it I was disappointed. I guess it's inevitable after such a brilliant buildup that fans will expect a bigger, more definitive payoff. The Joker fell, but we know he's not dead. The fact that we know he'll return really doesn't make that much difference, I mean he'd find a way back even if Snyder had had him decapitated! Still though, it felt a bit anticlimactic. Bruce Wayne and his family return home with no permanent physical damage done and get on with their lives. But then you think back to what these two mortal enemies said to each other on the edge of the waterfall, and as you scan those last few sinister panels, it all becomes so clear that The Joker did exactly what he set out to do. Maybe not the ending I was expecting, but in some ways it was even more devastating than the things I had conjured in my mind. I suggest 2 reads, and then even a third, maybe after going back and reading the other issues - because I went from "meh" to feeling it might be the best ending we could have possibly gotten.
What did you guys think? Sound off in the usual place.
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