Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Death of the Family Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Holy crap. Hands down, this is the best Batman family book (other than the main one, of course). The writer/artist team of Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason is amazing month in and month out. This book never once has disappointed me. And this issue, featuring the return of the Joker (finally), is no exception. These two creators are at the top of their respective games and they prove it once again with this deeply disturbing yet equally entertaining crossover tie-in.
Damian Wayne, the newest Robin, has been grounded in every sense of the word. His dad is off doing Batman stuff so he gets tired of waiting and, though he respects his father’s wishes (or so he says), he’s going to do some detective work of his own. So he manages to track the Joker down to the Gotham Zoo where he is immediately trapped by the demon clown, tied up upside down, and then temporarily paralyzed, which seems to be the Joker’s new shtick as of late.
Which leads to one of, if not the most terrifying, interpretations of the character I have ever seen in any medium, especially comics. His face is attached, sort of, but it’s upside down. Yep. That’s right. Just so he can make a “turning a frown upside-down” joke. Now that’s devotion! So basically we’re left at the end of the book with Joker dumping a pile of bugs and maggots and other gross little creatures that robins are famous for eating and then telling him that he knows his greatest fear, which isn’t breaking Batman’s one rule of no killing, because he learned first-hand last time they met that Damian is in fact his mother’s daughter in that regard (duh, she’s a villain!). No, Damian Wayne’s worst fear is having to kill his father, the one man he respects, the one man he cares about, and the one man who is better than his mother. Which leaves us with a somewhat ambiguous ending where a Jokerized Batman menacingly towers over the bruised and now terrified Robin. Needless to say, I absolutely cannot wait to see how this plays out. Why must we wait a month!? In the meantime, go out and buy this book right now!