John Layman, Jason Fabok, Andy Clarke
Death of the Family Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
This is just another great issue continuing a complex and very brave storyline, featuring two of Batman’s least popular characters, Clayface and Poison Ivy. Complex because they are actually done correctly, with style and humanity. And brave because, well, they’re usually just written as monsters or one dimensional. But we get to see them under a new lens, penned by a writer who seems to actually care, which in turn, makes the reader care.
There’s certainly lots going on in this storyline already, and even though a lot of people might be picking it up because of the Joker face on the cover, they won’t be confused or disappointed. It really feels like an old school 1990s comic. In a good way. Meaning that it does what comics are supposed to do: Tell a bunch of stories that seem unrelated at first and then tie into something bigger and much more epic. I would argue that this type of storytelling had become a thing of the past in recent years, but this is the way that superhero comics are meant to be. Complex. Epic. And full of enough twists, turns, and the occasional touch of relatability to make it all worth it to even the most jaded readers or fans.
My one gripe is a minor issue for me, but might leave a sour taste in first time Detective Comics readers. There simply was not enough Joker to make this a full-blown actual crossover. I would consider this more of a prologue. It also has what some might see as sort of an unnecessary backup story. But those complaints are easily ignored. After all, the backup tale was well-crafted and had beautiful art so no one really will probably care that they got charged an extra buck for a story that didn’t really accomplish anything. And even though the Joker is only hinted at, referenced a few times, and shown but twice, he is terrifying and menacing and it’s always good fun to see just how much he scares the residents of Gotham City. Even the villains. I can’t wait for the next issue!
My Rating: 4/5