In life, there are some four-letter words that change everything. In the latest installment of ‘Death in the Family’ within the pages of ‘Batman’, writer Scott Snyder introduces probably the absolute last four-letter word that you’d think of when it comes to the Joker. Now, to tell you what the word is would spoil the final page of the book, but if you’re anything like me, your jaw will be dropped when you read it and the only word you could manage to utter will be, “WHAT?!”
This issue picks up immediately after the events of issue #14 where The Joker and Batman are facing off at the reservoir. But prior to that, in addition to one of the most frightening opening pages I’ve ever seen in all my years of reading comics, we get into Bruce Wayne’s head, which is something the Clown Prince of Crime is trying to accomplish as well while the World’s Greatest Detective tries to unravel the Joker’s plan and what’s making him so different this time.
Though I usually have nothing but good things to say about these books, there’s somewhat of a snafu in this issue. This issue was fairly exposition heavy, however, I didn’t really mind too much because Snyder managed to keep it interesting and didn’t let it drag. When some writers get lazy, scenes will just tell you what you need to know without really trying to keep the reader interested. They’ll just put out there because they have to. But not Scott Snyder. The scene in which the exposition was revealed was a pretty good scene featuring all the sidekicks. Having all their differing personalities there made the exposition more bearable and even interesting. Like they say, a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.
Despite all the background information, issue #15 was still just as good as the rest of the books in this arc. As the story progresses, we’re getting deeper and deeper into Batman’s psyche. He’s not quite stumped, but he definitely hasn’t figured it out yet, despite being a few steps ahead of the readers. And now that the Riddler has been brought into the mix via the backup story at the end, we’ll definitely be thinking a lot more right there with the Dark Knight.
I can’t even begin to imagine where things are going from here. I’m so thrilled to pick this book up every month because it’s full of surprises thanks to Snyder and Capullo. Like I said before, I sense that this whole story will be one of the greatest Joker stories ever told.
Written by Scott Snyder
Backup Written by Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Backup Art by Jock & Dave Baron
Cover by Greg Capullo & FCO Plascencia