Batman #17


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Batman #17


  • Words: Scott Snyder
  • Art: Greg Capullo
  • Inks: Jonathan Glapion
  • Colors: FCO Plascentia
  • Story Title: Death of the Family: The Punchline
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Feb 13, 2013

Snyder and Capullo’s “Death of the Family” ends with the kind of sadistic punchline that won’t soon be forgotten.

As Batman awakens from one nightmare into another, he finds himself seated at the head of a banquet table surrounded by his Bat-Family. But this feast of fools proves anything but festive, despite the Joker’s wry and wretched smile. Thus, the Dark Knight is forced to watch in horror as his arch-nemesis torments each dinner guest in an attempt to drive the Bat of the hour to finally lose his cool and fulfill the Joker’s dark promise –– that the Bat-Family will die at the hands of their mentor! But Batman has other plans up his gauntlet, and the only question is what will he do to the Joker if he makes it out of this diabolic (flying) mousetrap alive?!

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have concocted a conclusion that rivals in breadth and scope the last chapter of their “Court of Owls” saga, and that’s saying something about the originality of this latest story arc. Throughout “Death of the Family,” Snyder and Capullo have succeeded in elevating the Joker to new pinnacles of wickedness and repulsion, but in this final episode, the creative team has also managed to bring the Clown Prince of Crime back to his roots as a literal joker, which is reminiscent of the all-too-brief Mike W. Barr/Alan Davis Joker tale in Detective Comics #s 569 – 570. Here, though, the Joker plays the ultimate gag on Batman and his family, which is at once horrifying and relieving once we see that it is, in fact, a simple joke to end all jokes. And what a capstone it is on a Joker story worthy of inclusion in a new edition of The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told.

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