So this is probably the 4th collected crossover book I've read since I got back into comics, and it is just as boring as the rest of them. As much as I like the main story being fleshed out a little more, the way these books are collected makes it really hard to read. The main story is good on it's own, but if these stories were integrated into a couple chronological volumes it would be worth it. Not a fan of these "companion" books to the main crossover event story.
I have been reading comic books for many years. This one was so sick that I didn't even finish it. I made it up to the part where he shows that he has cut off the faces of all of Batman's friends (Red Robin, Red Hood, Nightwing, Robin, ...). Lost me at that point.
For the most part, this collected edition is as disturbing as it should be given that the Joker is the antagonist. It's interesting to see him translated through the hands of different writers and how they each envision him (though for the most part their pictures of the demented clown seem to be the same). Best batch of stories within this collection, or at least my favourite, were the ones with Batgirl, though Harley Quinn's reacquaintance with her long lost and crazy love gets an honorable mention as well.
This story line is not messing around and takes no prisoners. This is about as messed up as "The Killing Joke" and then some. It's been a year since the Joker vanished from Gotham City - after having the Dollmaker remove his face before hand - and now he's back with a vengeance. Wearing his removed face like a mask he seeks to destroy Batman's family - Robin, Red Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Alfred - and even other friends and allies like Catwoman whom he feels exist only to hold his nemesis back from being his true self. This "Death of the Family" story line was a cross issue event and this edition collects all the story lines from all the titles into one volume, which is great for anyone who missed an issue or who doesn't read every New 52 series.
The story is creepy, disturbing and the Joker is more insane than ever. The most harrowing addition is Barbara Gordon's Batgirl facing Joker for the first time since "The Killing Joke." Gut wrenching stuff. Red Hood's section is also stellar for much the same reasons. The finale though, with the family all together at what seems to be the end is what blows it all out of the water for me.
The Joker remains the most famous, and arguably the best, Batman villain for a good reason. That reason is not doubted here and I wonder what evil he'll bring next after this insanity.
One caveat here is that it would do a reader well to read the main Batman/Detective Comics plot arc to pick up on some earlier plot points that are referenced. I haven't read everything and I did just fine but fair warning.
GOOD story! not just good; but, GREAT story!!!! Oh and the graphics ain't bad either.
DoctorDeath thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 99
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