Sunday, January 27, 2013

Death of the Family

Nightwing 16 and Red Hood and the Outlaws 16
Okay, we get it. Joker is one nasty lunatic. Not that I needed convincing. And I'm sure the parts of the story in Batman and other Bat books I'm not reading are fascinating, but the parts in these two are wearing thin, as in there's not much here.

Nightwing has the most going on with Joker pretty much destroying the life Dick's set up for himself, namely destroying the circus and the circus folks. Meanwhile, over in RHATO (which apparently is how this book is often referred to, silly though it may be), Roy tries to play leader for the Teen Titans while Tim is missing because there's a need to stop and help the people turned into Joker's army before he, Kori, and the Teen Titans can go looking for Jason and Tim. And let's face it, the real interest, Joker-wise, here is what's happening to Jason and Tim, especially Jason whom Joker already killed once. Which makes this issue pretty much filler.

Except for one awesome Roy flashback. In an earlier ish (and I'm too lazy to go look it up), we learned via Roy's greatest memory that Killer Croc chose not to let Roy commit suicide by Killer Croc. In this flashback, we learn that Croc wasn't always a monster and in fact, the freaky killer has a soft spot somewhere where his heart once was and might still be, and he's the one who forced Roy into AA, or at least made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Completely bizarre, for sure, but awesome just the same. So for that, I'm glad I got the issue, but for the rest of it, meh.

Let's face it. Right now, Death of the Family doesn't seem to have lived up to its potential in at least these two books and maybe others I'm not reading, and it's the aftermath that holds the true promise now. So bring on the next issues, already, and lets get Jason back to his friends so we can see how that's going to play out. I'm not sure who Dick will have to lean on, but Jason's got Roy and Kori and that's fine by me.

I'm getting really tired of these major crossovers. How many places can Joker be at the same time, anyway? The overly involved, stretched-too-thin event stories are the one holdover from the old DC that I could do without.


  1. I've only been reading the Joker story in Batman and Batman and Robin and Batgirl...because that is about all I can stand of the Joker. Which is a shame rather, since the Joker IS a pretty great villain...except that he's been overused so much that I just groan when I see him coming.

    I want a Riddler story!

    1. Yes! I wonder what the Riddler of the New 52 is like! But he'd have to visit Nightwing for me to see him. ;)

      I agree that the Joker is overused. He's best when used sparingly.

  2. I've only (sparely until lately) followed the Death in the Family story, and even then only through the main arc in Batman.

    Frankly, I don't understand why this story requires 23 issues to be told, it stinks of padding. But that isn't my biggest quibble.

    My biggest complaint is the whole 'missing face' angle to the Joker. It serves no purpose in furthering the story (other than maybe some obtuse commentary about the Joker having no identity because he doesn't have a face? I don't know), and just seems to be there to be an exercise in the gross-out while seeming hokey.

    1. Yeah, aside from the filler factor, there's the gross-out factor. It looks, from the few issues I've read, that they're playing with cannibalism. At least, it seems like Joker wants to eat the Bat family. I'm looking forward to the end of this so maybe RHATO can go back to being a cool comic.