Comic Book Review – Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52 – 2014)

batman death of family

I’ve read some good Joker stories over the years, most notably ‘The Killing Joke’ one-shot by Alan Moore. This arc compares very favorably to that. After DC (and Marvel) rebooted most of their lines in 2011, Scott Snyder took over Batman. The first two volumes saw Batman battle a mysterious ancient cult for the control of Gotham.

This volume sees the return of the Joker. After an inexplicable absence of a year the Joker makes a dramatic return to a life of mayhem and chaos. He raids the GCPD to steal his face from an icebox and from there lures Batman into an elaborate trap by systematically and slowly reenacting his famous crimes from the past. Joker’s tactics and Batman’s response puts a severe strain on Batman’s relationship with his extended ‘family’, hence the title.

Snyder’s Batman series is dark, constrained and tense. He likes to put the Dark Knight in the most perilous situations to test his mettle and his morals. Capullo’s art is a good complement to this style. He keeps the panels crowded and cluttered and induces a real sense of claustrophobia and fear. Snyder has written the Joker just right, and in some parts he is incredibly creepy. The extent and scope of his crimes (which provides an unwanted glimpse into his twisted psyche) is downright terrifying. The conclusion is sort of bittersweet and a bit ambiguous. Readers will be left to wonder if the Joker really succeeded in his goals or not.

Years from now we will look back at this arc as one of the more memorable Batman stories. This deserves to be in the pantheon of great comic book arcs.

 

5 out of 5 stars

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Winter Storm and Monday Mornings

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Status: good. more than good. I’m liking these pain-free Monday mornings, and the reclamation of my Sundays as well. I may continue on with this past the end of January. Maybe.

Discovered over the weekend what I had been telling myself vis-à-vis being comfortable when out-and-about taking photos. We had our first winter storm of the season over the weekend, which was an optimal time to practice photography in the inclement weather conditions. Problem: I don’t have the equipment to stay outdoors in -30c (with wind-chill) weather. Made an attempt on Saturday and lasted about 10 minutes, I think, before I binned it in favour of the warmer indoor environment. My hands were aching so badly, it took a good 15-20 mins to for them to warm up and stop aching. That’s a major red flag, and a sign that perhaps I shouldn’t do that. It foolish to flirt with disaster like that. And of course, something I already knew and was reminded of; when it comes to photographing outdoors, you need to be comfortable in order to be able to stay outside for long periods of time. I don’t have the right equipment for that, but going forward I need to make sure that I’m prepared. Another lesson learned on this journey to photography nirvana.

Insurance company. I accepted the offer over the weekend, so the ball is now in their court. Not overly enthused about the position because it feels like I’m covering old territory, however it may be best to enter the new company through a familiar paths versus green fields. I mean there is going to be plenty of new things to get used to – people, environment, culture, systems, etc. – so, this will be one less thing to tackle. And I expect that they’ve not told me everything, so there will be surprises. That said, the pay is good. It’s actually very good. They’ve been very accommodating on that front, so I’m very grateful for that.

Expect that my start date will be somewhere in May, so that will give me some more time to work on these Bucket List items.