Saturday, 19 October 2013

Batman: Volume 3 - Death of the Family Graphic Novel Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Scott Snyder and James T. Tynion IV
Art By Greg Capullo, Jonathan Giapion and Jock
Cover By Greg Capullo

Published By DC Entertainment

Genre
Superhero, Thriller

Synopsis

After having his face sliced off one year ago, the Joker makes his horrifying return to Gotham City! But even for man who's committed a lifetime of murder, he's more dangerous than ever before. How can Batman protect his city and those he's closest to? It all leads back to Arkham Asylum...

This new hardcover collects the the critically acclaimed tale DEATH OF THE FAMILY from the superstar #1 New York Times best-selling team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo. BATMAN VOLUME 3 will have reprecussions that will affect the Batman universe for years to come!

Collects BATMAN #13-17

Review

After being away for a year, Batman's mortal enemy was slated to return.  When you  have a character such as The Joker returning, you just know that it was going to have to be an absolutely gigantic and effective return.  That's when they brought in Scott Snyder.  While I was a little dubious because, while he's a good writer, I wasn't all that sure that he would do a return of this importance justice.

I was very, very wrong.

If there was going to be anyway to bring back a character as beloved and as important as The Joker then this was the way to do it.

The story itself may have it's grounds in the simple 'coming back for revenge' style, it's the sheer intelligence and pacing of the story that  makes it work so effectively.  I would even go so far as to say that this is one of the best stories since 'The Killing Joke' and one of the most effective return stories I've seen for a comic book character in a long time.  It really felt like Snyder thought he had something to prove so he absolutely went all out.

Snyder wrote the story in such a way that he made The Joker seem like he was unstoppable force in his quest to destroy Batman and his family without seeming over the top.  The level of psychological warfare on show here was superb.  Snyder really got to the gist of the character and really played that card well.  I was honestly hooked the whole way through.

The art has a dark, gritty and even sometimes Gothic feel to it and that really went well with the writing.  I would even go so far as to say that it really made the story come alive.  Capullo has vastly improved since his days doing 'X-Force' and I couldn't believe just how much his work has come alive in the last couple of years.

If not for the slightly underwhelming ending, this would have been one of the best Batman stories that I have ever read.  That said, this is head and shoulders above the rest of the 'New 52' Batman stories and one of the best Snyder has written.

Definitely one to pick up.

Story 9/10
Art 9/10
Overall 18/20

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