Friday, November 08, 2013

Booknote: Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family

Scott Snyder, Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family.  New York: DC Comics, 2013. ISBN: 9781401242343.

This is part of DC's New 52 series, and it continues the run on the title by Scott Snyder, an author I have come to like from his work in American Vampire. I also enjoyed his first two Batman volumes for the New 52 (my review of those two here). This volume follows the events of city of owls event. In this volume, the Joker returns. He had his face sliced off, and he has been gone for a year. Some folks began to feel safe, but Joker is not about safe. He has now returned, and he is madder than ever. He has a new plan to hurt Batman: he will hurt members of the Batman family one at a time. Batman now struggles with letting them help out and his need to protect them and keep them out of harm's way.

From the beginning, Snyder makes it clear that Joker is very different now. Even Harley notices this is not her usual Mr. J. Joker's plan is not revealed right away; the author builds up to the plan's revelation. Batman is challenged to his limits once more as Joker even mocks him referring to Batman's run with the Owls (you may appreciate the story better if you read the previous two volumes. However, this volume stands well on its own, and you can pick up the story without having read the previous ones). The story provides a good blend of action and intrigue as we wonder who the Joker will hurt next. The artwork is gritty and strong; it brings the story to life. Overall, this was a volume that kept me riveted. Once I started it, I just keep flipping the pages to read on. If Snyder stays on this title, I may have to keep following it for a while. At least on Batman, it seems DC's New 52 is doing something right.

I'd give it 5 out of 5 stars if you ask me. I really liked this one. Public libraries with graphic novel and comics collections definitely need to add this one, as well as the previous volumes of Snyder's run. I will be ordering them for my academic library. Academic libraries with graphic novels, whether for pop culture or recreational collections, should add these, especially if they have not updated their collections recently.

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