Off My Mind: What the End of 'Death of the Family' Could Bring to Batman Comics

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Posted by G-Man (36552 posts) - - Show Bio

Death of the Family has been a Joker story like none other. We've seen Joker unleash his mad schemes upon Batman and Gotham City in the past but they've never quite been on this level. WIth the Joker attacking all the members of Batman's inner circle, we've been wondering what will happen next.

With one more story to go, BATMAN #17, this is the issue that will bring it all to an end. The Joker has made some big moves and readers are expecting a big and shocking ending. Throughout the story, there have been several unanswered questions that we hope will be addressed as well whatever the conclusion may bring.

NIGHTWING #16

The way last month's issues ended, Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin, Robin and Red Hood were all left at the mercy of Joker. Defeated, each issue ended with Joker preparing to deliver a sliver platter with, what we assume to be, a gruesome entree underneath. The question is, what is Joker serving for dinner?

== TEASER ==

A common theory is it has something to do with Alfred. We haven't seen him since he opened the door to Wayne Manor and was assaulted by Joker in BATMAN # 13. The chances of Joker having chopped Alfred up for a meal is very unlikely. Cannibalism isn't Joker's game. We do know there's more than one platter as seen in TEEN TITANS #16. In BATMAN #14, Batman did hear a recording of Alfred being tortured and Joker suggested Alfred's eyes had been burned out by acid.

BATMAN #14

It's possible Joker could have gone so far as to chop up Alfred but even that is unlikely. Continuity isn't always a main factor but we've seen Alfred already in BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #16, the first part to a six-issue Mad Hatter arc. The fact that Alfred appears there may not guarantee his safety or survival but it gives hope that he'll be around for a while. It wouldn't be surprising if Alfred did lose an eye or was scarred in some way.

What about Commissioner Gordon? Where's he been since BATMAN #14? We can assume he's still in a hospital recovering but obviously Joker could have easily gotten hold of him and brought him to the party. If Gordon were to die or get seriously injured, it would be hard on Batman. Jim is pretty much his best friend. If something were to happen, there'd be more repercussions hinted in upcoming BATGIRL issues.

With these theories, there's also the fact that Two-Face and Penguin got a look at what's being "served" in BATMAN #16. Their reaction is something to consider. If it were Gordon or Alfred's head being served, they would react differently in each case. If it were Gordon, they wouldn't really care if something happened to the police commissioner. If it was Alfred, would they even know who he was?

The idea behind Death of the Family is more of an attack against Batman's close…family. There is still the question whether or not Joker knows their identities. In some of the tie ins, like NIGHTWING, TEEN TITANS and BATGIRL, it seems Joker must know. Why would he have targeted Haly's Circus or kidnap Batgirl's mom. This goes against the idea that Joker would actually care who was under each mask.

If Joker allowed his face to be cut off, would he extend this to the others? What if Joker's plan called for him to physically scar each member? It would be a constant reminder of his attack. It's not likely each platter will contain the sliced off face of each family member but he could have done other things. What doesn't make this too likely is it's appeared that the platters were already bloody

Although another theory is Jason Todd will see some disfigurement. The upcoming solicits for RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS tease that he's "suffered terribly" and there could be something horrible underneath his mask now. It seems unlikely that Jason would lose some or all of his face but he is a reminder that Joker failed to properly kill him since he managed to return to the land of the living. Jason's been teetering between being a hero and anti-hero and this could push him back over the edge to where some want him to be.

Then there's the location of this final story. Where exactly is this dinner party and final confrontation taking place? In the preview images we saw, Batman and Joker appear to be fighting in a cave. Could it be the Batcave? Probably not. Even though Joker forced Batman to tell the others about the possibility that he could have discovered the location to one of the early sections of the Batcave, he probably didn't actually make it that far. It could be questioned why he never made his move before. We all get the impression that he doesn't care who is underneath the cowl.

Again, to him, his fight is against Batman, not Bruce Wayne. We have to assume Joker chose this area for a particular reason. He would have needed time to set everything up. It's not likely he could have set things up at the Batcave in a short period of time while Batman's been running around searching for Joker. Unless he's forced Alfred to do all the work. But there is the question about the axe Joker uses in the preview pages for BATMAN 17. It's almost in the shape of a bat. Did he bring that with him or was it in the cave?

Another theory suggests that perhaps it's Joker being served. Maybe all this time it hasn't really been Joker terrorizing everyone. There could be multiple "Jokers" running around, which would explain how he could be attacking the Family at the same time and be able to set up all these intricate traps for them.

It could be Clayface creating "Jokers" but that doesn't seem likely as we've seen this angle before. It would be shocking to see Joker dead or not having actually been part of this story but it doesn't seem like DC would want to kill off and chop up the Joker. If it was someone else or several others posing as Joker, why would they be so invested in returning Batman to his former "glory"?

We could sit here all day and try to guess or theorize on what will happen in BATMAN #17. We even tried to get a hint from Scott Snyder himself. This is what he had to say when asked what was being served:

While I won't spoil what's under the lid, I will say that the theories on what's under there have been inspired and inspiring. Can't wait to see what you all think of the reveal. Let us know! And thanks again.

Of course we wouldn't want to be spoiled before getting the chance to read it. Chances are we're not going to see an actually death of anyone. This is about the Family. Something horrible will happen. If it does come down to someone getting seriously injured and Joker did know how to get to the Cave (or a section that's been blocked off) and Batman never told anyone, the blame is on him. This could give Joker what he wants. The Family

#1 Edited by Teerack (7053 posts) - - Show Bio

Kinda sad how likely it is that Alfred is in those treys. But I swear if Jason really loses his face this whole even was a huge mistake.

The only other thing i could think that might be in the trey is if the joker put something in there that would really hurt the individuals.

Alfred's head for Batman

Barbra's legs

Jason's Face

Robin's dog

Nightwing idk maybe that girl he likes from the bank.'

Tim idk either...he's kinda perfect so maybe his dick xD

#2 Posted by feebadger (1445 posts) - - Show Bio

It's Bat Mite. That's who's on the tray :)

#3 Edited by Dernman (15225 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think it's Alfred in those treys. Also I think Harper Row (I think her name is) will be the new Alfred. 
Got to say I'm ok the "family" might break up. IMO they should be a collection of lose independent heroe with ties then the close group that call each other over almost everything

#4 Posted by millennium (208 posts) - - Show Bio

will we wont know until next week but i think this movie quote best sums up what everyone is think AAAAAWWW WHATS IN THE BOX....... WHATS IN THE F%^KING BOX

#5 Posted by spiderturtle (66 posts) - - Show Bio

Why was Joker singing "Hush, Little Baby"? I was like whaaa

#6 Posted by SavageDragon (2252 posts) - - Show Bio

Harvey Bullock?

#7 Posted by JohnnyGat (1573 posts) - - Show Bio

There's nothing in the tray.

They'd be all like. "What the hell Joe? You put us all through this for absolutely nothing" Then he'd be all like "Yes" Then they'd be all like "Damn it way to build up the suspense" then he'd be like "It's something you didn't expect" then M Night will appear and say "What a twist".

#8 Posted by kid Apollo (714 posts) - - Show Bio

i hope if nothing else that the end of the event will lead to the group of Bat-books being refined. the writing and the art should be raised to the top notch, if that means cutting some books then so be it. but why have 10 books that are hit or miss month after month, when you can have 6 books that are awesome every arc?

#9 Posted by Nantucket (49 posts) - - Show Bio

@feebadger said:

It's Bat Mite. That's who's on the tray :)

I hope this is the case!

#10 Posted by Weave16 (21 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker didn't call Nightwing Dickie boy. Hullicinated Jimmy said it. I hate how people can't see this.

#11 Posted by bunkerbuster05 (309 posts) - - Show Bio

@JohnnyGat said:

There's nothing in the tray.

They'd be all like. "What the hell Joe? You put us all through this for absolutely nothing" Then he'd be all like "Yes" Then they'd be all like "Damn it way to build up the suspense" then he'd be like "It's something you didn't expect" then M Night will appear and say "What a twist".

Honestly...

I'd be ok with that.

#12 Posted by thenexusrebound (248 posts) - - Show Bio

G-man brings up the exact thought I thought of. Two-Face and Penguin would have no clue who Alfred was. If it is true that Joker knows the truth it would only effect Bruce not them. My idea is it is some kind of Bruce Wayne like face. An old off my mind talked about if Bruce Wayne is Batman or is Batman, Bruce Wayne. That would get a reaction out of Two-Face and Penguin since they know who that is, and he is the face of Gotham. That is just my idea.

#13 Posted by russia599 (93 posts) - - Show Bio

I bet it's Harley

#14 Edited by Batnandez (511 posts) - - Show Bio

His parents corpses? That way it's sort if like him saying I for sure know you're Bruce Wayne, then he escapes setting up a finale arc for Scott somewhere down the line. If it is Alfred I'll be a little disappointed that Scott was so obvious.

#15 Posted by Red_Robin212 (91 posts) - - Show Bio

It's Hush

Joker killed him thinkng it's Bruce Wayne

#16 Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf (7040 posts) - - Show Bio

Its Bruce's second child that he never knew about!!! *Add shocking music*

Also I'm kind of sad that Huntress wasn't included in the story arc in some little way ),:

She's Bruce's kid too!! Well...at least...a child of his from an alternate dimension?...Doesn't that still count!? >:O

Maybe its Huntress' head underneath there :D What would be more shocking than finding out that Joker killed a kid you never knew you had? And the fact she was a girl :O and the kid of your other lover, Selena Kyle.

#17 Posted by Logan Reilly (30 posts) - - Show Bio

maybe this joker is a fake and the real joker is the one on the tray!

probably not, but just an idea.

#18 Posted by GothamRed (2564 posts) - - Show Bio

This may be a twisted thought, but any chance it's this earth's Helena Wayne?

#19 Posted by Markus_Langbourn (387 posts) - - Show Bio

Obviously it's Sally Hardesty.

#20 Posted by saoakden (1066 posts) - - Show Bio

Man the Joker is crazy in this story.

I'm wondering what is under those platters. Because whatever is underneath those platters will really screw up the characters. Especially seeing the full Red Hood and the Outlaws 19 Cover, man the other half of that cover was breath taking.

#21 Posted by ccraft (5384 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't say Jim is Batman's best friend, that would be Superman!

#22 Posted by RedQueen (1171 posts) - - Show Bio

There's a rumour running around that it'll be Harley.... I so hope that's not true. Then again I can't see DC risking the possible criticism of Joker killing his 'girlfriend' after years of abuse.....

#23 Posted by ccraft (5384 posts) - - Show Bio

@thenexusrebound: I know its probably not Alfred, but that doesnt rule out its someones head under there. If it was Alfred's head I think Penguin and Two-Face would be shocked, who wouldn't get shocked at seeing someones head chopped off?Also it could be possible that it is clayface blob under there, and make it look like Alfred's head. But I don't know if Clayface can split apart.

#24 Posted by Friskynesss (66 posts) - - Show Bio

It must be Talia!!

This is how Batman Incorporated ends!!

#25 Posted by darkwingdan (189 posts) - - Show Bio

@Weave16 said:

Joker didn't call Nightwing Dickie boy. Hullicinated Jimmy said it. I hate how people can't see this.

Sing it loud, brother! Can I get an "amen?"

#26 Posted by FlyingGrayson22 (30 posts) - - Show Bio

@Weave16 said:

Joker didn't call Nightwing Dickie boy. Hullicinated Jimmy said it. I hate how people can't see this.

This. Plus, this might kind of be a spoiler, but I don't think it is because Scott Snyder said on the Fat Man on Batman podcast that he's not going to kill Alfred.

#27 Posted by The Average Bear (2080 posts) - - Show Bio

Has Catwoman been heard from at all during this arc? Cause...

#28 Posted by The Average Bear (2080 posts) - - Show Bio

@JohnnyGat said:

There's nothing in the tray.

They'd be all like. "What the hell Joe? You put us all through this for absolutely nothing" Then he'd be all like "Yes" Then they'd be all like "Damn it way to build up the suspense" then he'd be like "It's something you didn't expect" then M Night will appear and say "What a twist".

'What a tweest!"

#29 Posted by Captain_Awesome85 (452 posts) - - Show Bio

@Teerack: I was ready to leave work and go buy every issue of this story, but now I'm hesitant thinking it could be Robin's dog (sadly out of all those possibilities that one bothers me the most)

From someone who almost only read Marvel, DC is about to suck me back in. This looks amazing.

#30 Posted by feebadger (1445 posts) - - Show Bio

@Nantucket said:

@feebadger said:

It's Bat Mite. That's who's on the tray :)

I hope this is the case!

Deep down inside, i think we all do :)

#31 Posted by TheCheeseStabber (8151 posts) - - Show Bio

@ccraft said:

I wouldn't say Jim is Batman's best friend, that would be Superman!

So Supermans under the lid?

#32 Posted by Darknite365 (15 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think it is a head. Penguin and Two Face have definitely seen their share of brutality so why would they be surprised by a decapitation?

#33 Posted by n25philly (97 posts) - - Show Bio

It's the extended cut of Dark Knight Rises. I would be terrified too

#34 Posted by havoc1201 (518 posts) - - Show Bio

@darkwingdan said:

@Weave16 said:

Joker didn't call Nightwing Dickie boy. Hullicinated Jimmy said it. I hate how people can't see this.

Sing it loud, brother! Can I get an "amen?"

thank god someone noticed that in the book, people keep saying joker said it but Dick was hallucianating it.

#35 Posted by aarrach (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Dead of the family look like a new upcoming "Bat-League" or something because they cant just kill or hurt every single bat for no reason or they just want to suit the story in comics with the hard core movies or prouve that heroes dont win for ever and evil get its chance as well! but as many comented here we will no know untill the next issues.

#36 Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln (944 posts) - - Show Bio

imagine... underneath the lid and on the platter... lies.... JOKER'S BABEHHH FROM ARKHAM CITY MWAHAHAHAHAHAHEHAHEAEEAHEAAEEAHHA 0.0

#37 Posted by Trodorne (2591 posts) - - Show Bio

@Red_Robin212 said:

It's Hush

Joker killed him thinkng it's Bruce Wayne

in terms of hush you need to read gates of gotham....

#38 Posted by AbsolStrike (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Alfred's eyes?

#39 Posted by herrweis (435 posts) - - Show Bio

" The chances of Joker having chopped Alfred up for a meal is very unlikely. Cannibalism isn't Joker's game."

well maybe not in the previous universe ,but it's the new 52 so maybe that is exactly what is going on.

#40 Posted by MonkeyToe (386 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think it's Alfred's head.

#41 Posted by AmishAvenger (138 posts) - - Show Bio

A nice T-bone steak?

#42 Posted by sunhawk (550 posts) - - Show Bio

Its Dr. Leslie Thompkins!

#43 Posted by MuyJingo (1792 posts) - - Show Bio

Will the stupid mechanics outfit ever be explained?

#44 Posted by EdwardWoods (76 posts) - - Show Bio

Had a random idea the other day that it isn't Joker at all - it's Alfred, and that's how he knows the secret identities and is serving them dinner, cuz that's what Alfred would do as part of his duties.I dunno, t'wasa random thought and I've missed quite a few issues of the arc.

#45 Posted by darkwingdan (189 posts) - - Show Bio

@havoc1201 said:

@darkwingdan said:

@Weave16 said:

Joker didn't call Nightwing Dickie boy. Hullicinated Jimmy said it. I hate how people can't see this.

Sing it loud, brother! Can I get an "amen?"

thank god someone noticed that in the book, people keep saying joker said it but Dick was hallucianating it.

You think we can get to acknowledge this on tomorrow's podcast?

#46 Posted by NightRunner (25 posts) - - Show Bio

this Joker is Alfred, Alfred has the knowledge and skills to convince the bat family that he really is Joker. We have learned that Alfred is an actor He knows everything about the bat family and we have really never seen the jokers face. The joker could have done something to Alfred to make him go after the bat family.

#47 Posted by Manbehindthewires (344 posts) - - Show Bio

joker-flesh-masks for everone! and he's going to stitch them on to each bat-family face, starting with Red Hood, permanently disfiguring them forever. naturally the bigger characters ie Batman will make it out unharmed halfway through, but some of the smaller guys will realise that hanging around with batman isn't worth their trouble anymore, thus disbanding the family.

#48 Posted by Dan_Mohorter (14 posts) - - Show Bio

I am so worried for Alfred right now. I don't think anyone is going to be killed but there are some things almost worse than death.

I'm only reading Batman and Batman & Robin right now. Any of the other bat-books worth picking up, specifically Nightwing?

#49 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

If Alfred dies, Batman is gonna snap

#50 Posted by Dan_Mohorter (14 posts) - - Show Bio

@ccraft: Good call. Clark is certainly one of Bruce's closest friends, but so is Jim. Both Gordon and Superman have relationships with Bruce that are completely unique.

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