Death of the Family 12 December release thoughts/opinions

This blog will cover Batman #15, Batman and Robin #15, Batgirl #15, and Suicide Squad #15. There will be spoilers.

I feel that it's appropriate that I'm writing this blog right at this moment. Superman the Movie is on in the background and it's music is inspiring me to do a better job of conveying my thoughts and opinions. It probably won't help though, because although orchestral music with an epic crescendo will help Christopher Reeve be wicked awesome, my writing will still be sub-par at best. This particular blog may be a little long, which is a by-product of the amount of releases this week. P

My initial thought was to order the comic discussion by strength of story, but so far that has failed me because I can't choose a second place. Batman and Robin, Batgirl, and Suicide Squad all have a great story that pushes this overall arc along nicely with each giving their titular characters some meat for us to chew on when it comes to character development within the arc. But, if you had a gun to my head and said, "hey buddy, pick one...this ain't rocket math," I would probably still take a while to decide, but ultimately go with Batman and Robin #15 as a second place to Batman #15.

I haven't read much about Damian Wayne, other than the Comic Vine data page about him and some glancing reviews about his series with Batman. I don't get a very good vibe about the popularity of this character, but from what I've seen in this particular comic, I'm going to have to say that I like him. He has spunk, which is nice to see in such a young Robin, and with the inclusion of Alfred in the grand scheme, it looks like he might be going back to his killer roots. This comic along with most of the others (excluding Batman #15) have long narratives within, giving the Joker a lot to say. In this case, he gives some insight about why the connection with Batman, in that he has made him laugh, which I believe is a call back to "The Killing Joke." In the end, Robin is trapped in a cell with a Batman lookalike, and has to battle him to the death. I'm not sure who the phony Batman really is, but could it be Clayface? Or maybe a juiced up goon dressed like Batman? Not sure...maybe you guys have an idea.

Suicide Squad #15 also piqued my interest because Harley Quinn appears to becoming into her own. Every iteration of her character has her falling back under the Joker, no matter what he's done. In this case, she fights back, and at one point has the upper hand. Watching her become her own character was nice and refreshing, like a cold drink of water.

Batgirl #15 has a subplot that had me scratching my head a little. I believe it's telling me how Joker came to power within Arkham, but I'm not entirely sure. The marriage story within the comic also has me wondering where this is going, and I would have to say that of the group released, this was the weakest of them all. I dig on the fact that Batgirl is loosing it, and has also threatened to kill the Joker, but her story really didn't go anywhere within the comic, so it felt kind of flat.

Finally Batman #15. This was what made the week worth it. It has planed the seed of death within the Bat-Family, using mistrust as the catalyst. Batman has failed to mention that the Joker *may* know about the Batcave, which would compromise everyone's identity. The way this is being played is still keeping us in the dark, since it appears that the Joker is manipulating influential people in the Bat-family, but how he references them is that it's coincidental. So really, I feel like I'm in a dark room and I have an idea as to what's in there, but I keep stubbing my toe on those things.

I've discussed in the forum and other blogs that I agree with the idea that this will turn into a Bat civil war. You can kind of see the line of division running in Batman #15, and in the individual comics, you see each character dealing with Joker in their own way. This may divide them on how to deal with the Joker, with what looks like Batgirl, Robin, and probably Red Hood (don't know yet on that one though, just a guess), all wanting to kill joker. Batgirl and Robin have already said they were going to kill him in their own comics, so there's that. The death of Alfred or Mrs. Gordon will push some of the family over the edge, and more will want to kill Joker then. I had the radical idea the story will have Batman finally decide that the only way to deal with Joker is to kill him, having him lead that group, with Nightwing being on the side of justice instead of death, and leading that team. I can see this happening because it appears that Joker's influence within Arkham got him out in the first place, and that there is nobody he can't touch or influence in some way.

Bottom line is that this week was a great week for the arc, and I'm now looking forward to seeing Red Hood in action within the story. Leave your comments on how I'm right or wrong, and I'll catch you later.


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