Stop us if you've heard this one: a clown cuts off his face and disappears from the spotlight for a year before coming back and wrecking all sorts of murder and mayhem on the lives of the entire Bat-Family with a frightful gusto and panache that would make even Nicolas Cage say, "Hey dude, that's pretty crazy."
No? Well, boy, are we about to put a smile on your face.
The Joker makes his triumphant return in BATMAN #13 to remind us that you can't spell slaughter without laughter and to kick off the crossover event "Death of the Family," which not only sees the aforementioned return of the Clown Prince of Crime, but also his methodical and downright terrifying plans to take down the Dark Knight and his allies in the crazed criminal's latest attempt at a laugh.
This event already had us tingling with anticipation. The Joker's been MIA since the launch of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52—save for his gruesome face-lift at the end of DETECTIVE COMICS #1—and his return promises to bring with it chills and thrills the likes of which we comic fans haven't seen in a while. So, this week, we're breaking down the 5.2 Reasons We're Excited for "Death of the Family!"
1. Scott Snyder...
With his first major foray into the Batman world in "The Black Mirror," Snyder definitively proved to readers that he knew his way around a story. With the launch of DC Comics – The New 52, he showed us that he could navigate that sucker with his eyes closed after having been spun around three times while Bizarro reads out directions to him. Not only that, his previous crossover, "Night of the Owls," was easily one of the best Batman stories ever told—so much so that if we ever see an owl again, we're punching that freaky little thing right in its weird bird-face.
2. ...writing the Joker...
"Death of the Family" marks the first time Snyder gets to play in the Joker's funhouse, and after what he managed to do with the brand-new villains of the Court of Owls (see previous note about uppercutting birds), we can't even begin to imagine the amount of blinding brilliance and horrifying awesomeness he'll bring to the most popular comic book villain in pop culture history. Don't even bother spraying us with Joker Gas, we're grinning with glee already.
3. ...alongside his fellow writers...
Of course, Snyder won't be the only one getting to cause mayhem and mischief throughout Gotham City and the lives of its caped crusaders. "Death of the Family" spans a number of Bat-titles, allowing for each writer to delve into the Joker's particular brand of insanity. We all go a little mad sometimes, and now they get to let that madness out onto the comic page.
4. ...all putting the members of the Bat-Family to the test.
As Snyder himself mentioned, the Joker really hasn't gone after the members of the Bat-Family directly before. Although he crippled Barbara Gordon and beat Jason Todd to death, those were both a part of his attack on Commissioner Gordon and Batman (and probably just for funsies cause he's, you know, psychotic). With "Death of the Family," the Joker gets to unleash all his crazy on the likes of Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl and Jason Todd. So, good luck, guys. It was nice knowing you.
5. But that's all just set-up for the punchline.
Everything we just mentioned is really just the pre-game before the party. All we're going to say is that by the end of Batman #13, you'll get an idea of the Joker's ultimate gag.
5.1 These Die-Cut Covers by Greg Capullo are Freakin' Awesome
5.2 THE JOKER CUT OFF HIS FACE! HOLY MONKEY BEANS!