SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read BATMAN #17 yet, you may not want to continue reading this post until you’ve done so (potential spoilers ahead!).
Since October, The Joker has been on the loose and seeking revenge against the Bat-family in the acclaimed crossover event “Death of the Family.” Detailing the Clown Prince of Crime’s bloody and supremely twisted return to Gotham City, “Death of the Family” came to its conclusion in the eagerly-anticipated BATMAN #17, which hit stores yesterday.
If you’ve already read the issue, how would you describe The Dark Knight’s “victory”?
“It is hollow ultimately, because he defeats the Joker and he trusts the family,” BATMAN writer Scott Snyder told IGN. “He says, ‘I have kept secrets from them and I approached it wrong. I approached it like, ‘I’m coming at you Joker, and I’ll get there faster and I’ll beat you at your own game.’’ But what the Joker is saying is that, ‘The rules of that game have changed. Now that you have this family, you can get to me as fast as you want, you can outwit me, you can have better tech, you can do anything and you can catch me, but as long as they’re out there, pieces of your heart are out there in the world and I can hurt you.’”
“In that way, I think by showing that and then shattering that relationship and doing things to the family that divide them but also proving to Batman that he would behave in the wrong way at first. That he wouldn’t tell them about the card in the cave and that he wouldn’t tell them how he’s going after the Joker and that he’s got Alfred. That he’d keep it from them to protect them. By doing those things, the Joker is strengthening his case that, “Deep down Batman only wants to fight with me alone; he loves me more than you.”
“And even if that’s not what Batman feels and Batman is saying, ‘I did it to protect you,’ he’s kind of digging his own grave with them in that way. I wanted to get into the complexity of that relationship and not have it be black and white, but have it all be a slightly darker and lighter shades of grey on one side or the other. You can say Batman won or you can say the Joker won, you know?”
For more from Snyder reflecting upon “Death of the Family,” check out the full interviews that ran this morning with the New York Times bestselling writer in MTV GEEK, IGN, COMIC BOOK RESOURCES, NEWSARAMA, COMIC VINE, AOL's COMICS ALLIANCE and GAMMA SQUAD.
To read what others have been saying about BATMAN #17, take a look at some of the reviews that have already run in places like THE GUARDIAN, IGN, CBS’ MAN CAVE, CRAVE ONLINE, PASTE MAGAZINE, THE EXAMINER, COMIC BOOK RESOURCES, NEWSARAMA, COMIC VINE and IFANBOY.
And as a special treat, below take a sneak peek at what’s coming next in BATMAN by getting your first look at a double-page spread from issue #18 by guest artists Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope.