The streets of Gotham are in chaos and people are living in fear all because the “Clown Prince of Crime” – The Joker – is running rampant; but there is one man that is probably more afraid of everything that is going on and he is Batman! He’s afraid because not only does he know what the Joker is capable of, but now that the Joker is back he is even more disturbing and dysfunctional than ever before. Batman # 16 really showcases this emotion of The Batman.
So if you haven’t been following the Batman: Death of the Family storyline here is a quick recap: the Joker has already kidnapped and claimed to have mutilated Batman’s beloved butler Alfred, and up until this issue, the Joker has been plotting to make Batman stronger through eliminating the other people that he cares for. There is a scene where Batman is close to getting the Joker in Arkham Asylum but before Batman could take the Joker out, he makes Batman think twice by showing him live T.V. feeds of the others, such as Nightwing, Red Hood and his son Damien, who is the current Robin. This weakens Batman and forces him to eventually go along with Joker rules.
At the end of this issue the Joker makes Batman sit on a throne that he made out of an electric chair and, in a sick demented way, the Joker has set up a scene in which Two-Face, The Penguin, The Riddler and the Joker himself are a part of – I recommend you experience it for yourself. Overall I really enjoyed this issue and, in typical Scott Snyder tradition, left me wanting more, but also stratified enough that I can wait for the next issue. The next issue is the finale of this epic event that has been going on since October and if you haven’t read it at all, good luck picking up the back issues because they sell out almost the same day; but when you get the chance I strongly recommend it!
Please look for my concluding review to the Batman: Death of the Family storyline next month.