Publishing House: DC Comics
Written by: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Colors: FCO PLASCENCIA
Cover Price: $ 3.99
Number of pages: 40
Synopsis: The Joker is back and wants two things; to retrieve his face and to take away Batman’s family.
These days it takes a lot for a comic to win my attention. Batman # 13 succeeded with frightening ease. This issue marks the beginning of DEATH OF THE FAMILY, a saga told in 24 parts through key titles within the Bat-universe. It tells the latest clash between Batman and the Joker.
When did the unthinkable DC Comics relaunching all superhero comics in September 2011, I saw it as a sign. The sign said, “Emilio is time to stop reading comics.” After 27 years of reading and collecting DC Comics (among other companies) since the inception of the event CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, I had no choice but to recognize that the continuity that I had followed all those years, that continuity with all its contradictions and revisions was about to be filed away. This meant that I had a window of opportunity to give a final farewell to an entire fictional universe. In September 2011 I bought the # 1’s of the 52 copies and then went cold turkey on DC Comics. Or so I thought.
First I kept buying O.M.A.C. (I have the 8 copies). Then I got a jones with Earth 2 and World’s Finest. After that I bought the hardcovers of the first volume of Justice League and Green Lantern. I bought all the # 0’s that came out in September 2012. I’m going to start buying Superman again now that Kenneth Rocafort draws it and the storyline is getting interesting. To complete the menu on October 10, 2012 (my birthday no less) Batman # 13 hit the shelves and that gave me another reason to continue reading DC Comics.
The Joker is the most formidable villain the Caped Crusader ever had. He shares with Batman an epic rivalry that expands from its first appearance in 1940 in Batman # 1 (Vol. 1, 1940) to the present. As the decades have passed, the sophistication and intensity of these stories has varied according to the demands of the times. From its beginnings as an eccentric master criminal to its present incarnation as sadistic / psychopathic lover of chaos the Joker is Batman’s most formidable enemy. The DEATH OF THE FAMILY storyline is probably one of the most vicious and decisive battles in the history of both characters.
The script by Scott Snyder is simple, direct and crisp as an Export Soda cracker that has just been taken out of the tin can. The suspense is felt from the first page, the classic exchanges between Batman and Commissioner Gordon, Batman and Alfred are all there. His characterization of the Joker is a delightfully sordid but controlled presentation. This villain has a master plan. And that final page was hair rising. This comic includes a second story that recounts the meeting between Harley Queen and Joker before the start of the main story. Greg Capullo’s drawing is excellent. His figures have a mixture of caricature and detail that made me remember his days in Spawn. Nobody draws a rainy night in Gotham as Greg Capullo.
In short Batman # 13 has my highest recommendations. Batman is the best.