Read the title.
Do you think it’s properly revered or overrated?
I don’t know how revered it is, but I did hear good things about it. To me, it was not the best Batman I’ve ever read, but I’ve read a lot of Batman and it’s far from the worst. There are moments that do stand up to some of the best Batman moments I’ve ever read though. And that Greg Capullo art never once let me down.
I remember really looking forward to reading Death of the Family, and it turned out to be the most disappointing arc of the run. None of it made any sense. The beginning was cool and creepy, but that was it.
I find Snyder a little frustrating. I think he does spectacle and character well, but his plots need help and his vision of Batman doesn’t mesh with mine. I like a Batman who can do things humans can actually do. Granted, few if any modern versions of Batman are that human, but Snyder’s seems especially prone to getting stabbed through the chest and the shrugging it off. If things get hairy, NBD, he’ll just jump in a Bat MECH. That kind of sours things for me. He seems to have a lot of Bat Ex Machina endings.
That being said, Snyder is still generally a very solid writer. I’m never bored with his stories and yet frequently disappointed by the end. It never quite feels like it pays off to me.
That being said, I only read the first two years of New 52 and a smattering of other issues. I imagine I’ll get around to reading them some day and look forward to it.
Oh, and I actually enjoyed Death of the Family though it was underwhelming considering the hype. Taken as a lone Batman story, it’s fine. That’s how I feel about most of his stories.
I’ve read the first 20 issues. I like it. I’m new to comics though. I’ve only been reading them for about 4 years now. So before going back to read Snyder’s I was reading Rebirth and I gave up on Tom King after it got to the issues with Booster Gold. The I went back to New 52 and liked those much better.
Death of the Family was cool, but I never quite understood why Joker removed his face and then strapped it back on. Then he kidnapped all of Batman’s friends but that all happened in other books. Then he faked cutting off their faces? That was the weirdest part. Why didn’t he actually do it? What was the point of the fakeout? All the build-up of the story just ended in a generic “I’ll just will myself out of this situation because I’m Batman.”
For me, Endgame was way better. It told kind of the same story, but Joker was even scarier, and that final battle was brutal and felt like a true final battle.
But anyway, what’s a good Batman run or story you recommend?
Oh, sorry if I spoiled anything for you, King. If you’re new to comics, and you like Batman, I highly recommend starting with Batman: Year One, Dark Knight Returns, and Batman: The Long Halloween.
Oh, goodness. I always want to go a million different ways with Batman titles. I might get back to you on that.
How about Gotham Knights #1. It’s an easy, simple read. That title focused a lot of the Batman Family. I remember Gotham Knights stuck with me.
I actually like King’s Batman, but I’m a year behind, so maybe I’d bail on him if I’d read the more recent stuff. On the off chance you haven’t read any of that, I can point out a few highlights. I know many people hate King’s run.
I’ve just read a crap ton and I usually don’t think of GOAT lists. I guess I should for the sake of recommendations.
Joker lost his face in the first issue Detective Comic #1 in the New 52. His cell was found empty with a face nailed on the wall. This was to set up a story conceived by the writer of that series who never ended up actually doing the story he had in mind. As far as I know, that story remains a mystery.
Snyder wants to do his Joker story, and the last things anybody knew about Joker was he had taken off his own face, so Snyder said, “I can work with that,” and integrated it with his story except he didn’t really integrate it, did he? It’s mentioned, but it never really gets integrated into the theme in a meaningful way. It’s just a think Joker did to do because the Joker’s a wild and gross guy, but that’s not really satisfying, but it sure does look crazy which just goes to support my thesis that Snyder does spectacle well and plotting somewhat poorly.
I thought the somewhat interesting idea that Death of the Family did explore was that Joker didn’t want to know who Batman was. That’s kind of the thread that ties the story together even though it gets lost in the nonsense. If I recall correctly, Joker basically falls to his “death” because he refuses to look on Bruce (might be remembering that wrong), but that kind of interesting idea gets lost especially if you read all the tie-in issues which are somewhat entertaining but not really relevant. The fact stuff is just…there. The way the story was marketed with the name and the crossovers, you’d expect something important to happen, and it really didn’t.
Did you find every part of Zero Year satisfying as an in-continuity starting point for Batman’s career? If not, which parts worked and which didn’t?
Do you think that Gotham could really sustain near-apocalyptic disaster events as often as they seem to happen in Snyder’s run?
Would Snyder’s vision work better or worse for you if the New 52 had rebooted Batman more thoroughly (i.e. dropped Batman’s post-Crisis career)?
One of my all time favorite runs on Batman. Capullo’s art is fantastic. And while I understand there are a lot of problems with the stories, none of those problems stopped me from enjoy it.
I do, however, think that Scott Snyder’s style of storytelling fits JL better so I’m glad he’s doing that.
I liked Court of Owls but the ending was kinda like wait that’s it. If I was to find out the trade I have was missing something from the ending I would be like that makes sense. All in all it’s a good story but I don’t think it’s an all time great Batman story.
I wish I could reply to individual posts on here, and see what the other posts say while I’m writing one. On the android app at least, I don’t know if you can on pc.
I’ll go in order of replies here.
To BatWatch: I was reading all the New 52 books as they were coming out, but had to stop because of reasons. Long story. That was during the Court of Owls story, so I never got to finish it. And when Death of the Family happened, I wanted to read it so bad. I remembered Joker removing his face, and I always wanted to know why he did it. The whole thing was so freaky and cool.
I didn’t know about how it was originally going to be a different story. I wonder how that would have went. You are a little mixed up there. Joker fell to his “death” because Batman claimed to know Joker’s true identity and was about to tell him when Joker let himself fall. Then later Batman told Alfred about the time when he visited Joker at Arkham as Bruce Wayne, and basically revealed his identity to him, but Joker seemed to not acknowledge his existence, and Batman surmised that it’s because Joker didn’t want to know. It would spoil his fun, because their true identities are Joker and Batman. Deep down, under the skin, that’s who they are, which isn’t true for the Bat Family. That’s the point he was trying to make.
I am currently reading Tom King’s run and it has to be one of the best ongoing Batman stories I’ve ever read. I started late at #69 or 70, but then went back and read the trades from before. I think there’s one more trade and I’ll be caught up. It’s probably the least new Batman reader friendly book there is though. But I love that King found a new way to tell a Batman story. That the main struggle for Batman isn’t something he can punch or out-think.
I actually started on this DC Universe subscription wanting to read the Dark Knights: Metal story, but then I read that it’s a continuation of the Snyder/Capullo Batman run, and I wanted to read that anyway, so I did that first. Now I’m finally going to read DKM, hoping it’s good. But after that, I don’t know what to read.
The whole time I’ve had the subscription I’ve only read Batman. I want to read something else. But at the same time I want to read the Grant Morrison run on Batman, lol. I think I’ve read most of it, but I don’t think I’ve read all of it.
I’ll take suggestions on non-Batman books.
There’s a thread for assigning a comic to the user above you. I’ve got some fun reads from that. I also developed a system for randomly choosing a comic from the library though its a bit convoluted.
For a Batman adjacent story, someone suggested Gotham at Midnight for me. The first arc was excellent.
I’m also a big fan of the late 90’s Hourman series, and there has been a little groundswell of support I’ve noticed in various threads, so I’d highly recommend that. You might want to read DC One Million first to get a feel for that series. One Million is a great crossover event, and great crossover events are rare. This is where this version of Hourman originated.
I’ve really loved King’s Batman too. I see some flaws, but the pros way outweigh the cons for me.
I didn’t particularly care for Dark Knights Metal. Again, spectacle is crazy cool but the plot is super dumb. Enjoyable in a brain off sort of way.
I really liked Zero Year. As for continuity, it really only works for the New 52 run and nowhere else. But I think that’s how all runs are and should be viewed, self-contained worlds. It was a cool and exciting alternate origin of Batman, with some throwbacks to history like the batsuit with purple gloves and the Red Hood gang. Dr. Death was a cool design for a new villain, but I thought he was going to have something to do with Mr. Bloom in the Superheavy arc. Because the way his bones grew reminded me of the way Bloom would grow, and Dr. Death had some line about blooming when he got damaged. I had seen some images of Mr. Bloom before I read Zero Year, so those things made me think they were connected. It turned out to be nothing.
This is where the suspension of disbelief gets hard, being a comics fan. To be able to keep making comics about the same character for 80 years, they need to have a status quo to return to at some point. So if you think too hard on the “reality” that the characters live in, it kind of falls apart. It really makes no sense why anyone would live in Gotham. It’s the worst place.
New 52 created all kinds of problems with continuity. They kept all of Batman’s entire history, with all the Robin’s and everything, but crammed it all into a 15 year period. Dick’s parents die, Bruce adopts him, he’s Robin, then Nightwing, then Jason Todd, then he died, then he’s Red Hood, then Tim, then he’s Red Robin, then Damian, who is 10. When did he find time to bang Talia? Also that time Bane broke his back? That happened. And apparently he founded the Justice League only 5 years before the 1st issue of Batman #1. So much happened in such a small span of time, it makes my head spin just trying to work it out.
Overall I thought it was a pretty great run. I have to give most of the credit for that to Greg Capullo. His art was so consistently good through the whole thing and I loved every bit of it.
A few nits: the run wasn’t as self-contained as I would have liked. There were parts where it felt like I was missing parts of the story, because they actually happened in other books.
- It was kind of weird that Joker removing his face happened in Detective #1 and not Batman.
2.Harper Row was being built up as a very intruiging character just for her to disappear and apparently only be in Batman Eternal, which I haven’t read.
3.Alfred’s daughter appeared out of nowhere, nevet formally introduced in this book, she was just there all of a sudden and I don’t know what book she came from. Eternal?
Death of the Family seemed too reliant on you reading the tie-ins to get the whole thing. Also, when I think about it, Endgame was kind of the same story as DotF, but it had a better ending.
The reveal that Lincoln March might be Bruce Wayne’s brother was interesting, but he never got mentioned again.
There was a two-parter about Clayface that did something new and interesting for him, but it never got mentioned again. Not even when Clayface showed up later in the series.
Duke Thomas being a Robin. I did read We Are Robin, so I know how that happened. But in the pages of Batman, there was no explanation or editor’s note saying where to find that story. He just had a Robin costume all of a sudden.
I don’t know what other people thought, but I actually really liked Jim Gordon as Batman. I wish he had more than one arc.
And what happened to Joker? It looked like the same thing that happened to Batman happened to Joker, that the dionesium erased both of them. Or was it just an act? He spoke of memories of bugs at that bench. And if he did get his mind wiped, how did he get back to being Joker?