It's very sad when you loose someone close. You can become depressed and then somewhat morose. Though the opposite could be true. As you could turn into glue. And be sticky yet pungent like toast. Honestly. Just ask Writer: Scott Snyder; Artists: Greg Capullo and James Tynion IV; plus Publisher: DC Comics in November 2012. Or don't. The Joker doesn't care either way.

So what’s the STORY morning glory?
Now can you guess what Commissioner Gordon is more worried about in this first part of 'Death of the Family'? It is: (A) His daughter, Barbara, finding his stash of hidden cigarettes. (B) Something to do with a two headed lion being born in Gotham Zoo. Or (C) The Joker breaking into Police Headquarters and stealing his face back.

  • Yes. That is correct. The clown prince of crime is the house -- plus on the telly -- broadcasting that he will kill the Mayor within the next 24 hours.
  • Don't fret, though. Of course Batman tries his best to stop this from happening.
  • But I'm afraid to say 'try' doesn't really cut the mustard in this case, because everybody's favorite Caped Crusader gets caught in a trap, leaving the coast clear for the Joker to attack everybody's favorite Bat-Butler. 

Oh, Dear!

Meanwhile, in the back-up feature, the Joker and his girl-pal, Harley, have a heart to heart with some blood and guts on it. 

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Hmm? Difficult question to answer. Because Batman's discussion with Gordon whilst he was standing in the Mayors elevator was very pithy and bold in execution! And I also got a right kick out of Jokers tête-à-tête with Harley in the back-up feature as well! But I'd say the clincher for me would have to be when Damien said to Alfred...

'Come on. Maybe Joker used to be some great adversary of my fathers, but he's over now. I mean, he allowed a second rate Doctor Frankenstein cut off his face. Then he slunk off for a year to lick his wounds and now he comes back and steals his face. So what?'.

Ha! You know Damien is going to eat his own words as soon as he meets him, right?

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
Boy-oh-boy! There were so many things in this issue that I really did enjoy. (1) I liked the fact that the Jokers conceptual origin is still intact, and that he's now trying to re-enact it with a more modern day twist -- that was very new 52. (2) I loved the cliff-hanger at the end of this book -- my God, seeing Alfred in jeopardy really made me jump out of my seat. (3) Seeing most of the Bat-cast on the same page together is always a blast nowadays -- we need to see more of it in the future. And (4) That whole opening section between Gordon and Bullock was a very nice way of introducing 'us readers' to what's being going on in Gotham recently. Plus that whole Police Headquarters sequence reminded me a lot of... err... no. Later for this film reference me thinks.    

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
Overall, I only have one slight gripe with issue. Why the gimmicky cover? What's the point of it? Alright, I know that it adds a layer of 'fun' to the proceedings. But do we need 'fun' when members of the Bat-family are in danger? Heck, would Steven Spielberg make 'Schindler's List' with a song and dance number in the middle just to jazz up the mood a bit?

No! See my point? If not. Fair enough.

What was the most CREATIVE thing about this issue?
STORY: I don't think that I have seen the Joker using someone as a mannequin before, deliberately forcing this poor sod to broadcast his 'message' on television! Worst still, shoot them in the head too? Ouch! Harsh yet creative. Just like the Joker in fact.  

ART: Is it just me or has Jim Gordon lost too much weight? Well, after seeing him standing next to Harvey Bullock in this issue -- who has also lost weight -- all of a sudden it looks as if he could be played by Jim Carrey in a film.

Can you 'bulk-up' these characters please, Greg Capullo? As for James Tynion IV on the other hand? No. You did a great imitation of Dave McKean. Very 'Arkham Asylum'. 

If you had to CAST TWO CHARACTERS in this comic book, who would they be and why?
GORDON: In this instalment of casting call, I'm going to cast these characters as if they were bar-room snacks. Now for Barbara's Daddy, Jim, he'd have to be something like a salty pretzel. Crunchy yet Moorish at the same time.

JOKER: And as for the Joker, how can I not say that he reminds me of a nut? Preferably pistachio. Oh! Was that too obvious? Sorry.

If this issue had a MOVIE TAG LINE, what would it be?
Old Villains Never Die. They Just Get A Face-Lift Instead.

If this issue were a MOVIE, an OBJECT, or a piece of MUSIC, what would that be and why? 
I did mention earlier that the whole 'Police Headquarters sequence' reminded me of a film, right? Now can you guess what film I was referring to? Yes! That's Correct. You win f*ck all and a chance to watch this clip of 'Assault on Precinct 13'. Click-click-click.     

FINAL thoughts...
Wow! Wasn't that a great start to 'Death Of The Family'? It was bold. Mysterious. Alarming. And kind of personable as well. But I can't help but wonder what the Joker is really getting at by re-enacting his old crimes again? Plus how did he figure out that Alfred was part of the Bat-clan to boot? Harley via Suicide Squad?

Also, is it the Joker who's actually doing all of these things? Or is it that 'Red Hood gang' we all saw in issue zero?

Ohhhh! Can't wait for the next part! Fingers crossed that the quality is either the same or better than this one.

MARKS out of 10? 9