And the final batch of comics. Woohoo!
Catwoman #14 – The cover – Catwoman surrounded by fake teeth grabbing at her- was just bizarre and didn’t give me much hope for the story inside. But I will say that I was pleasantly surprised overall by the quality of the issue. Joker is toying with Catwoman the entire time, trying to find new ways to “skin a cat,” bating Catwoman into becoming his enemy and not his friend. The ending ties nicely with Batman #15 and has nice symmetry as both Catwoman and Joker contemplate what the other can’t see. That said, I’m still not sure I’ll add this to my pull list. I didn’t care for the way that Nocenti had Joker use a child (not Robin, just an innocent child) in his games nor the way that it seemed like part of the game was to see just how naked they could get her. I’m sure it was fairly routine as far as comics go, but it isn’t something I can support or want to see on a regular basis.
Red Hood #15 – This one was another pleasant surprise. The Joker here isn’t over-the-top violent like he’s been in in some other titles and there was more contemplation on the part of Jason Todd. I don’t know his full backstory, but what I did see of his partners intrigued me and make me want to see more. I’m not sure I’ll put this on my pull list quite yet (I am trying to keep it at a manageable length) but I will keep an eye on it. I will say however that it is freaking impossible for that towel to have stayed on his body the way that it did during the fight. Funny how writers want to strip the women but have to keep the covered up.
Suicide Squad #14-#15 – Well. That was difficult. I remember reading the old Suicide Squad so I was actually looking forward to reading this. I’ve always liked the concept – a group of ne’er-do-wells teaming up and doing some occasional stuff that can come off as actually good. But ow. It was hard sitting through this. From Joker’s abuse of Harley Quinn (yes, it’s a subtext that has ran through their relationship as far back as Harley’s inception back on Batman: The Animated Series, but that doesn’t mean I want to actively watch it) to the way that the leader of the group is all willing to just let Harley suffer, and perhaps die at Joker’s hands just to get the information that is needed. Don’t get me wrong – the two issues were very well written, and among some of the best of what I’ve read during the catch up. But well written doesn’t equate to enjoyable. I will say that I do like seeing this side of Harley, the one that can stand up for herself and isn’t a total victim anymore and isn’t blindly devoted to Joker anymore. This might be added to my pull list. I need to let it digest as it were and decide later.
Nightwing #15 – I think this will be going on my pull list. I The use of Joker is clever and cruel but not over the top violent. I like that Dick has a circle of friends (that Joker is using against him) and this just feels right. I want to see more of this. It hit the right notes without going too far. Kudos.
Detective Comics #15-#16 These two were a mixed bag for me. I rather enjoyed #15 – you got several of the members of the Rogue’s gallery, Penguin, Poison Ivy and Clayface and they were all utilized well, so much so I actually felt sympathy for Clayface. #16 didn’t work quite as well for me. There’s a definitely The Following kind of vibe here where the Joker is developing a cult-like following and people are trying to kill in his name and I’m not sure that I buy that. In the upcoming the Following (which starts Monday) the killer is known to be incredibly charismatic and well learned. Joker has never been anything but a flat out psychopath with no end-game, no motivation other than chaos. In short, it’s hard to see what about it would inspire this kind of devotion. There is an a story being set up about the Joker being blamed for crimes of another group being set up, but this other part just kind of throws me off. Glad I read ’em, but no particular desire to continue reading them.
Overall – At the end of it, I do think the quality of the books that have made up the Death of the Family crossover are pretty high caliber. They aren’t all to my taste and I didn’t care for all the interpretations , but I suppose when you’re looking across this many titles with so many writers that something like that is bound to occur. I am glad that I did this though, it’s given me a chance to really look at all the Bat titles in a way that I haven’t since the start of the New 52 and I think that that is a good thing. You don’t try and you’ll never know what you’re missing out on 🙂