Batman #17 Death of the Family Conclusion


Scott Snyder concludes the over-hyped “Death of the Family” story arc in Batman #17, released Feb 12, 2013.


So, no one in the Bat-family died, and the “family” as a cohesive whole did not cease to exist, although some trust has been shaken a bit.

The title of this story arc was clearly a bad choice, a play on the death of Jason Todd aka Robin in “Death IN The Family”, way back in the 400’s.


This new arc did not involve any actual deaths in the family–although, strangely enough, the next story arc, titled Requiem, apparently does involve the death of Bruce’s son, Damian.

I have to wonder why? Why kill off Damien after the so-called DOTF story arc has already concluded?

As far as that goes, why kill anyone at all? Are the writers having a hard time coming up with new, compelling material for the various Bat-series?

Not if recent issues in the “New 52” are an indicator–they have been anything but! So, the ratings-overload-inducing death issues seem to be purely marketing and hype.

That being said, this was still a good story.

As the story card image shows, the story arc crosses most of the Bat series, although The Dark Knight was strangely missing from among all the others.


These are the issues I read monthly so I don’t have an opinion on the minor Bat spin-offs:

  • Batman #13-17
  • Detective #15-16
  • Batgirl #13-16
  • Batman & Robin #15-16
  • Catwoman #13-14
  • Nightwing #15-16

2637600-batman13a_superCould it be that the “death” hinted at in the title is indeed the loss of trust? As this fan writes, perhaps there will be consequences later. The Bat-family turned down Bruce’s invitation after the whole affair with the Joker at Arkham.

I’ll admit, the graphic violence in this story arc made me a bit queasy at times. I was shocked by the gore on several pages. While I’m not normally affected by horror in film or print, there was just something about Joker’s face being held on with fish hooks, and the sight of Batgirl’s detached face that threatened to turn my stomach.

(Thank goodness, Barbara Gordon was not, in fact, mutilated, although some poor woman who resembled her did meet that horrible fate–likely a female prison guard).


The writing was good. The art was stomach-churning. And for a short while, I did imagine some radical plastic surgery at the end of the issue to re-attach Barbara’s face and Red Robin’s face, since they appeared to have been mutilated at one point. That was edge-of-your-seat horror!

I have to give Snyder and Capullo some serious kudos for an excellent conclusion to the story. While certain aspects were disappointing, I certainly did not want anyone in the Bat family to actually die!

DC will no doubt produce a collected edition for DOTF although no such book exists yet in comic wholesale lists and is not yet listed for pre-order on Amazon.

While there was some confusion about the collected Court of Owls story arcs in issues #8-11 (give or take) of the various Bat-series, that should be much less confusing when a DOTF graphic novel becomes available later in 2013.


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