We should have seen it coming. We should have read the bones.
Any Joker storyline is going to come with a certain amount of loaded expectations, but make it the first major Joker storyline in the DC Universe since the launch of the New 52 and it will come with a tremendous amount of pressure. However, if there was anyone who could navigate those waters it would certainly be Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, who expertly and terrifying handle the Joker’s triumphant return to Gotham City in ‘Death of the Family.’
While Batman had a victory, he did so at a great cost to those he loves most. Snyder’s presentation of Joker’s motivations (that his actions are done out of love for the Dark Knight), showed a compelling new take on the Clown Prince of Crime. If the terrors this event are what the Joker is capable of doing out of love, I don’t want to know what he’d do when he’s angry.
For the first time in a while, I became scared of the Joker and what he might do to the Bat Family. In a book where we know Batman will probably still be around next month, Snyder made me fear for everyone’s safety and made me unsure who (if anyone) would survive the encounter – which is no small feat.
For creating unparalleled terror with a story that looks to actually matter for the future of the title, Death of the Family is our Best Event of 2013.