February 22, 2013

Review: Batman Issue 17

The horrific finale to The Death of The Family storyline is here. What is fate of Batman and his allies?

Sadly, Batman issue 17 left me feeling a bit empty on the conclusion despite it's grand build-up leading this spectacular finish. Artist Greg Capullo has delivered some spectacular cover artwork throughout the miniseries, each leaving the reader in a grip of terror of what's to come inside. The Alfred subplot certainly unnerved all of us, considering the very title of the miniseries itself. What Snyder presents in issue 17 though, captures the very essence of The Joker's personality, portraying the same irrational lunatic, we've all come to love. Although some elements don't quite live up to the ending presented here.

Readers may not get the ending they want but Snyder's depiction of The Joker merely reminds us of the deadly games he's known for. Just when you think it's finally over though, The Joker still has another...card up his sleeve. This aspect is evident in the scenes where the Bat Family thinks they're finally safe. We're definitely deprived of a glorious final confrontation as well. Batman issue 17 is not a total letdown given the many traumatic images showcased as well. What's inside the serving dish indeed! Snyder and Capullo have certainly captivated readers throughout with Capullo's artwork filled with dark tones and colors setting the somber and terror within the pages. The first page is terrifying enough.

Perhaps in some ways, The Joker's plan did succeed in defeating the Bat Family as Snyder shows the lasting scars of this agonizing ordeal to end this saga.

At this point you're still wondering, does Harley Quinn's lasting words ring true, in that The Joker has changed? Were the backup stories successful in delivering additional information and material relevant to where issue 17 was meant to capitalize on? Probably not, as the story in issue 17 fails to really capture any of these tantalizing elements. The buildup was great but the finale was flat.

Final Verdict: B

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