PrintE-mail Written by Hayden Mears

Review: Batman Vol 3 – Death of the Family (The New 52) / Author: Scott Snyder / Artist: Gregg Capullo / Publisher: DC / Release Date: November 15th

Batman, cleverly written by Scott Snyder and beautifully drawn by Gregg Capullo, has climbed its way to the top in quality, and currently stands as one of the best titles in The New 52. Snyder and Capullo show their chops as the most competent writer/artist team in DC's massive relaunch, brilliantly combining mystery, action, and suspense into one hell of a series. Moreover, as it progresses, the art and the writing only grows darker and more complicated, a fact that is especially true in the latest arc, Death of the Family.

He's been in the shadows for a year, watching, waiting, plotting. Batman and his Bat-homies know that he'll be back, they just don't know how and when. And then, out of nowhere, the Joker resurfaces with a new plan, one that will dramatically change Batman and everyone he associates with. Will Batman get the punchline, or will the Clown Prince of Crime finally have the last laugh?

Snyder writes the Caped Crusader with a skill and deftness that is almost unheard of, sucking readers in with his smart, quick dialogue and refusing to spit them out until they turn the final page. He writes him almost lovingly, displaying a fondness for Batman and his world that we just don't see in comics any more. The same can be said for Capullo, whose art, as always, stuns the reader and immerses you in Batman's bleak, messed-up world.

Death of the Family isn't flawless, but it's pretty damn close. Out of the five issues in the arc, two are chock full of filler and therefore pretty much disposable. Fortunately, the other three more than make up for the lack of substance in the two bad ones, with the spectacular final issue almost serving as an apology for its lacklustre predecessors.

Well-written, amazingly drawn, and impactful for both the characters and the reader, Death of the Family is comic book storytelling at its absolute finest.

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