Good tie-ins are hard to come by, especially when the main story is so riveting, and yet Gail Simone manages to do it so well. Joker, who was pretty much the talk of comics last year, does what he does best: terrorizes. For the past four issues Barbara Gordon’s world has been a hot mess, revolving around the fact that Joker’s kidnapped her mother. The tie-in works really well in all aspects, except for one tiny one. The story is well written, the art is gorgeous, these issues help make the main title stronger, but there’s no sense of closure. This story will be concluded in Batman #17, and while there’s sure to be some sort of repercussion in this series in the future, the actual story doesn’t end here. Normally with tie-ins, you don’t have an ending and it’s fine, because the tie-ins are short, one or two issues. However, four issues could almost be considered an entire arc to itself. That small nitpick aside, which is probably more of a personal issue than anything, this tie-in was extremely well done and I imagine lives up to most people’s expectations of a Batgirl vs. Joker reunion. 4/5
Without a doubt, Joker and his “Death of the Family” story has already left a lasting impact on Batman history. Joker has ripped through the entire Bat-Family, leaving no one feeling left out. Scott Snyder has done two very great things with this arc. He’s developed this story that has allowed for so many tie-ins, yet none of them feel forced, or repetitive. More importantly, he’s written a remarkably fascinating story here. With the “Court of Owls” the story had a much grander feel to it. It was more of a me against the world, or rather Batman against the world, type of story. With this Joker arc, it’s more personal, more intimate, it’s me versus my childhood bully who knows all my secrets. It’s just the one man, but there’s no doubt that he’s even more sadistic, more dangerous, and more evil. Greg Capullo’s pencils, Jonathan Glapion’s inks, and FCO’s colors work like magic in this issue. They’ve created a gruesome, dark, and gritty Arkham that makes the perfect setting for this royal debacle. The story ends in the next issue, and if this penultimate issue is any indication it will be fantastic. 5/5
Poor little Damian. This series has taken Damian on a roller coaster ride with no seat belt, cars, or even wheels, and it only gets worse with Joker in town. After being tricked into coming to the Zoo, a poisoned Damian is forced to do battle against the man whose approval he desires the most – his father. Only, it’s not actually his father, as us readers all know. Unfortunately for the slightly off kilter boy, he actually believes he’s being forced to fight his father to the death. As a result, readers are left with a surprisingly painful fight to read through. Death of the Family has been blessed, for lack of a better word, with excellent tie-ins across the board. Damian’s solo run over the past couple of issues has contained some of the better issues in this entire series. The art in this issue is fantastically creepy and works really well with the story. 4.5/5
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