Since it started, I’ve been really excited about the “Death of the Family” plot arc going on in DC Comics. I’m going to warn you now, there are spoilers in this post.
The story ended on Wednesday and, despite how much I loved it from the beginning, I couldn’t help but feel let down when it was over. Not because “Aw man, it’s over,” but because “Wait… it’s over already?” The final issue felt rushed. The Joker didn’t have enough time to lose.
Seems like a weird though to have, right? Let me explain.
For the past two days, I’ve been reading and re-reading the issue, trying to figure out why I felt so unfulfilled. I realized it around the third time I looked at it. The big reveal of what was on the big silver trays should have ended that issue. At that point, you wait another month, letting it sink it, figure out what Batman is going to do, and praise DC for the suspense.
That was the biggest tease to the issue. The Joker showed us bloody silver platters that were covered. We tried to figure out what was on them. It was enough to horrify Two-Face and Penguin, but we never got to know until this last issue.
At that point, when Batman sees the “dinner” Joker prepared, cut to black and wait for the next one. Each subsequent Bat Family issue is about what the Joker said to each of them while Batman was knocked out. It clearly freaked them out, and while the “what if” is just as compelling, I think the guys who were writing this arc could pull it off.
The other issue I had was how fast everything was resolved. We go from the Joker having the upper hand to losing in a matter of pages. There’s no set moment where we know “things are about to change.” It just happens, and, frankly, it felt kind of forced.
Don’t get me wrong here, folks. I loved the story beginning to end. I think Batman, as usual, put everything together in his usual impressive way. It just seemed to happen too fast.