By Todd Allen
Tony Daniel had an odd hook early in his Detective Comics: the Joker having had his face cut off. The clown prince of crime disappeared into the wind, most likely in need of a face transplant (such things _do_ exist). His reappearance has been anticipated, but not fulfilled. Daniel announces he’s leaving Detective, and what does issue for a teaser?
That’s a pretty clear reference/continuation to Daniel’s initial storyarc. This arc will be called “Death of the Family,” an obvious reference to the ’90s “A Death in the Family” arc where Joker killed the Jason Todd Robin — after phone voting — and before Jason Todd came back to life vis-a-vis Earth-Prime Superboy’s punching the barrier between dimensions.
Has the whole Jason Todd/ex-Robin/Joker scenario been addressed in the New 52 world?
For that matter, given that this is getting a big launch, will the back end of the story spill out into the Batman family of titles like “Night of the Owls” did? (Because the sales charts looked upon “Night of the Owls” favorably.)
Anyway, the Joker is moving to a new Bat-book in October. Official DC PR follows:
This October, one of the most notorious villains in comic book history is making his return to DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. In the new storyline, “Death of the Family,” The Joker will come out of the dark in a horrifying, unnerving, and huge way. And the grave consequences of his reemergence will be felt by not only the Bat-family, but by all of Gotham City.
He crippled Batgirl. He killed Robin. What will The Joker do next? And what must Batman do to protect his secret identity and that of those who fight alongside him? The adventure begins in BATMAN #13 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion.
“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder told THE SOURCE. “Not just in comics. In everything – film, books, TV. He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve been building in my head ever since I started working in Gotham. Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my ARKHAM ASYLUM or THE KILLING JOKE, only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened… And wait ’til you see him. Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you’ve never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride. Thanks for taking it with us.”
“When Scott told me that he’d written a Joker story for our next arc, I couldn’t contain my excitement,” added Capullo. “Talk about a dream come true! For me, the Joker is the ultimate rogue and the villain I most wanted to draw. I gotta tell you, after hearing what the story is about, this isn’t a dream come true. It’s a nightmare! A macabre and bloody, flesh crawling nightmare. We hope you’ll have the nerve to face what’s coming. Warning: It ain’t for the faint of heart!”
BATMAN #13 hits stores on October 10th. But in the meantime, take an exclusive first look at Capullo’s promotional art for “Death of the Family” below.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.