Ever since I read “The Court of Owls” storyline I have become a huge Scott Snyder fan. Now Snyder is bringing back Batman’s biggest nemesis, The Joker, for a story line called “A Death In The Family“. Usually focused on the Dark Knight, The Clown Prince has bigger aspirations this time around. He is looking to take down Batgirl, Nightwing and everyone else associated with Batman. The story will have a crossover arch with Catwoman, Suicide Squad and other DC series.
The story begins in Batman #13, (out next Wednesday, Oct. 10th), and from the sneak peaks we have seen so far, looks to be incredible. The other day Snyder and artist Greg Capullo sat down with USA TODAY to discuss this epic story. Here is that interview along with some images that will either peak your interest or turn your stomach…or both!
“The Joker is coming and saying, ‘Remember all these awesome times we had together,’ which are obviously not awesome at all for Batman, but in the Joker’s mind are these incredibly loving and terrific encounters over the years,” says Batman writer Scott Snyder.
In his own oddball way, the Joker sees Batman as the ruler of Gotham and himself as the court jester — Snyder is including Peter Pan and fairy-tale imagery as the Joker shows his messed-up adoration.
“He believes he often brings the worst news of Batman’s own heart to him in the form of these terrible nightmares he has to fight,” the writer says. “If that’s his purpose, then he sees this family in a lot of ways as interlopers and people who make his idol, his Bat-king, weak.”
So, the Joker is just as demented as ever at his core — “just the window dressing is a little bit different” this time around, says artist Greg Capullo, who designed the villain’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque look.
“Maybe Batman clocks him or something and a hook busts loose,” Capullo says. “One side of the face is hanging while the other is up in the twisted maniacal grin that we are all familiar with the Joker.”
DC’s Batman series is the most subscribed-to and best-selling title at Jetpack Comics in Rochester, N.H., and its owner, Ralph DiBernardo, and his customers have been eagerly awaiting the Joker’s return.
“We all have crazy thoughts at times. We just don’t act them out, so watching a character that does is intriguing,” DiBernardo says.”Clowns are supposed to be fun and friendly, but then you get a blast of acid in the face from their boutonniere. The real question is, like the chicken and the egg, did the Joker spawn people’s fear of clowns or did coulrophobia (fear of clowns) start after the Joker’s introduction in comic books? I’d like to believe it was the latter.”
While Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and Oscar winner Heath Ledger have all brought the Joker to life on the screen and helped him become one of pop culture’s most infamous baddies, in comics the villain has been a thorn in Batman’s side since 1940.
However, it has been many years since he has played a central role in a really big comic-book story, Snyder says. “He’s intimidating because there are so many seminal stories from years before that really are some of the greatest Batman stories ever.”
His goal for “Death of the Family” is to include “everything we would ever want to do with the character,” the writer says.
“Let’s make this Joker story the biggest, baddest, most terrifying thing we could possibly do so that no one wants to use the character again in this way for another 20 years.”
From what I have seen, this one will AB-SO-LUTELY be the biggest, baddest, most terrifying Joker story ever.