Comic Books

BATMAN #14
Batman_14

• “DEATH OF THE FAMILY” continues!

• The Joker is back and somehow more sinister than ever! What caused this change? And can even Batman stop a Joker so driven and dangerous?

• And where is Alfred?

• Plus: In the backup feature, The Penguin is running out of options as he’s confronted by The Joker!

Story by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Colors by FCO Placencia
Letters by Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Cover by Greg Capullo

Price: $3.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 44.3%
1537
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.7
 
Users who pulled this comic:

Comments

  1. lazycricket lazycricket says:

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 85 85 says:
  3. Ah, the cover (one of 2 actually) that started Capullo’s rant on Twitter.

    Seriously though, looking forward to this like every other issue of this series.

  4. sitara119 sitara119 says:

    yeah. i’m ready for a proper Joker book. Snyder is the best Horror comics writer at the moment(Lemire is a close 2nd).
    Snyder has said that the Joker is his favorite character of all time in any media and this is something we have in common. i am often not quite satisfied with a lot of Joker books. i think Azz has a good gasp of the character as does Nolan.
    Snyder, please don’t let me down. the Joker is a force of nature and should be treated as such. i am VERY hopeful, given the talent involved.

  5. TurdSandwich TurdSandwich says:

    I was hoping Jock was on the backup again, anyone know if that’s still the case? Other than that, I can’t wait to read this.

  6. We can jam at Joe’s garage! Can’t wait for this….

  7. sphinx69 sphinx69 says:

    This week is going to be rough!!!

  8. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    If Joker harms any of the remaining hairs on Alfred’s head, I’m not sure how I’m gonna handle it.

    Please, Scott … don’t do this. Just put the pen down, Scott, and we can talk about this. Scott!

    • I-Doll I-Doll says:

      This whole story line has me so stressed out. My friend and I call each other after reading the issues, like teenage girls stuck in a horror film. It’s that perfect love/hate of a stressful horror story.

  9. bigben2012 says:

    Holy shit, this and Saga both out on the same week…. WHO WILL WILL THE THE COMMUNITY PICK OF THE WEEK!!!!

  10. JoshJones87 JoshJones87 says:

    Is this the first time in main continuity that the joker knows Batman’s secret identity?

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      It’s not easy to say what “main continuity” means anymore, but I think Grant Morrison’s earlier Batman stuff indicated that Joker knows Batman is Bruce.

    • nosocialize says:

      Are we sure he knows Bruce is Batman or maybe he’s just at Bruce’s house to mess with Bruce’s life?

    • sitara119 sitara119 says:

      in Death in the Family back in the 80′s, “ambassador” Joker reveals to Batman that he knows he’s Bruce Wayne.
      JOKER: “even a madman can add 2 plus 2.”
      BATMAN: “and still come up with 5.”
      or something like that.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      Yeah I was wondering about that and I came to the same conclusion as @nosocialize, maybe he is just messing with Bruce Wayne. My assumption was it was a red herring from Snyder. We are supposed to think he’s going after Batman at his home but really he’s just going after Bruce. We’ll find out either way tomorrow!

    • JokersNuts JokersNuts says:

      It’s been indicated that he has known as long ago as Jason Todd’s death, and possibly before that. He definitely knew it during Morrisons run, that according to this issue seems to be at least partly in continuity, it’s the new 52 though so whos to say.

  11. JDA190 JDA190 says:

    Am I the only one that thought that the Joker snapping the necks of all those cops was a little silly?

    I mean, I like the Joker and all. And we all know that Gotham has the worst cops in the world. But a whole precinct loses their minds when the lights go out? Every cop I know has a flashlight on their belt. You’d think that at least one of them would pull it out. I guess Gordon is the only cop in Gotham with half a brain in his head. The others just stand around and wait to die.

    It’s nit-picky of me, but I just can’t get over it! Other than that I’ve loved the book. Please feel free to attack me. Thank you

    • ssnyder1835 ssnyder1835 says:

      I shall not attack you :)

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      I was kind of wondering the same thing but then I put myself in that situation. In a small room, in the dark, with the f-ing Joker. I’d freak out too! I read that as only the most experienced cops, such as Gordon, can maintain a level head and remember their training when facing the primal force that is the Joker.

    • theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

      I found it more silly that Bruce was walking through his beautiful home in his Joker-toxin soaked costume…better call Merry Maids.

    • Not read this issue yet, but is it still public record that Bruce funds Batman? If so and as the implication is that Joker is taking away Batman’s support mechanisms, then logically removing the money would be a part of it. I off course could be way off base.

    • JimShelley JimShelley says:

      About the lights thing – Joker was using a sort of strobe EMP Generator to turn of the lights, which probably (I say probably because no such thing really exists) would disrupt the Flashlights as well.

      But to your point about how he was so easily able to kill all the cops in the precinct: I’m guessing he sprayed them with some toxin to disable them, then broke their necks. If you read the scene purely as Joker uses darkness as his advantage to kill a bunch of people, then it still works. The artistic flourish of Neck Snapping is a bit heavy handed (which is what I think your real criticism is, and I agree.)

  12. ssnyder1835 ssnyder1835 says:

    And just want to say thanks to all of you for picking this one up, not just 14, but 13, and honestly, our whole run. Hope you like what’s coming as much as we do.

  13. JoshJones87 JoshJones87 says:

    The regular cover by Capullo is great, but variant with Batman and Harley is fantastic. I hope to my lcs has some available.

  14. A side note…last issue, it was refreshing to see Harley Quinn written correctly in the New 52.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      It was refreshing just to see Harley Quinn. This is the only Batbook I’m currently reading so it was cool to see her back, hope there is more of here in this story.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      You should check out Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn is a regular character in that. Especially check out issues #4-8. It’s a telling of her origin in the new 52 and deals a LOT with the Joker. It’s a great read as a Prequel to ‘Death of the Family’. Also Detective Comics #1, obviously, if you haven’t read that either.

    • sitara119 sitara119 says:

      @daningotham
      you may have just made ComicBOOKchris’ head explode. he hates Harley in Suicide Squad. about a year ago, he and i discussed at length Harley’s role in that book as it pretains to her wardrobe and her relationship with the Joker.
      good times.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      LOL, oops sorry. I actually really like her over there. Especially the Joker story, that was awesome. Just my opinion though ComicBOOKchris. ;-)

    • I read it awhile ago. She’s pretty much the Joker with boobs in that story. Doesn’t ring true.

    • I wrote a review about Suicide Squad and how Harley was misused awhile back here: http://ifanboy.com/reviews/suicide-squad-6-5/

      Looking at the previews, it’s looking like Snyder is continuing with that fish-out-of-water zealot take on Harley. I like that he’s zeroing in on this, cause it perfectly encapsulates her character: like a fan who was formerly obsessed, but now that she’s attached, is in way over her head.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      Interesting review. I guess I don’t look that in depth into the character. I thought it was a really good story. I like her because she is fun and crazy. “Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs.” But I also loved the scene in the Matrix too when Neo fights all the Mr. Smiths. So either I have low standards, am easily impressed, or we just have different tastes.

      Did you like how Harley was portrayed in ‘Gotham City Sirens’ in the old DCU? I was thinking about picking that up in trade format. That was the only Batman Family title I wasn’t reading back then.

    • Gotham City Sirens was absolutely excellent when Paul Dini was writing it, I wish it got more love than it did.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      I just looked up the price of the trades. Looks like I might be out of luck getting the first one. Must be out of print or something. Might be cheaper finding the individual issues.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      I loved Dini on Detective Comics back in the day. I wish he was still writing a Bat title. Not that our current writers are bad.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      New Harley Quinn/Suicide Squad info…..

      http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=42185

    • I-Doll I-Doll says:

      The first trades worth of Gotham Sirens just hit everything right and utterly fun. As it moved towards the end, it became more hit and miss for me, than more miss.
      Also, Amazon sells Gotham Sirens trades, sometimes, you can get them used on there. It’s kind of my go to place for out of print stuff for that reason.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      Cool thanks. Barnes and Noble online is great for DC trades too. You can usually get huge discounts, like 25%-40% off. Plus they recently had a buy 2 DC trades get 1 free deal.

  15. USPUNX USPUNX says:

    @daningotham: Thanks! I have eyed Suicide Squad on the shelves a couple of times so maybe I’ll pick up a trade this week.

  16. jpriester73 jpriester73 says:

    How long is this arc? I heard it was shorter than Court of Owls but does that mean its in the 5-6 or 3-4 issue range? So pumped to see where Synder takes us!

  17. smo5000 smo5000 says:

    Cant wait to read this, holy crap this week is ridiculous with new issues. Last issue was ama-za-za-zing, I have no doubt #14 will surpass it.

  18. markavo markavo says:

    How can I contain this anticipation through noon tomorrow?

  19. Boyling Boyling says:

    Oh man, this was a great issue! I love how Scott Snyder seems to be in my head, answering any questions and concerns I have and then just presenting a really exciting premise. It’s going to be painful having to wait for the next issue…

  20. koryrosh koryrosh says:

    Saga and Batman in the same week – wonder how the chips will fall on the user picks!

  21. JoshJones87 JoshJones87 says:

    Good lord, what an issue. What creeps me out the most is seeing Joker in his new look when he’s just talking with someone; it will always be unsettling. I’ve heard it before and it does feel like this story is going to a be a maniacal love letter from Snyder to not only classic Batman/Joker stories but to their overarching bond.

    Capullo nailed it in this issue, to me this is his best work on this series to date. I’m not sure which is the better image: the full page of Batman and Gordon or the far away shot of them both on the bridge.

  22. wushugushu says:

    This was the perfect package for me.. Everything in this issue was done so well including the back up with jock again, which had me pleasantly surprised since i wasnt sure he was on it.
    I feel as though Snyders characterization and terrifying dialogue were in perfect sync with capullo’s art..
    I dont know how i can wait for the next issue

  23. justicebeard justicebeard says:

    Floored by that panel where the stereo mimics Joker’s face.

  24. koryrosh koryrosh says:

    If for some reason there was a person taking out all the people who write and draw comics, put Snyder and Capullo in a nuclear fallout shelter! If I could only read one creative team for the rest of my life, it would be these two doing Batman. My GOD this was an amazing issue. Every issue pushes the envelope that much further. WE’RE NOT WORTHY!!!

  25. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    Snyder, you beautiful sick bastard. Another brilliant issue. Keep ‘em comin’.

    But seriously, Alfred better make it outta this or I’m gonna have some kind of breakdown.

  26. APoetSomeday APoetSomeday says:

    I just always assumed that Joker already knew Batman’s identity, but didn’t care. Joker has no beef with Bruce Wayne whatsoever, but the following things led to my assumption.

    1) In various stories, over many years, Joker is seen as solely fixated on Batman. ‘Going Sane’ ‘Batman & Robin Must Die’ ‘The Killing Joke’ and ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ are all good examples of this.
    2) In ‘Death in the Family’ Joker alludes to having this knowledge.
    3) In ‘Hush’, Joker knows that the Robin he killed was named Jason Todd.
    4) In ‘Batman R.I.P’ Bruce runs around Arkham with his mask off in front of Joker, as well as pretty much revealing his identity.
    5) Joker famously crippled Barbara Gordon back in ‘The Killing Joke’ and, at times, has demonstrated knowledge of her secret identity as well (it can’t have escaped him that Batgirl disappeared around the same time…)
    6) Joker attempted to murder Wayne back in ‘The Man Who Laughs’ and Bruce survived somehow, just as Batman appeared on the scene. Joker can’t have been stupid enough to miss that one once he knew Batman better.

    It has always been my contention that Joker exists to cause havoc and woe in Batman’s life. He has no interest in killing Batman, only in proving his demented point that beneath civility and society exists a race of Jokers. If he has this super MPD that is mentioned in Morrison’s run, then it was only a matter of time before some errant personality acted upon this knowledge in order to cause pain and hurt. I found the reveal in-keeping with the character, though not a huge shock.

    The real worry is poor Alfred – what happened to his eyes!?

  27. fo sho says:

    wow. just wow. i hope alfred was blindfolded.

  28. CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

    The art, tone and atmosphere in this book are peerless. Still a little overwritten, but that doesn’t stop the brilliance from shining through.

  29. Great issue yet again, I know we are 2 issues but this arc is the best Batman story I’ve ever read. Cannot wait for the next issue.

  30. glunders glunders says:

    A vast improvement over the last issue, in my opinion, and big on the tension and anxiety, like “The Black Mirror.” The first part of this story felt a little over-stuffed and even derivative of past Joker stories, but if Snyder needed that all out of the way so he could slow things down and ratchet up the tension in this issue, I’m not complaining.

    …Probably my favorite New 52 Batman issue yet.

  31. Kipper2099 Kipper2099 says:

    Amay-za-zing! Snyder you are definitely rocking this series and thank you for writing such an amazing arc and keeping me hooked and can’t wait for the next issue! You sir are a gentleman and a scholar! :)

  32. natureboy1 says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but c’mon…how is he supposed to be keeping that skin on? It would tear to pieces and break down very easily (Much less be preserved for over a year)

    • glunders glunders says:

      Ssshhhh

    • MaxPower MaxPower says:

      1. It’s comics starring a billionaire who dresses like a bat and fights clowns, so don’t worry about it
      2. I f you are going to worry about it, let’s say that the Joker’s skin was altered on a molecular level when he had his initial chemical bath that transformed him into the white skin, red lipped, green haired maniac he is now. It made his face change in color, elasticity and prevents it from decaying on a normal human level. Dude never needs moisturizer.

    • @MaxPower LOL.

  33. DavidClark DavidClark says:

    Yeah, I have no complaints…not one.

    Capullo’s art choices are incredible. So many phenomenal panels..I won’t even count them.

    Snyder’s script keeps pulling back deeper layers of mystery and conceit…I love it.

    The backup story is a strong stand alone where Jock gets to draw the Joker and JOker’s mayhem..and we see how the Penguin is going to get involved in J’s “plan”.

    Still the #1 book being published by the big 2.

  34. theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

    I didn’t really like the main story this issue. The art was awesome as usual (Capullo and Glapion you rock!) but the story didn’t go anywhere and seemed like needless drama. Felt a little like a rehashing of last issue.Too much talking, and I’m still not sure why this is all happening. Pure revenge? Does the Joker miss his old escapades with the Bat and wants him to himself? I like the whole “does he really know” plot, but I’m not sure what continuity I should be analyzing it under. Hopefully this story gets moving next issue.

    • Pennyworth Pennyworth says:

      I think in the long run this issue will seem vital. Snyder has mentioned in several interviews and such that Joker’s message is that Batman’s family has held him back and that Joker must kill them to get Batman back to his glory days.

    • Zhurrie Zhurrie says:

      Snyder is very formulaic in his approach, it creates these situations and even though it can be fun and entertaining it isn’t my cup of tea. A lot of people disagree and enjoy it, which is fine, but it is just too transparently paint by numbers for me to go ga-ga over. I’m OK with being the minority on this so there is no need to flame on attack.

    • sitara119 sitara119 says:

      @Zhurrie
      just outa curiosity, why do you continue to read if it’s not you’re cup of tea? feel free to correct me if i’m wrong, but i seem to recall a few comments such these from you in the past concerning this Bat-book.
      i don’t want you to like this, i am merely puzzled.

    • sitara119 sitara119 says:

      *your cup of tea :D

    • Zhurrie Zhurrie says:

      I never said it is terrible, I said that Snyder’s writing is formulaic and at times a bit over-done or compromised for one reason or another. I loved the original Court of Owls run up until the last couple issues where it went off the rails IMO, I enjoyed it up until that point for what it was. I similarly will read and judge this arc for what it is.

      I don’t see things in some ultra black and white/all or nothing terms. I enjoy other writers much more than Snyder. I think he has room to grow and fine tune his craft, maybe he will and maybe he won’t. People enjoy it as-is and, again, I’m perfectly fine with that… it just isn’t as praiseworthy to me as it obviously is to others here. To me it often comes down to a lot of fairly basic tricks and flash with less real substance when you take a step back, when you are caught up in it it seems more important or grand than it really is. Some writers are analogous to a mindless “popcorn flick,” some are truly artistic, cerebral, and/or boundary pushing, and some are in between (which is where I place Snyder). My personal preference is for the more artistic/cerebral/boundary option. Rarely does that happen with Batman but I still enjoy reading the title for the most part.

  35. muddi900 says:

    After Court of Owls and Batman, Inc., this is incredibly unambitious and dull. Also, the big reveal in this issue is a red herring. And possible Joker’s definite origin that Snyder keeps alluding to.

    • I’d have to say you’re opinion is not the popular one. I disagree with you. I think we’re two issues in to what will be one of the most ambitious and mithos changing batman books ever written.

  36. theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

    @Zhurrie I gotta agree with you. Not that its bad, but there is a formula that at times takes away from the book. That said, I do like Snyders direction and vibe on the book, and that’s why I read it. Over the years Batman has traditionally been a very formulaic book, in general. For me, just not the best issue, I think its a liitle overdone on the “best issue ever!”. 13 was better.

    • dkbrain dkbrain says:

      I agree with Zhurrie. There is a silent minority that isn’t on board. We’re silent to avoid negativity and not attempt to diminish everyone else’s fun. I’m writing here to let Zhurrie know there are others that agree with his (?) perspective.

      I love Batman so I’m loath to drop the book but it’s at the bottom of my stack.

    • Zhurrie Zhurrie says:

      I have thick skin :) Trust me I fully understand the lightning rod involved in daring to go against the grain and it is exacerbated by the fact that Scott posts here in all of his book’s threads so at times the hyperbole/white knighting can get pretty thick. Like I’ve said I’m not claiming it is the worst thing ever and not worthy of print, just that Scott is still young and his writing and devices can be a bit by the numbers, academic, and at times overdone or even compromised for one reason or another. I tend to be good with his beginnings and even middle-game but I usually dread the endings because they either step way out of the bounds set up and feel a bit weak, cheesy, or contrived or utilize some rehashed concepts. There’s room for improvement, that is really all I’m saying. I’m not setting the flamethrower on full power or falling into the usual comic-fan favorite of claiming something is either the absolute best or else it is complete crap.

    • glfmntn says:

      Just curious, if anyone is actually looking at the thread since we are coming on a new week, but what is Snyder’s “formula” that is being referenced? I’m new to comics (6 months) and it’s not going to ruin the fun for me or anything, just curious on what his formula is because I enjoy AV, Batman, and Swamp Thing (surprisingly bc such an odd character) and I don’t see a formula but thats maybe bc the characters are different.

    • daningotham daningotham says:

      I’m still looking at the thread ‘glfmntn’. My comics don’t come until the end of the month so I never post my observations on the issues until then. Not really sure what Snyder’s formula is either. I just know Iike his stuff and will keep buying it. ;-)

  37. FrasMacc FrasMacc says:

    2 words.
    holy
    shit.

  38. dkbrain dkbrain says:

    I do think Snyder is way cool, especially the posting here on occasion.

  39. fo sho says:

    Now that I’ve had a little time to digest the story and having gotten past the tense mood established, anyone else think the flying teeth shooting up and entangling Batman was a little silly? I remember feeling that way about the giant mallet smacking Batman into the trap in the last issue too. Maybe I just need to suspend my disbelief…

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      I think that was the point. It was silly. I took it as a message that the giant mallet swinging Joker is still in there somewhere. It’s still a small part of who he is, no matter how much he’s changed over the years.

    • theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

      Trying my best to not sound like a hater, because it is an enjoyable book, but yeah, I was like, ” What exactly is going on with these teeth?! How did he plant those? How did they work? A little out there. However, I did really like the premise of Joker just jumping straight ahead to the mayhem. It wad kinda creepy knowing it was all already done.

    • Pennyworth Pennyworth says:

      I think we not only have to have a degree of suspension of belief but also pull ourselves away from the Nolan Trilogy.

    • theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

      I know we’re talking comics, and comics are fantasy, but those teeth and the floating bodies with the light (is that what that was? What about the explosion in the water?), and even Gordon bleeding (I take it he was drugged in his sleep) were all way over the top. The movies have no impact whatsoever on my interpretation on who the Joker, or Batman for that matter, is or should be. It was just good to know I wasn’t the only one who rolled their eyes when these teeth came shooting up out of the water. On another note, part of Batman’s appeal to me is the realistic qualities. He isnt the “fantastic super hero,” he worked for his abilities, and relies on his brain power; so far in this arc not good enough to keep him ahead of the Joker.

    • sitara119 sitara119 says:

      i like the teeth and the giant hammer. classic Joker gags. right there with the electrifying hand buzzer, the poison spitting flower on his coat and dare i say…Joker Fish. i’ve seen a lot of Joker hijinks over the years that are FAR more outa the realm of possibility than this and could be perceived as “silly”.
      Snyder’s books tend to be very serious and i can appreciate these tip of the hat moments or brief homages that break the tension.
      and i don’t think we need to get away from Nolan’s Joker, just fold him into the mix with the rest of the interpretations over the years.

    • theWAC1 theWAC1 says:

      I actually thought the mallet was cool.

  40. BradLWoods3 BradLWoods3 says:

    I read a string of mediocre comics the past couple of weeks and then this… this piece of perfection, this thing of beauty! The story, the art… this is truly a classic in the making! And it’s so awesome to see Snyder pop in here and comment from time to time… it shows how much Batman means to him… I only wish he would do that with poor Swamp Thing… it’s like he gives 90 percent of his soul to the Dark Knight… and Swampy gets the leftovers… sigh…

  41. CrimsonBlur CrimsonBlur says:

    This is going to be one of those classic runs/story archs we look back on years from now. You can tell it already.

  42. KillTheG1mp KillTheG1mp says:

    Two weeks late in my stack. First issue I put on top of it and read. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

    If Snyder and Capullo stopped writing/drawing this book I’d sincerely contemplate suicide as my life would be tasteless and devoid of any meaning! 0_o

  43. FrancisMH says:

    This comment will probably get me some heat on this site, but I found this issue a bit boring. I felt it was a bit too heavy on dialogue and exposition. I know this has sorta been Snyder’s style this entire run (which I’ve enjoyed overall), but it often feels like I’m reading a novel rather than a comic book.

    Yes, I realize Batman is a detective, and detectives do a lot of talking/thinking, but I always felt that the point of a comic book was to do most of this visually. In this issue at least, I certainly felt that the words slowed the pacing of the story way too much.

  44. Zhurrie Zhurrie says:

    Because I was pretty harsh I went back and re-read this issue after a few days to see what my second opinion was and honestly it still fell completely flat for me. It feels very disjointed and “jumpy” almost like it was rushed or needs and extra page or two in places, even the second read through there was a point that I flipped back a page thinking two were stuck together and I missed one but I hadn’t. There just isn’t much there presented well or given the appropriate time needed to have any sort of impact. The “action”/climactic scenes are only given 2-3 panels and they jump crazily like the whole casette/Gordon thing, the panel of teeth in the water, then Batman tied up, or Batman in the chamber, then boom he’s out, or spotlight (?) on the people in the water and no real reason or setup and the resolution of it rushed over. For me this was a miss entirely and after that last issue this could have been way better. The art was even a bit of a mixed bag with the majority being really excellent and then a few panels being out of sync style-wise or severely lacking. I still hope this arc is cool overall but this was a swing and a big miss for me almost entirely.

  45. daningotham daningotham says:

    Once again I really enjoyed this issue. Poor Alfred. Like a previous poster said I really hope he makes it out of this. Makes me choked up just to think about it. Art and story were once again amazing. Another fine job Snyder!

Leave a Comment