Comic Books


• “DEATH OF THE FAMILY” continues here!

• The Joker’s attacks have taken their toll on Batman and his allies, and now they have to face the impossible.

• The final madness of The Joker’s plan revealed here! Why is he more dangerous now than ever before?

• Plus: In the backup feature, witness The Joker’s confrontation with the Riddler as the horror of The Joker’s plan is revealed.

Story by Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, & Jock
Cover by Greg Capullo
Variant Cover by Greg Capullo

Price: $3.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 69.3%
Avg Rating: 4.6
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. The final madness? Did I miss something? I thought we were just gettin’ warmed up.

    I haven’t been reading the tie-ins. Have the attacks really taken their toll, or is that just hyperbole? Anyone? (Not you, Snyder. Play fair.)

  2. This week wouldn’t come here fast enough! Won’t get to pick up my copy until Saturday so gonna have to keep my eyes out for spoilers lol

  3. This cover gives me the willies!

    I cannot wait to read this comic! Here’s hoping the big reveal is awesomely surprising and sad.

  4. This arc will be so fun to read in one sitting when its done. I’m loving every issue! Plus the Riddler!

  5. Nice to see Tynion is going to get the first crack at doing the new Riddler.

    Oh and that cover is terrifying.

  6. Can’t wait to see the Riddler!

    Oh, and the Joker’s cool too, I guess.

  7. I just can’t say I’ve enjoyed comics more than I do right now, reading Batman. Anything that Snyder writes, I want to read.

    • He is taking over Superman soon. Should be interesting.

    • Unfortunately his Swamp Thing is weak.

    • Read the first few arcs of American Vampire (hell, read it all!) and his run on Detective Comics. For me Snyder doesn’t get better than that. And the first few issues of Swamp Thing were really good, with Abby’s little brother and Alex Holland with his flashbacks. It had some depth, but unfortunately Swampy grew a cape and then the Rot took over and the book fell off hard.

    • I just ordered the first American Vampire trade as I have heard really good things about it.

  8. I’m hoping this issue finally starts the story. The planes have flown over, the songs been sung, we know the teams, time for all the flare to end and let’s get to the game. I loved #13, but last issue didn’t do it for me. Seemed overly dramatic and didn’t move as much as I would have liked. I am REALLY excited to see the Riddler. Theses backups have been very well-executed.

    • The story has already been started and is near the conclusion. The only thing left is the big reveal, the drama and the resolution.

    • Almost over? He just showed up. There’s still 2 (3?) issues of this event to go AFTER #15. For there to be a conclusion something has to happen. Between issues 12 and 13 nothing happened except Gordon got poisoned and Batman got “kidnapped” (similar to the predicament he was in at the end of 12), oh and more people died. Is it even the next day?? What is this “big reveal” you speak of? Is it the “why” of this story? After last issue I’m definitely looking forward to that. In case you can’t tell, last issue lowered my hopes for this story. Really hoping that Wednesday proves me wrong and gets me excited again.

    • Right on! Seems like we finally have a plot. Loved how deep in Bruce’s head the Joker is, the fractioning of the family, the castle idea is great! Liked the old school Joker blimp (did that really happen??) Seems like this story may be different than I first anticipated. Wish I knew where the gloves went (and the Joker for that matter…), but I got over that pretty quick. Looking forward to 16.

  9. Jock!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I can’t wait for the Riddler arc. Riddler hasn’t held the spotlight for a long time (to my knowledge) and Snyder has been kicking so much ass! This is one of the few New 52 titles that has kept me consistently pleased.

  11. Excited for the Riddler too. Did we see him in the first issue? Does he have a question mark shaped mohawk?

  12. Snyder appeared on Kevin Smith’s “Fatman on Batman” podcast last week and listening to the two hour interview I became even more excited about this storyline (I don’t know how that’s possible).

    • Two hours?! Jesus Christ! Did Snyder read the entire arc to Smith out loud?

    • Seriously, I was a little worried when I saw the length of the interview, but he talked quite a bit about his background, etc. It was a really good listen. I’ve been listening to the podcast from the beginning, Smith tends to talk to people more involved in the various animated shows. It was really cool to hear someone talking about the comics and I was really excited to hear some of his thought process and what not.

      I know that it’s just one interview and you can’t really know too much about someone from it, but Snyder sounded like a really cool guy too (not that he needed to convince me to buy his books, he’s one of two authors ((Remender being the other)) whose work I’ll give a shot just by virtue of his involvement).

    • Sounds cool. I’ll check it out.

  13. i think the Riddler is a tough character to tackle from the position of a writer. the character is clever, so the writer has to be clever.
    i like the idea of a Riddler who talks continuously in rhyme and riddle. without sounding cheezy.
    i always thought it would be cool if he spoke in an accent that was also difficult to understand. like Mickey the Pikey. or even with a speech impediment, just to give the detective more to decipher. i’m not sure exactly how you would transfer/translate that to a written page and still make it legible, so it might actually be a better movie idea, but i still think it would be a cool character trait.

  14. There’s a lot more Riddler love here than I would’ve expected.

    His appeal has always been lost on me. I’m not asking for explanations. I understand the character fully. I’ll admit that he holds a certain challenge to Bruce’s detective skills, and that under the right pen he could be entertaining and dangerous, he’s just always struck me as kind of a joke. Even in Hush, when the entire idea was to play on that concept, I still couldn’t take him seriously. Dangerous he may be, but as a MAN, there’s not much substance there. There are very few interesting character traits beyond his genius and the pathetic obsession with puzzles. I’ve always preferred him as a punching bag for Bruce, and a punchline for the rogues gallery than as any kind of serious threat.

    • I think he looks cool. Riddler after Joker is kinda tough though, because they can feel somewhat similar if not differentiated properly. Sometimes he’s a watered-down Joker.

    • That might explain my confusion, because I think a bright green bowler hat with a giant question mark on it is pretty far from “cool”. 🙂

    • The Riddler is very cool. He’s one of the all-time best Batman villains.

    • He’s got a cool shtick, no question about it. I don’t agree that he looks cool.

    • Does Jock introduce the Riddler? I imagine his rendition would look gritty and great. I liked the modern version Bermejo did in The Joker, but not expecting anything like that. Mohawk idea sounds horrible though. Anywhere I can get a preview of what he looks like? Cool thing about New 52 is he could be reinvented into something new.

    • @theWAC1: “Does Jock introduce the Riddler?”


      Beyond that, I’ll let you find out tomorrow.

    • Jock could make even the bowler look cool. I agree on Bermejo’s version. That was ok.

      I also agree that a mohawak does not work on any character that isn’t Storm or Gladiator.

    • Here’s hoping the mohawk look has been nixed, because I really had a problem with that design. It was terrible.

    • big riddler story coming soon after Joker. No mohawk – promise 🙂 S

    • @ssnyder1835: HaHa!

      If anyone could pull off a mohawk on Riddler, it’d be you, Greg, and Jock.

      And I honestly hope that your Riddler is my favorite.

    • @WheelHands Thanks man. Promise we’re doing our best to give him the story he deserves – smartest mind in Gotham. After all, the right question can bring down the mightiest king.

    • Awesome! Bring it on.

    • @ssnyder1835

      I have to give you guys HUGE respect for the quality of the backups in this comic – Jock, Tynion, Rafael? Just a disgusting surplus of talent. And for a buck more? Incredible

      Also – as sad as I am to see you taking a hiatus on American Vamp … I am eagerly anticipating your take on supes.

      Thanks for another great issue …

    • I don’t need to see the version of the Riddler from the Adam West TV series in the New 52, but Frank Gorshin’s portrayal of the Riddler is positively demonic! Check out the reruns sometime. Gorshin’s Riddler is a lot more insane than Romero’s Joker and he rocks a pretty sharp suit at times, too!

  15. One word: Wow.

    This issue was solid gold. Awesome.

    I also pick up ‘Batman’ for my brother who lives miles away from the nearest comic store. He hasn’t gotten around to reading Issue 13 yet. This means that when I see him next he can read issues 13 – 15 in one sitting first time out. I’m actually really jealous of him for that.

  16. This and Batman and Robin were both super great this week, I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. Once again Batman is my POTW.

  17. 5 stars and POTW.
    Snyder clearly “gets” the Joker. Joker truly loves Batman. that scares the hell outa me and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
    the art of Capullo and Jock is jaw-dropping. so many great panels.
    and i liked the Riddler back-up. good stuff.

  18. As with most issues of Batman, the quality of this book is stellar. The art is terrifying and evocative, the characters are spot on, the tone is haunting and tense, and the writing…

    Well, that’s where it falls down for me. In nearly every scene, it feels like Snyder uses 15 words where 3 would do. The reveal about Joker’s card in the middle of the book should have been shocking, but it was so cluttered with technical minutia and needless back-and-forth that the impact is drained away. I almost feel that it’s an editing problem more than a writing one, and it’s very frustrating as this issue would be a 5 without these flaws.

    • Call me crazy but…I actually wasn’t as amazed by this issue. I did think it ended up being a bit too heavy handed on the exposition. It felt like Bruce was trying too hard to tell a spooky story as opposed to just telling the team what he found. And after being bound by the crazy teeth in the past issue…now he just breaks out by doing…what exactly? Flexing his muscles? Getting angry? And when’d he take off the gloves?

      Apologies if I just missed how he did this as I read the book on my iPhone…gonna re-read again on a bigger format once I get home…

    • Fo Sho – I had the same issue with the gloves. Its not just you, as far as I can see, there is no panel where we see him taking them off (I guess it must be off panel). He presumably does so in order to get out of the Joker teeth/line combination that’s trapping him. Perhaps the Joker, knowing how Batman’s costume works, planned for that deliberately – who knows? But no, its not just you.

    • Oh, wait, there is a small panel that can be interpreted as Batman removing the glove/gauntlet. It takes place right before we see Bruce lunging towards the Joker without any gloves on.

      If you look at the page, the helicopter is being destroyed in the background and Batman’s hand appears to be limp in the foreground. My guess is that this is supposed to represent him removing his gloves in order to escape.

      …And that solves the mystery of the missing Bat-Gloves! lol 🙂

    • @apoetsomeday – haha yeah i noticed that on the bigger tablet…but still feel like it went from “batman being helpless” to “batman easily springing the trap” pretty quickly!

    • @APoetSomeday

      “Perhaps the Joker, knowing how Batman’s costume works, planned that deliberately…”
      if i have the same interpretation/understanding of Joker as Snyder does, he absolutely planned it that way. nothing with Joker is random despite the “Agent of Chaos” persona. he wanted Bruce to punch him bare-handed to infect him with toxin.
      if ya ask me, there’s still some unseen consequences to that punch. for all we know, he’s still unconscious in the Joker’s care and dreaming this stuff up or perhaps there will be some belated effects of the toxin that kick in at the asylum or both.

      @fo sho

      even Houdini needed time to get free from some of the most complex traps.
      took him a moment to get his footing and figure out that if he gets his gloves off, he could free himself. which, as mentioned above, was part of Joker’s plan.

    • @ Sitara – Yeah, you’re probably right. Good call mate.

  19. This was my favorite issue of the arc so far. It was a bit heavy on the exposition/dialog, but that never really bothered me because it was paced so beautifully. Snyder really does understand The Joker. At least, he understands him and appears to interpret him the same way I do, which always makes for great comic book reading. There were moments where the Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger were fighting in my head over who would say which line, and I can’t think of better evidence that Snyder feels the same way I do about how Joker should be done.

    Even the face mask is starting to grow on me. When Bruce has him by the throat on the bridge, and the mask was twisting into a frown when you assume that he was still smiling underneath it, the character design really clicked into place for me. I still think it’s unusual and hope it’s temporary, but I see the appeal and intent behind it now.

    This was, in a word, tense. Not much action, but even when Joker isn’t on the page, his presence is felt. The threat is looming over everything that’s happening. He has Alfred, for fuck’s sake!! I can’t think of a better hostage to throw the entire team off their game. This is high stakes Batman comics, and I’m loving every second of it.


    The backup was a great introduction to the N52 Riddler. I’m curious to see how he’ll come into play. And that Jock panel with Joker’s eyes in the green? Brrrr.

    • Completely agree with everything you said. Maybe my favorite issue since he was stuck in the maze.

    • Funny you should say that Xajoshua, because the maze issue was the one that got me into this run.

      I pre-ordered Batman Issue 1 online and simply wasn’t all that impressed by it. I was under the impression that this was a reboot designed for new readers and created to reintroduce classic characters to a contemporary audience. To that end, I was annoyed that Batman blitzed through loads of said classic characters in the first few pages (taking most of them out with one punch or less), as I felt this devalued old favorites like Two Face, The Riddler and Mr. Freeze, whilst at the same time damaging the threat level of newcomers like Professor Pyg and Flamingo.

      The next issue I picked up was number 4, because it was being sold cheaply and I liked Capullo’s artwork. Sometimes I just pick up single issues for a one-off read. Anyway, I ended up getting Issue 5 on the cheap as well and after that one…I was hooked! I read it over and over again, turning the pages around and around and enjoying all the subtle (and disturbing) intricacies of the artwork. Before I knew it, ‘Batman’ was on my pull list and aside from being totally taken in by the red herring in Issue 10, I’ve loved every single issue.

      I totally agree with you, this issue was my favorite since that one. Oh, and the Joker blimp was BOSS!

  20. The last third of this issue really pulled me in. Made my imagination go off–always a great thing for a story to do.

  21. This was good but not great. . The first part on the bridge was cool but then it came to a screeching halt when he explained about the calling card .I liked the backup much better…it was great. The Harley Quinn backup was great also. I’m enjoying how Joker interacts with the other villains more than his interactions with Bats.

  22. Another great issue. Can’t wait to see Arkham. The backup really made the Riddler a more interesting character as well.

  23. The debate about whether or not Joker knows their secret identities is so weird. Most fans have accepted the fact that he most likely knows (since at least as far back as Death in the Family) but never really cared. After Grant Morrison’s run (which is still in continuity since it is explicitly referenced in this issue) there is no room for any doubt that he knows.

    Other than that (and the missing face) its a great run.

    • Cherry picking continuity. Obviously that scene never happened.

    • @JokersNuts – I said that about last issue as well. I totally agree.

      Its not a big deal to me whether Joker knows or not. He’s obsessed with Batman, not Bruce Wayne.

      Still, I’m loving this storyline.

    • Reading Morrison’s Batman and Robin, one can assume Joker knows that Bruce is Batman, and you’re right with Death in the Family, although its a little muddier. It’s a strange premise for a story, because of continuity, but I’m choosing to ignore it and focus on the other parts like the “King/ Jester” idea. That is probably my favorite thread for this arc, and why 15 resonated itch me while 14 had me disappointed, even though like 6 pages were used showing Bruce trying to convince the others (himself) that Joker doesn’t know.

  24. WOW! What a great issue!

  25. They really seemed to pack a lot of story into this issue. I was sucked in, and with every (digital) page turn, I thought “here comes the cliff hangar”, but it just kept going and going…and I can’t wait for more! Backup was great.

    Is anyone else a little bothered by Bruce’s kind of annoying insistence that Joker doesn’t know their identities, or that there was no court of owls? I mean, he’s the world’s greatest detective, and as Sherlock has famously said, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

    • But he HASN’T exhausted all possible avenues yet. I’m inclined to believe he’s wrong too, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be right. Don’t forget that while he is emotionally compromised, he’s still the world’s greatest detective. He’ll either prove that Joker is bluffing, or he’ll (reluctantly) admit his mistake. After someone dies of course.

    • I do think it would be nice to see Batman as the detective and actually sleuthing away!

  26. Best Issue of the arc so far

  27. I enjoyed this issue but didnt get the big moment I was looking for. I wish the story moved forward a hair more. I feel like its been a lot of set up and their won’t be enough time for the payoff. I trust Synder though, I’m sure he knows what he is doing.

    As a side note, I really enjoyed our first glimpse of Synder’s take on the Riddler. The next year of Batman should be really good!

  28. Read this last night and it was awesome, start to finish. Cannot wait for the next month to see what awaits Batman inside arkham. Back-up story was good also.

  29. Because I hold this book in such high regard, it gets a more critical response from me. I don’t know why. I’m just built that way I guess. “A very good issue that could of been better” is the feeling I have. I was hoping for a better payoff, but I’m still hooked into seeing what happens next. For me, Jock steals it. His work here shines and further solidifies, in my mind, why Black Mirror is the best Snyder Batman story to date.

    • I totally agree. Black Mirror has me spoiled. I love this art team, without a doubt, but what Snyder did with Francavilla and Jock in Detective was pure gold. That also was done without huge crossover events, and when Snyder was fresh on the scene, so that might have something to do wh it too…

  30. brilliant as usual I really liked the back up. look forward to seeing more of the riddler.

  31. The Joker was once my favorite character, but ever since The Dark Knight (don’t get me wrong, Ledger was incredible), my love for the guy has taken a nosedive. He’s just too powerful, too omnipotent these days, with him completely taking over Arkham this issue being a good example. This series is written consistently well, but like a few people before me have said, Snyder’s smaller tale in The Black Mirror knocked me on my butt, while this has me shrugging my shoulders after each issue.

  32. Hey Scott Snyder, how do you keep upping the ante? This was awesomel

  33. This was bad. Really bad. I had to go back and read a court of owls issue just to check if this run hasn’t always been this bad.

    • Court of Owls was very entertaining, especially the earlier issues. I’m still wondering why I’m not as jazzed as most about this Joker story. Have you been reading Detective? The current arc on that title has been a little more to my taste than the current story in Batman. It might be the fix that you need. It’s not Court of Owls, but its really good. Cheers to a change if opinion come #16.

    • Yeah ‘Tec has become the premiere Batbook for me since layman took over. You’re not jazzed about it because it’s just terrible. I am thinking Snyder is being forced to write this crossover.

    • @muddi900: He’s not.

  34. Wow, another awesome issue Scott and Greg! I am just loving the spooky feel to this story. The ending also when Bruce goes inside Arkham and the light comes on was awesome. That and the ‘love’ comment. Can’t wait to see how this ends. I wonder how they will eventually get Joker’s face back on permanently?

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