• The repercussions of “DEATH OF THE FAMILY” spread as Batman tracks down the League of Smiles, a criminal group of psychotic killers that worship The Joker!

• Deadly new villains are introduced—and you won’t believe their horrific ties to Arkham Asylum!

• Plus: In the backup story, learn the secrets behind The League of Smiles’ beginnings!

Story by John Layman
Art by Jason Fabok
Colors by Jeromy Cox
Letters by Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by Jason Fabok & Jeromy Cox

Price: $3.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.1%
Avg Rating: 3.9
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. I know it’s a little thing, however…

    Am I the only one who hates, and I have since #1 the type face or font for this title? The overall design is just turrible (in my Charles Barkley voice). Maybe this is just my inner critic getting the best of me since I’m an architecture major, but shit, I wish they’d go back to the original look. Much better in my opinion…

  2. Wait, “reprocussions”? So, I shouldn’t read this ’til after Batman next week . . ?

  3. Does anyone else think that DC might be keeping Layman on a tight leash? I was expecting a lot of originality from him, but this has seemed very by-the-numbers Batman.

    • I get that feeling too. He’s not being the way out there Layman from Chew but he is coming up with some new ideas. I’m liking his run so far.

  4. I know I say this every issue now but Andy Clarke deserves to be the main artist here! I enjoyed both stories this go round but I really loved the twist ending to the backup.

  5. This story was disappointingly obvious.

    It told you the identity of the ‘Merry Maker’ (the guys name even hinted at his identity (‘Merideth = Merry + Death’) from the first page and never deviated from being extremely straightforward and unsubtle. I assumed that Layman was setting us up with a proverbial ‘red herring’ by making it all so obvious, but he wasn’t.

    It actually annoyed me that Batman, ‘The World’s Greatest Detective’ took any more than a panel to figure the guy out. It’s Gotham, everybody from Hugo Strange to The Joker majors in faking their own deaths.

    Glaringly obvious (and yet still somehow convoluted) story aside, the Merry Maker’s ‘plague doctor’ outfit was a really cool touch. I always thought those costumes were genuinely terrifying when I saw them in the history books and it was about time somebody brought them into Batman’s world. In addition, the backup was genuinely enjoyable, especially as it alluded to the origin of ‘The Great White Shark’ from ‘Arkham Asylum: Living Hell’.

    I also liked the concept of Joker wannabes (which was the reason I bought the issue) and I wouldn’t mind seeing a darker and more complex ‘Merry Maker’ in future stories.

  6. These backup stories are great. They really make the book for me. I really like Andy Clarke, and have started to get bored of Fabok. All in all, a good book. Must admit I’m glad that DOTF is over for this title. Definitely felt like a detour.

  7. The writing in Detective #17 was quite enjoyable, and the fact that it was only indirectly tied to “Death of the Family.” Jason Fabok is an amazing artist, and Jeromy Cox’s colors work really well with the tone of the book. Too bad that Merrymaker left as quickly as he came, it seemed like a cool character, or maybe i’m just tired of seeing the Penguin everywhere.

    Please check my mini-review here:

    Comments and feedback are always welcome!

  8. Very cool story. But definitely not a DOTF tie in. Doesn’t even really have to do with the Joker, just his followers. But that aside, I really enjoyed it. And I do love the backup stories.

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