Hello comic book readers! The following review contains semi-spoilers, or at least hints to them that might give away things you don’t want to know just yet. In the interest of making sure some of you who have not yet read the story I’m including this nifty disclaimer. Semi-spoilers, hints-of-spoilers and some blatant spoilers lie ahead.

(Source: DC Comics)
(Source: DC Comics)

An arc can’t last too long, it has to end somehow but soon enough. The Batcave dwellers finally get to find out what the Joker has been cooking up. Is it way too convenient that the Clown Prince of Crime has managed to end up fighting with each member for all of them to appear in the final confrontation? Yes. Does that make the story lame in any way, shape or form? No, not really.

Regarding my guess last week, I was wrong. Alfred’s head does not appear under the serving dome. That being said…  It almost does. Good work on the suspense, I couldn’t quite bring myself to turn the page, but when I did… I just had to keep on reading.

It’s a great finale. I don’t think it will please everyone. Both the character of Batman and the Joker have been around too long. Everyone has an opinion on what each of them would do given a certain situation. I enjoyed the psychological thriller, although I wasn’t much of a fan of the gore – luckily it is not as predominant.

The end is a bit ambivalent. Overall, order is restored but there’s a cost that goes back to the actual theme of Death of the Family that gives ample room for debate. Is there a moral – or rather, an immoral – victory for Mr. J?

(Source: DC Comics)
(Source: DC Comics)

It does feel like Joker accomplishes something close to what he intended in the end. We also get to find out why Batman believes the Joker would never know his Bat-family’s secret identities. For us readers, there’s a dead giveaway earlier on…

As the Joker is going around the table stating he’s managed to get everyone, he makes the distinction that he got Jason Todd again. Yeah, he’s the Joker he couldn’t pass up on the chance to gloat. However, when he gets to Batgirl he does not make any additional comment. That’s because he shot Barbara Gordon (yes, even in New 52’s universe he did put Barb in a wheelchair). That should’ve made everyone at that table figure out that the Joker doesn’t know that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl. At least I expected Tim Drake to get that one.

I’m not giving you the actual outcome of the final battle, but actually it doesn’t matter as much as the aftermath. Bats loses something and it’s on him. I really hope that shows on the next issues for all to see. Bruce tries to make amends, but it’s really way, way too late – he’s always isolated himself and regret it only once everything is said and done, but he’s too set on his ways to change.

Highly recommended issue.

That will do for now.