When DC's "New 52" launched last year, the Joker may have lost his face, but that doesn't mean he's done tormenting Bruce Wayne.
In October's Batman #13, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo will kick off a Joker storyline titled "Death of the Family," utilizing the villain in what DC has announced is a "dark, horrifying, unnerving" way.
The Joker storyline is expected to spill over into other Bat-family titles, as DC revealed that "the grave consequences of his reemergence will be felt by not only the Bat-family, but by all of Gotham City." DC recently saw a substantial sales success with May's "Night of the Owls," which saw most Bat-family titles tying into the main Batman storyline.
Snyder teased the storyline here on Newsarama last month when he revealed that "Death of the Family" features his "favorite villain of all time."
"Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder revealed today. “Not just in comics. In everything - film, books, TV. He's the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me - something I've been building in my head ever since I started working in Gotham."
“When Scott told me that he'd written a Joker story for our next arc, I couldn’t contain my excitement,” added Capullo. “Talk about a dream come true! For me, the Joker is the ultimate rogue and the villain I most wanted to draw. I gotta tell you, after hearing what the story is about, this isn't a dream come true. It's a nightmare! A macabre and bloody, flesh crawling nightmare. We hope you'll have the nerve to face what's coming. Warning: It ain't for the faint of heart!”
"Death of the Family" will bring back Joker after the character appeared briefly in Detective Comics #1 in September 2011. However, in that issue, the character had his face literally removed at the end of the issue, and has not been seen again in the New 52 universe.
Now that he's returned, he presumably has a very different face.
"Wait 'til you see him," Snyder said. "Greg's sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you've never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn't going to be pretty, but it's going to be a wild ride."
The "Death of the Family" storyline will be the first major Joker story within DC's relaunched universe. The publisher has already confirmed that storylines like The Killing Joke are still in continuity in the New 52, and that Joker did injure Barbara Gordon and kill Jason Todd. But represents the first time he has served as a major villain within a new story for the younger, New 52 version of Bruce Wayne.
"Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my Arkham Asylum or The Killing Joke, only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it's the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he's back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened."
Although DC has not confirmed when the rest of the Batman comics may tie into "Death of the Family," of particular interest to readers would be the New 52 versions of meetings between Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd with the Joker, in the titles Batgirl and Red Hood and the Outlaws.
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