Batman: A death in the family – Starlin, Aparo, DeCarlo

This is the graphic novel version of the four issue Batman series which became one of the best sellers and used an innovative method of story development.

For those of you who don’t know, this series is about Batman some time after his run in with The Cult. His judgement is still slightly cloudy, but he is back to full operation. Robin however, is removed from active duty as Batman sees him growing moody and careless as he shows he’s not yet over the death of his parents. Robin then begins to find the leftovers of his past while Batman goes on the trail of the Joker on one of his most deadliest schemes ever.

However, events come together and abroad Batman may have to face some of the toughest decisions and consequences of his life, as does Robin.

For me, it’s very much drawn in the younger style of Batman and not in the more mature style of Dark Knight Returns or The Cult. The story even features some of the many Batman associated items like rocket propelled kites and a mini-copter, items which I feel bring down what Batman was originally about and make him more accessible to a child based audience hooked on figurines and accessories. Still, these fleeting moments aside the story is a good one, and one which wrenches the Batman character to a different direction, perhaps back to the older, darker style.

The closing postscript is quite interesting as well, describing how the audience were given the choice in the penultimate issue to decide the events in the final.

Although not in the same style as the more mature stories I prefer from Batman, it is still an enjoyable read, if for the controversial final issue.

Batman: A death in the family – Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo, Mike DeCarlo

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