Batman’s greatest enemy is back this week. The Joker, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. You could call it a dream team. Call it Batman’s nightmare. The most infamous villain in comic book history returns in this week’s Batman #13 from DC Comics .
When publisher relaunched with The New 52 in September 2011 the Joker met a horrific fate at the end of Tony Daniel’s Detective Comics #1. The Joker’s face was carved off and nailed on a wall in Arkham Asylum. The clown prince of crime has been missing ever since.
Batman #13 by Snyder and Capullo kicks off the “Death of the Family” storyline. DC teases the classic villain will be used in “dark, horrifying, unnerving” way and the return will affect Batman, the Bat-family and Gotham City.
“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder told on The Source. “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!”
Given the cliffhanger of Detective Comics #1 could the classic villain be sporting a new 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.”
This will be the first major story with the Joker in the relaunched DC continuity. The story title makes you think of the classic “Death in the Family” story in which the Joker killed Jason Todd. The Joker will target everyone in the Batman family: Nightwing, Batgirl, Catwoman, Red Robin and more. With a title like “Death of the Family” could the Joker’s new plot be to destroy Batman’s alliances with the other heroes of Gotham City? Could the Joker have been masquerading as another character this past year in the New 52?
Since the Joker’s face was carved off in Detective Comics #1 Snyder tells Comics Newsarama that means Capullo can create a new look for the classic villain.
“He really is going to, obviously, have a new look,” Snyder said. “At the same time, we want it to echo his iconic look. So it’s Joker in a much more horror movie fashion. But, without giving too much away, you will see the iconic face and the grin, and he might look a little bit different and scarier. But you’ll find that he’s still himself at his core. And he’s really here in his blood-stained clothes going to work.”
Capullo has a warning for readers.
“I would say that if you have any kind of heart conditions, or any kind of medical issues that could cause seizures or what-not, that you should check with a doctor prior to buying this story arc, because we don’t want to be responsible. DC does not want to be responsible for any fatalities or hospitalization or young or old people who may encounter this story and it just simply be too much for their system.”
Death of the Family with Capullo’s Joker redesign begins this Wednesday in Batman #13 and continues for five issues with tie-ins in other Batman family books.