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How Grant Morrison Single Handedly Ruined Death of the Family

With all of the Requiem stuff plastered all over every Batman or Batman-related titled, you’re probably assuming a major crossover story arc is happening. And you’re right, the Batman world is in the throws of Death of the Family aftermath. (What’s that? It’s not Death of the Family related? But it is death related, right?) Okay, so the current major crossover event has nothing to do with the just finished major crossover event Death of the Family, and here’s why:

Joker

 

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The Batman universe (and even some titles peripherally connected with the Batman universe) had a run-in with the Joker. Death of the Family was twenty three issues spread out over many Bat-titles, and it was Joker at his finest. He was cruel, cunning, capable, and caustic, and the summation of that event, after besting every single Bat-character, seemed to be a fizzle. No one died, no one was overly injured, and Joker gets away. The implications of Scott Snyder’s Death of the Family weren’t supposed to be physical, however, they were supposed to be emotional and mental. The result of Death of the Family was going to be distance and distrust between members of the Bat-family. And this is why every Bat-
title played along… except Batman, Inc.

Batman, Inc., I’ve been told, is supposed to be Grant Morrison’s Bat-“play world.” He gets to do whatever Bat-crazy things he thinks up, and the rest of the Bat-universe can pretend like they didn’t actually happen. It’s a great title with wonderful art and witty writing… and in issue 8 they killed Damian Wayne, Robin. How could the Bat-universe ignore the death of not only Robin, but the Robin who was actually Bruce Wayne’s son? They couldn’t. Every Bat-issue this month is dealing with that death. Hence: Requiem.

batman-inc-81

What does this mean for the Death of the Family, then? Well, really, it should nullify it. Whatever Snyder may have had planned, Morrison has assuredly killed it. How could the Bat-family not come together at the death of very beloved (by fans too) Damian Wayne? Allowing any distrust sown by the joker to take root will just feel implausible. Really, Nightwing, you think you’re just going to stay away? Bruce’s son just died! Oh, Batgirl, you’re feeling hurt? Oh, well, you know, Robin is dead. I have no idea what the writers will be doing in the aftermath of Damian’s death (I know every reader is looking for the moment where they resurrect this character they had come to love), but sufficed to say family fracturing doesn’t feel like the natural choice. A Bat-family that can unite around the Joker should assuredly be able to come together around the death of a 10-year-old family member. Whatever you might have planned, Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison has just derailed it.

 

~ Tim Jenkins ~

About Tim Jenkins

Favorite Comics: Swamp Thing, Super Girl, Flash, etc...

Defining Quote: "Truth is born as lightning strikes." - Archilochos.

6 comments

  1. JK Leo here: In Morrison’s defense, his storyline has been in the works for about six years – significantly longer than Snyder’s Bat-books have been in play. If anything, I feel like the failure lies with editorial for putting Death of the Family in such proximity to the death of Robin.

    • You’re actually right. In an ideal world Death of the Family would have worked beat as Snyder’s opening arc with the family being separated and vulnerable to attack from the Court of Owls. It really would have worked better if reversed.

  2. I agree completely. It’s my understanding that Morrison’s intention was to kill Damian before the New 52 launch, but they didn’t let him. Whatever the case, it sure seems ill planned.

  3. More DC apparently f-ing things around. Good job, DC! This is why I mainly moved to Marvel.

    Anyways, I finally caught up in Batman comics. Overall you are right, death tends to bring people together despite the issues. Its a tought thing to handle a death issue of a Robin and the Joker’s recent doings. Tomasi at least has handled it well with Tim Drake. Showing concern and still anger/distrust at Bruce.

    As a side note looking at the upcoming “Batman and Robin” titles (if they really can still be called that), no Batman and Nightwing?

  4. i dont think morrison had anything to do with the poor characterisations and the anti climax that was death of the family

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