Batman: A Death in the Family

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Batman: A Death in the Family

Post by ShyViolet » March 20th, 2005, 9:45 pm

Has anyone ever read this comic? I'm thinking of buying it, but I don't know where to get it.

It's where Robin dies. (The Joker kills him). It first came out back in 1988.

Do comic stores carry it??
You can’t just have your characters announce how they feel! That makes me feel angry!

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Post by Randall » March 20th, 2005, 10:29 pm

You should have little trouble finding it. Amazon and other online stores have it. You may get it cheaper on eBay. If you do not like to shop online, then a well-stocked comic shop should have it. It's had many printings.

It's a bit of a clumsy story as I recall, but powerful all the same.

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Post by Christian » March 20th, 2005, 11:53 pm

I liked it. I think I have it in my storage space.

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Post by ShyViolet » March 21st, 2005, 2:31 pm

Thanks for the help. :wink:
You can’t just have your characters announce how they feel! That makes me feel angry!

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Post by GeorgeC » March 21st, 2005, 7:12 pm

Eh... In all honesty, I didn't think "A Death in the Family" was that great.

Better Batman stories (in my opinion) would be the Englehart/Rogers run collected in the Batman: Strange Apparitions Trade Paperback (TPB), the first half of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (TPB), Batman: The Long Halloween (TPB), and Batman: Dark Victory (TPB). The last two TPBs are probably the last really good Batman stories I've read with excellent art by Tim Sale.

I frankly felt that the recent "Hush" storyline with Jim Lee art was just an excuse for Jim Lee to do his own version of the Gotham City freak show but had a forgettable storyline. In other words good art, but a story nobody's going to remember in 10 years.

Frankly, the first couple years of Batman comics reprinted in the DC Batman and Dark Knight Archives aren't half-bad, either, but the Archives are too expensive for most people. Never fear because DC is already reprinting the ENTIRE run of Batman comics STARTING FROM THE BEGINNING in the black-and-white Batman Chronicles TPBs (similar format to the Marvel Essentials TPBs). A couple of these early Batman comics were also reprinted in full-color within The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told TPB, Stack Deck: The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told, and The Great Batman Stories Ever Told Volume 2.

Generally, the regular series Batman monthly comics AFTER 1987 just aren't worth it. They're one series after another of mostly mediocre crossover events that either really screw up the comics for a few years or end being forgettable. I'd skip most anything produced from the early 1990s to the present.

The best Batman monthly comics since 1992 are the animated spin-off comics with the exception of "The Batman Adventures" based on the new "The Batman" animated series. That comic is as awful as the currrent "The Batman" animated series.

The only other Batman comic that I can think of in recent memory that is possibly worse than "The Batman Adventures" is DKII aka Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Back, the sequel to Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Easily the worst Batman limited series produced in my opinion and the most worthless piece of comic tripe produced by Frank Miller who did a half-good job on the original Dark Knight Returns. DKII is just utterly disappointing and displays how little regard Miller has for the intelligence of comic book fans today and why no company in its right mind should advance him a million bucks without seeing a half-finished work...



P.S. -- I had way too much time to read these comics in the 1980s and 1990s... It's sad, really, when I remember how many comics I used to buy when they were both cheaper and MUCH better than the junk that gets published today. Thank goodness for reprints and library loans! I live in a city that has a great central library with a LARGE graphic novel collection up for the borrowing.

I own most of these TPBs, but it's nice that I can borrow from the library collections that I'm not so sure I'd pay cash for...

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Post by ShyViolet » March 21st, 2005, 10:56 pm

Eh... In all honesty, I didn't think "A Death in the Family" was that great
.

How come?

Frankly I don't know how they could get away with making it so violent. I haven't read it but heard about how the Joker first beats Robin to death with a crowbar(!) and then blows him up with a bomb.
Supposadly no one liked Jason (the 2nd Robin, the one who gets killed) but Holy Grisly Death, Batman! How old was Jason Todd supposed to be anyway?

I can see why the Animated Series left this one alone. I mean, they were gritty and dark, but not THAT dark. :roll: (Yeah I know B: TAS is with Dick Grayson, not Jason, but still)

(Speaking of Robin, I tried to watch Teen Titans a couple of times, but I can't seem to stomach more than a minute of it. It's wayyyyy too cutesy. And Robin seems younger than he did on B:TAS. So where's Batman?)
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Post by GeorgeC » March 22nd, 2005, 4:24 am

"A Death in the Family" was a publicity stunt to raise Batman comics sales...

What I didn't like about it as A) it was following one of Frank Miller's ruder suggestions from Dark Knight Returns ("kill the brat"), B) the fact that DC would stoop to a phone poll that could easily be manipulated to determine a character's (even if the kid wasn't THE Robin most people remember), and C) the fact that less than 200 votes separated the "yay" from "nay" votes... It's been widely speculated that at least one person had his phone set on autodial and skewed the vote outcome.

The fact of the matter is that this event didn't have to happen if Jim Starlin and the other DC writers hadn't stooped to writing Jason Todd like such a friggin' bastard after Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985).

Before the slight Robin revamp in the Batman comics in 1986/1987, Jason Todd was a likeable kid.... The problem was that he was TOO much like Dick Grayson -- same origin, same eventual outcome only his parents were shoved into an alligator pit instead of falling to their deaths.

INSTEAD of limiting the changes to just the origin aspect, Starlin et al wrote Jason Todd to be as unlikeable as possible. Starlin made Todd a street punk and a kid who couldn't follow orders from Batman and might have murdered another kid for revenge! The other stuff was bad enough, but fact that they wrote Robin committing a murder speaks loads about the writers' mentalities.

I never liked the fact that the original Robin became Nightwing in the first place and felt that some kind of accomodation could have been made to keep Dick Grayson as Robin (in a modified outfit like Tim Drake's) and yet advance the character WITHOUT completely cutting off all his ties to Batman. Marv Wolfman had different ideas and that's why DC went through all this mess with 2 other Robins before they arrived at a third Robin who has gradually become "Batman, Mark II" which never should have been the case.

I don't know -- the more fanboy writers mess with these characters and take them farther from their origins, established characterizations and behavior, the more they screw things up...

At the beginning of the Robin story in 1940, it was widely assumed Batman was old enough to be Robin's (Dick Grayson's) father. Now, at best Batman could be a "young uncle" because the timeline has to be continually shifted to fit in all the stupid stories. If they had never aged Robin and a bunch of the sidekicks so much, we wouldn't have some of the messes the comics currently have. No editor wants a main hero character like Batman or Superman to be over 32, but at the same time they allow their proteges to be 23 or 25! It's stupid.


******************************


Teen Titans: The Animated Series is set in a completely different continuity than Justice League, Batman: The Animated Series, or The Batman animated series.

Yes, the Robin in Teen Titans is Dick Grayson. They let the cat out of that bag a while back. He's never been shown without his mask, but there have visual clues posted all over the place in the cartoon and they've even said his true identity backwards in an episode.

No, you'll never see Robin in Justice League because A) the powers-that-be at WB and DC Comics won't license the character to the JL production crew; B) nobody in power wants a Batman "saddled with a teen sidekick" for the time being in any of the currently in-production animated series; it's all tying into the "Batman Begins" movie coming out this summer; C) the character design styles of Teen Titans and Justice League are so different that they just won't mesh... You'd have to redesign characters for one show or the other. Even if the continuities weren't so different, it's just such a mess with licensing and design issues for there to ever be a crossover. It just won't happen.

It's stupid, but that's the way things stand.

The powers-that-be won't even let the JL crew use any of the Batman supporting characters (besides the villains maybe?) anymore on JL because they want to save Alfred and Batgirl for new crap like The Batman animated series. It stinks, but that's corporate mentality for you!

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Post by ShyViolet » March 22nd, 2005, 11:43 am

At the beginning of the Robin story in 1940, it was widely assumed Batman was old enough to be Robin's (Dick Grayson's) father. Now, at best Batman could be a "young uncle" because the timeline has to be continually shifted to fit in all the stupid stories. If they had never aged Robin and a bunch of the sidekicks so much, we wouldn't have some of the messes the comics currently have. No editor wants a main hero character like Batman or Superman to be over 32, but at the same time they allow their proteges to be 23 or 25! It's stupid.
I totally agree. I was thinking about this myself. Maybe the whole idea of an older man adopting an adolescent boy is seen as "taboo" nowadays because of the whole pedaphile thing. SOOOOOOOO stupid. Everyone knows that Robin was Batman's "ward"--what's the big deal?? Bruce was a millionaire playboy, "eligable bachelor", and he had tons of girlfriends. Really dumb.*

(*There's a funny story about this in the Adam West Batman. The two main actors sort of made an "in-joke" that apparently created a big uproar at the time. At the end of one show, Bruce says: "Well, Dick, it's time to go to bed," and Dick says: "You're right, Bruce," and puts his arm around him as they go upstairs.)

And don't even get me started on Robin in Schumacker's films....he was like thirty years old for crying out loud!!! That made the whole idea of Val Kilmer/Cloony (they both looked to be in their late 30s early forties) taking him in to be so retarded. (Plus that Robin was stupid...bratty...whiny....annoying and if Two-Face killed him I would've cheered! What's up with him calling Alfred "Al"?)

I recently saw "Cursed" with Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg. I don't know if anyone else saw that, but Eisenberg (who is like 21 but was playing a teenager) would probably make a good Robin, IMO.

The whole Teen Titans look seems kind of anime-inspired...nothing wrong with that but the storylines have kind of a kiddie-anime-digimon feel to them. That's what is annoying. The tone seems "dark" and "light" at the same time and it doesn't mesh well.
You can’t just have your characters announce how they feel! That makes me feel angry!

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Post by ShyViolet » August 6th, 2005, 4:53 pm

Well, I finally saw this as a graphic novel in Borders yesterday. I wasn't too impressed, so I didn't buy it. I mean....Joker as an ambassador??

I might take another look at it. Actually, I'm trying to find the comics that are based on the B:TAS show.
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Post by Meg » August 7th, 2005, 11:11 am

ShyViolet wrote:Well, I finally saw this as a graphic novel in Borders yesterday. I wasn't too impressed, so I didn't buy it. I mean....Joker as an ambassador??

Borders is awsome. :D

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Post by ShyViolet » August 8th, 2005, 4:35 pm

It's pretty cool but I think the Barnes and Noble Superstores are the best. Borders doesn't even have a real Starbucks. (and their food is kinda average) How can you have books without Starbucks!? :roll:
You can’t just have your characters announce how they feel! That makes me feel angry!

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Post by Bambi » August 8th, 2005, 6:12 pm

ShyViolet wrote: Borders doesn't even have a real Starbucks. (and their food is kinda average) How can you have books without Starbucks!? :roll:
Dont you mean Drinks and cakes?
I got "twitterpated" by Faline...
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Post by ShyViolet » August 8th, 2005, 6:38 pm

Yeah, coffee, (hot and cold), cheesecake, chocolate cake, coffee cake, espresso, cappaccino, the whole works.

Starbucks also has really excellent sandwhiches and soups.


Mmmmm.....Starbucks! (*drooling*) :wink:
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Post by Meg » August 8th, 2005, 7:01 pm

ShyViolet wrote:It's pretty cool but I think the Barnes and Noble Superstores are the best. Borders doesn't even have a real Starbucks. (and their food is kinda average) How can you have books without Starbucks!? :roll:
True, but it's just so hard to find anything in B&N, 'cause they're so big! They need some type of computer search system, like Borders.

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Re: Batman: A Death in the Family

Post by Meg » August 8th, 2005, 7:13 pm

ShyViolet wrote:Has anyone ever read this comic? I'm thinking of buying it, but I don't know where to get it.

It's where Robin dies. (The Joker kills him). It first came out back in 1988.

Do comic stores carry it??
I haven't read it, but my comic teachers (just took a comic book class 'cause one of the teachers is my tutor) showed our class a fascinating documentary on the history of comic book heroes (form Super-Man to Spawn!) that included a lot about it. Really interesting...I think it was called, "Super Heroes Unmasked" or something.

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