The release of Batman #17 marked the end of Scott Snyder's Death of the Family story arc, and to give a little more insight as to what he wanted to do in the final chapter of Death of the Family, Snyder talked with IGN about Batman #17 and Death of the Family as a whole, as well as what's next for Batman in his next big arc.
IGN Comics: I really loved Batman #17; I thought it brought all of Death of the Family together really nicely. I think right away people are going to be shocked that there is no death or horrible mutilation in this issue, and I love that so much. Can you talk a little bit about the aftermath of this story and why you think it cuts deeper than a death or something would have?
Scott Snyder: Thank you. It was a really big decision. We did go back and forth between mutilating a character or killing a character, but from the very beginning, in my outline, the story is about psychological and emotional death and that notion that the Joker wins – as much as he loses, he also wins – and gets the last laugh by essentially putting a wedge between Bruce and the family. That’s something that’s going to play in the Bat-Universe for a while now. It’ll have its own ramifications. The idea of mutilating or killing someone or something, as fun as it was to tease; I’m not going to lie, I did think about after we’d established the outline of the story, because people seemed so convinced that that was going to happen.
But at the end of day I really felt, in my heart of hearts, that it would detract and distract from the core of what this story was about. That it would just be gratuitous. It’s tempting because a lot of the Joker stories that people point to do have lasting physical effects. For me, if I tried it, I feel like it really would take the story away from what I wanted it to be. I really wanted this to be something that was an emotional and psychological scar or wound, rather than something that was more literal.
IGN Comics: Do you think death in comics in general has lost the impact that it used to have?
Scott Snyder: For me, I mean, if I had killed somebody in the Bat-family, they would stay dead. Or at least, stay dead as long as they possibly can in comic time. It wasn’t really about worrying that if I killed them they’d come back to life, it was more just that to me, the whole story from go is about the Joker saying, “You love me more than them, and I’m going to prove it to you. You love me more than them because you won’t kill me. By not killing me, you’re leaving the key under the mat and the window open for me to climb in in the middle of the night and kill them in their beds. Your little family; you want that to happen.”
The way that Batman kept things from them and that Joker showed them that; [Joker] was able to do something and say, “Look! I was able to prove to you that Batman wouldn’t have told you this because he wants his relationship with me to continue.” For Batman, no matter what he says and however he refutes that, the Joker is saying those things. Even if there’s the tiniest shred of truth, even if it’s not true, in general, to me that was where the story was headed at the beginning. Any one death wouldn’t jive with that, because it would’ve been about the death of that one character.
The closest thing would be if Alfred died, I could see the family being the glue. But to me it wasn’t about Alfred, it was about Joker saying “You and your allies, Batman, you and this little family you’ve built, they’re a false table before you and I’m going to prove that. And in proving that I’m going to divide you.” Because the truth is, he could’ve cut their faces off easily. He could’ve done that, but why didn’t he? Because it wasn’t his point, and that’s the idea. He’s laughing at them by not having done it.
You can check out the full interview over at IGN. Batman #17 is available now.
Posted by Dane Haji