Since its launch this past October, “Death of the Family” has been shaping into one of the most terrifying crossover events in contemporary comics. A classic-in-the-making, this story finds The Joker on the loose and seeking revenge against the Bat-family. Observing them from the shadows for a full year after his face was removed at the end of DETECTIVE COMICS #1. Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime has been planning a grand finale for all the members of Batman’s extended family, including Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin, Red Hood, Alfred, and more.


Yesterday, BATMAN #16 hit stores, leaving the jaws of fans on the floor as they wondered what can possibly happen next. After all, next month’s BATMAN #17 will not only reveal The Joker’s full, twisted plan, but will tie together all of the various stories involved in “Death of the Family” in one unforgettable conclusion that will change the Bat-family forever.


"Well, I can tell you there are definitely some insane moments in the conclusion and some crazy things happen so, I've always been braced for it as something that isn't designed to just shock for the sake of shocking, but is the culmination of the story in a way that feels organic and surprising,” BATMAN writer Scott Snyder explained to THE HUFFINGTON POST. “I can't remember who it was, but I had a teacher that gave me a writing quote when I was a student that said 'Every ending should be both inevitable and totally surprising,' and I completely believe that. Hopefully this is an ending that feels organic to the story we've been telling, and when you get there you'll say 'I can't believe this just happened,' and at the same time, you'll feel that it's a cumulative, horrible thing out of everything that's been going on."


“Joker is coming at Batman from a place of very personal terror for me. And a place of personal guilt, and also a place of great personal anxiety,” Snyder continued to POPMATTERS. “So I think he is coming after Bruce in a way that is getting at a very, very personal story for Bruce. Because as much as Bruce loves the Family, you could make the accusation that in some ways he wishes he could stop worrying about them. Does that me he wishes they didn’t exist? Of course not. Does that mean he doesn’t love them? No, of course not. But that’s the way the Joker interprets it. The Joker says, ‘You’ve become slow and weak, and you’ve become nothing of the Batman I used to know. So deep down I know you’re unhappy. And I’ve heard you think this almost (not in a supernatural way, but just in a kind of figurative way),’ So he says, ‘Let me grant you your wish, because I’m here to serve you. And we’ll have so much fun afterwards.’”


To read more about BATMAN #17 and the conclusion of “Death of the Family,” check out the full interviews with Snyder than ran this morning on THE HUFFINGTON POST, POPMATTERS, COMIC BOOK RESOURCES, NEWSARAMA, COMIC VINE, IFANBOY and GAMMA SQUAD. And be sure to visit all seven outlets for sneak peeks at Greg Capullo’s terrifying interior art for BATMAN #17, which flies into stores on February 13.