Last October DC launched Death of the Family, lauding it as the most terrifying cross-over event in contemporary comics. And its been living up to the hype.
Brainchild of Scott Snyder, the story is of Joker's grand revenge on Batman by targeting his friends and family including by not limited to Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin, Red Hood, and Alfred. Spread across half a dozen comic book series over several months. Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime will bring his year long plan to fruition in Batman #17.
As all the plot threads from various comic books are brought back together, DC promises an unforgettable conclusion that "will change the Bat-family forever."
Snyder hinted at the psychological game Joker is playing with Bruce:
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. 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.'
DC released two never before seen pieces of interior art from Batman #17. They're so hot off the press, they haven't even been colored yet.