One of DC Comics' most anticipated single issues of February is undoubtedly Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's "Batman" #17, which concludes the creative team's massive "Death of the Family" storyline that reintroduced the Joker into the DC Universe. Given the story's massive critical acclaim and the excitement from fans for the concluding issue, it may come as little surprise that the issue has already been leaked online in advance of its release this week.
The leak, uploaded on February 11, contains scanned pages from a physical copy of the issue in a .zip file. The .zip format is unusual, as most pirated comics are released as .cbr or .cbz files, perhaps indicating the pirated copy was uploaded by someone unfamiliar with the comics piracy scene.
"Batman" #17 is the latest in a series of online piracy spoilers for high-profile issues, the most well-known leak being Dan Slott's series-ending issue of "Amazing Spider-Man", which was leaked nearly two weeks in advance of the issue's December 26 release date. "Amazing Spider-Man" #698, which revealed Slott's massive series twist, was also leaked before its release date in November.
Snyder and Capullo's story-ending issue is easily the largest leak DC has had since "Blackest Night" #0 in 2009 -- and if last year's "Amazing Spider-Man" leaks are any indication, it's unlikely the advance piracy will cease. While the "Batman" #17 leak was closer to the issue's release date than "Amazing Spider-Man" #700, the breach in security should continue to force all concerned in the industry to reexamine how information and advance copies are distributed.
DC representatives declined comment about the situation when contacted by CBR.