The "Death of the Family" storyline is the first Batman event comic I've read and I'm liking it so far. It has no real connection to the previous issue other than Emperor Penguin. The main storyline is about Batman having to with the Joker fan boys who have turned to crime. Some of them are violent, some of them are crazy and some are just dumb kids looking for trouble. However, the most notable of them all are the League of Smiles, a cult who kills to honor of the Joker. This story was okay, but how it ties into "Death of the Family" is beyond me. Also, there is a scene where a kid in the League of Smiles rejects being like Joker and cuts off his own tattooed face. Now when Joker's face was cut off, artists differed about how much of the muscles were cut off along with it. But here, you see that most of the kid's face muscles were intact and you can even see how thin the wound around the skin is. That means this kid somehow cut around his mouth and peeled of the epidermis layer of his skin like tape.
The back-up story, "Pecking Order", is the more notable part of the comic. This story is about the Penguin;s former right hand man, Ignatius Ogilvy, now calling himself "Emperor Penguin," taking charge of the operation and getting the other crime bosses he's aligned with to go along with his plan to kill their enemies and blame it on the Joker. The story is pretty good set up for things to come, however Ogilvy is not the most respectable villain I've seen. There's other stories with him in it that I haven't read so there may be some facts about him I don't know, but from the the two issues I have read of him he looks lame as a villain. Every time he presents himself as "Emperor Penguin" in his over dramatic fashion, I keep expecting the people in front of him to start laughing. Not only does he looks like a blonde Vanilla Ice cosplaying as the Monopoly Man, but as another reviewer already pointed out, he talks as if he despises the Penguin, but yet he's trying so hard to imitate him. Yeah, I know Ogilvy blew off some crime boss' face with a laser umbrella when he spoke out against him (having your face removed seems to be a recurring theme in Batman lately), but keep in mind, in the DC Universe it isn't that hard to get your hands on high tech weaponry, so anyone there easily has the ability to do the exact same thing to Ogivly. So, I'm looking forward to more of this if just to see if Ogilvy improves more as a character.
The Detective Comics tie in books to "Death in the Family" felt more like set up for other stories, but John Layman, the comics writer set out to do that. When he pitch the Penguin story to DC Comics, he didn't know about the crossover, so he wrote a story that shows how Gotham is being affected by Joker's return. I guess it better that he wrote a pretty good story that barely relates to the crossover instead of trying to write a crappy and contrived story to connect to the crossover. Also, it wouldn't make sense for the Joker to appear in this comic since he's battling Batman and the rest of the Bat-family in every other Batman comic book.