SYNOPSIS: It was always going to come to this. The Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight Detective go head-to-head for the last time. The Joker has never wanted to win before, he’s never wanted his battle with Batman to end, but now his motivation has shifted. He has decided that one way or another, this will be the final chapter to their story. “Joker War” begins here!
“I will become a BETTER Bat!”
That’s the promise that Batman made to the deceased (?) Alfred at the end of the very awesome BATMAN #94 which I thought was a badass line at the end of a badass issue.
Now, as “Joker War” commences, will it be a better BATMAN story arc than it’s James Tynion IV’s predecessor — “Their Dark Designs?”
As I said in a previous review, “Their Dark Designs” started slow, then got rolling, and ended up being pretty darn good overall…until the finale in BATMAN #93 — which I found a bit of an anticlimatic letdown…but that was just me.
However, I had forgiven Mr. Tynion by the end of BATMAN #94 and was left chomping at the bit to this much-hyped “Joker War” and issue #95.
So, how was it?
Here’s the deal…
This is a total story arc set-up issue. We get a flashback from “years ago” of an exchange of a rookie-ish (Heads up for the very subtle YEAR ONE reference!) Batman and Alfred as the former is trying to figure out just what this new Gotham villain — The Joker — is all about. Before the story then returns to “today,” Batman tells Alfred a couple of things about “this Joker.” This shows that Tynion not only gets the character, but the Joker/Batman dynamic as well.
I’ll let you read/see all of this awesome exchange for yourselves because it’s fantastic. I will say that Batman realizes that besides himself, The Joker views all people as being “already dead. Except for one other person…
Batman — as early in his Bat-career is depicted in the flashback — already realizes that his “battle with The Joker will “never end.”
Without getting too deep into the details of this issue’s story, we readers are shown exactly how F’ed up things are for not only Batman/Wayne Enterprises/Lucius Fox/Bruce Wayne’s bank account (Yeah, this a bit of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES influence here), but for Harvey Bullock and the entire GCPD.
And Gotham too.
As this issue ends, we get the first Batman vs. Punchline confrontation (Yeah, there’s a bit of BATMAN BEGINS influence here) and the feeling that this plan that The Joker concocted is finally going to be too much for even The Batman thwart.
But then there’s that pesky thing about The Joker never really wanting his dance with The Dark Knight to really END end, right?
Final BATMAN #95 blurbs…
Why is The Joker so obsessed with the Monarch Theater?
George Clooney and the late/great Joel Schumacher would approve of Batman’s new suit!
Jorge Jimenez’s art is fan-F’n-tastic!
Yeah. – Bill “Jett” Ramey