I have to admit, I am one of the fans who left the Batman comic series after Tom King’s run. The plan was to shift over to the “Bat/Cat” comic and see how that story played out, but things have been delayed and moved around, so right now I have no main Batman comic in my pull list. This worked out as a great way to save some money, but I couldn’t resist what James Tynion IV has planned with this “Joker War”. The hype is real for this arc, so what is going on inside Batman #95? Let’s take a look.
Right off the bat, having Jorge Jimenez as the artist for this issue is very exciting. He does a fantastic job with all kinds of moments in this issue, from heartwarming scenes to explosive action. The issue gave me The Dark Knight vibes, plus I really dig his Batmobiles and panel layout choices as they can really add to the intensity of the issue.
Tynion does a great job with opening the issue on a flashback as it reminds us of how long the Joker has been a pain in Batman’s life. This flashback has some great callbacks to Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s classic Batman #1 along with Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke’s The Man Who Laughs. That right there adds to the depth of the story and something that has been missing in some DC Comics of late: continuity. This feels like it matters, which is great as there are a lot of Batman/Joker showdowns to read especially with the upcoming Batman Three Jokers.
One of the sad parts about the flashback was seeing Alfred as it is a reminder that this man was a huge part of Batman’s war on crime.
Over in the present, I love the dilemma of how Wayne Enterprises has been taken over and is basically kicking Bruce Wayne out, which then also spreads to GCPD believing that the Joker has taken over Wayne Enterprises. This is fantastic drama that makes Batman’s job that much harder, but it is also a trope that seems to get played a lot with characters like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark. I will say it is a bit more dynamic with the addition of Punchline finding hidden areas that Batman uses and also having Lucius Fox as her kidnapping victim, however.
We are also treated very early on to the new Bat suit that will be featured on an issue #100 variant cover, so that will be a treat to see what it does and also a mystery of who left it there and created it.
The Joker plays a big part in this issue as well, deciding to take a trip to the Monarch Theatre to make a purchase. He’s filled the theater with a Joker Toxin-infected audience, but the main shocker is in the movie he is planning on showing: The Mark of Zorro. Holy cinema, Batman! How much does the Joker know about Batman, and why start using this info to terrorize him? This was an excellent jump back into the series and a great part opener Joker War. It was a great return for this fan.