Review: Batman Vol.2 The Joker War (DC Comics)

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
On Sale: 09/02/2021 (Collected Edition)

Now collected in a beautiful hardback collected edition, Batman issues 95-100 give us a Joker v Batman story which will stand the test of time.

PLOT AND STORY 

This is it: the Clown Prince of Crime battles the Dark Knight Detective head-to-head for the last time. And one way or another, this will be the final chapter of their agelong conflict.

Taking over from Tom King on writing Batman is no easy task but James Tynion IV managed to hit the ground running from issue 86. The highlight in his run being this major event ‘The Joker War’.

What I admire the most about Tynion writing Batman is his ability to break Bruce Wayne down and prove he is human. The loss of Alfred has been a major plot point and we see Bruce struggle with his emotions in dealing with this. On top of this The Joker takes over Wayne Industries and has Bruce’s wealth and resources to use against him. This is why you never count Batman out of the fight because no matter the situation he never gives up and always finds a way. 

The story is exciting and thrilling and brings lots of the Bat family into play. I enjoyed Jokers new henchwoman punchline and their chemistry. Joker and Batman have always had a love hate relationship and that’s what Tynion understands when he writes Batman. They are opposites but they need each other and as much as they fight would each of them ever finally put the other down? These are the kinds of things we explore in Joker War.

ARTWORK

Reading this as a collected hardback I have but one word, BEAUTIFUL. Jorge Jimenez is one of the best artists on the planet right now and there are so many of these pages I want enlarged, framed and hanging on my wall. 

Colourist Tomeu Morey is the perfect combination with Jimenez art. I can’t stress how good this book looks. From the dark, harrowing figure of Batman with his oversized cape to the eccentric, bright colours of the Joker. Everything about how this book looks is perfect. It’s a modern book with a modern Batman for a modern audience while encapsulating everything great about Gotham from over the past 80 years.

Clayton Cowles manages to add more modern shine to the book with crisp, well placed letters which further enhance the story telling.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a brilliant story arc which can easily be picked up and enjoyed on its own without the need to read any of the crossover stories. Obviously if you want the full picture then it doesn’t hurt picking those up to. Joker War is a classic Batman vs Joker story with a completely fresh and original theme which is a feast for the eyes.

I read this via an advance hardback edition issued by Penguin Random House and received no incentive to review this comic.

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