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Preview: Batman #99

Batman #99

(W) James Tynion IV (A/CA) Jorge Jimenez
In Shops: Sep 23, 2020
SRP: $3.99

“The Joker War” part five of six! Things have changed, as Batman realizes he can’t fight this war alone. He’s going to need help. Before he faces down The Joker, he must call up his trusty partner Dick Grayson! But can Dick reclaim his lost memories in time to join the battle?

Batman #99

Preview: Batman #98

Batman #98

Joker War” has been an interesting ride so far. Running through Batman and other related titles, the event has had the Joker steal Bruce Wayne’s fortune, toys, and company turning it all against Batman. Batman #98 is part four of the event and like previous chapters, it’s a bit stretched out and while good, doesn’t excite or deliver anything new.

Writer James Tynion IV delivers that moment we’ve seen so many times before in films, television, and other stories. Batman is tripping, attempting to get the Joker Toxin out of his system. He has his moment of reflection and discussion with his dead mentor. It’s his Rocky talking to Mickey moment and there’s even a close “dammit Rock” thrown in there. While Batman is out of it, Punchline and Harley Quinn battle things out in Ivy’s hiding space giving them another chance to square off.

Batman #98 is a fine part of the overall arc but on its own, it’s something we’ve seen over and over. All it’s missing is a montage with proper music while Batman gets back into a healthy status.

What makes Batman #98 not a total loss is the art by Jorge Jimenez. The art features an interesting juxtaposition between Batman’s trippy visuals versus the battle between Harley and Punchline. While one is the standard page layouts with your standard boxes, the other is a kinetic battle. Jimenez has the fight break the page with odd shapes and a nice mix of panel sizes. Jimenez is helped by the color of Tomeu Morey and the lettering of Clayton Cowles. The action scenes pop from the page and when Batman eventually clears his head, literally pops.

But Jimenez and the team make sure to give Bruce’s struggle its moments too. The emotion delivered in panels by Bruce and Alfred really sell the scenes. The delivery takes a rather trope-ish cliche and gives us something more visually interesting. It’s the emotional catharsis we’ve been waiting for and expecting since Tynion took over his run.

“Joker War” as a whole hasn’t been as exciting as one would hope. The event falls upon concepts we’ve seen so many times before. It’s an entertaining read though more in a summer popcorn way. It feels like it’s a setup for what’s coming next for Bruce as he will deal with the fallout from the event. Much like the previous arc, “Joker War” doesn’t feel so much as a story unto itself as opposed to the setup of what comes next, more focused on the next arc instead of itself. Much like Batman #98, the event as a whole feels like the pivot to what comes next.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Get an Early Look at Batman #99

Batman #99

Written by JAMES TYNION IV
Art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
Ghost-Hunter card stock variant cover by DERRICK CHEW
1:25 card stock Nightwing variant cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
On Sale 09/15/20
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC

CARD STOCK VARIANT COVERS $4.99 US

“The Joker War” part five of six! Things have changed, as Batman realizes he can’t fight this war alone. He’s going to need help. Before he faces down The Joker, he must call up his trusty partner Dick Grayson! But can Dick reclaim his lost memories in time to join the battle?

Batman #99

Review: Batman #97

Batman #97

The “Joker War” rages on in Batman #97 that hits a point that it feels the story and event is being dragged out a bit too much. Batman is battling visions and hallucinations as the Joker Toxin takes ahold of him. It’s a story we’ve seen over and over and while interesting, it feels like a way to delay the story a bit. It’s an attempt to add some tension for a story that is easily resolved otherwise.

Written by James Tynion IV, Batman #97 has Batman in the theater battling reanimated corpses refusing to take the time to heal before the massive battle that’s to come. It also focuses on Clownhunter, a new vigilante who’s taking on the Joker’s crew in brutal ways. All of it is to give the reader the idea that chaos is engulfing Gotham. But, beyond the Clownhunter’s concept and some wide shots of fires and smoke, the reality of that chaos isn’t explored enough.

The Joker would have you believe his latest plan is getting other individuals to stand up and “break” Batman’s rules. The personification of that is Clownhunter as he douses the Joker’s henchmen in gas and sets them on fire. But, even that is something we’ve seen before in characters such as Azrael who took the war on evil a bit more hardcore. We’re shown things we’ve experienced as readers but this time with a supposed Joker spin to it all. That spin of course involves more Joker Toxin showing the villain as a one-note type of guy, failing to be creative in his end plan.

Where the story falls short, the art is top-notch. Jorge Jimenez‘s pencils along with color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles is fantastic. There’s some great art and action sequences and this depiction of the Joker is one of the best in recent years. Batman’s descent into hallucinations is subtle which is both good and bad. The visuals for the comic could be over the top but as presented we’re watching him dealing with it and the action not his experiences. But, the madness settling in is enhanced through panel layouts that are visually interesting and with colors that pop.

“Joker War” hasn’t really hooked me yet. Batman #97, and the event as a whole, isn’t bad it just doesn’t feel original enough so far. We’ve seen Batman trip on toxin. We’ve seen the Joker gas a lot of people. We’ve seen heroes lose their fortune. We’ve seen Gotham in chaos. But, it’s still been entertaining with pretty visuals and beautiful colors and lettering. The story arc is a bit of a letdown from the previous one but here’s hoping it keeps building to something a bit more interesting than what we’ve seen so far.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.7 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Batman #97

Batman #97

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Jorge Jimenez

The Joker’s army is growing hour by hour, with weapons beyond anything the Clown Prince of Crime has ever used before. Batman must hold his mind together so he can strike the final blow and take back his city-but how can he heal the rifts he’s created in his life to get the help he needs? And while all this is happening, the villains of Gotham City are waiting out the carnage Joker has unleashed-and Catwoman assembles an army of her own!

Batman #97

It’s Punchline vs. Harley Quinn Round Two in Batman #98

BATMAN #98

Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Main Cover by David Finch
Card stock variant cover by Francesco Mattina
1:25 Catwoman variant cover by Jorge Jimenez
On Sale Tuesday, September 1, 2020
$3.99/32 Pages
$4.99 card stock variant covers

In Batman #93, class was definitely in session and Punchline took Harley Quinn to school in a no holds barred throwdown for the ages! Although she was left for dead, reports of Harley’s demise were “greatly exaggerated” (with apologies to Mark Twain) and she’s the only one left to help Batman recover from the effects of the strongest Joker toxin attack yet! And as she helps him overcome his wild hallucinations, Punchline returns to finish the job she started and you can bet Harley will be looking for some serious payback. Here’s a preview of Batman #98, on sale Tuesday, September 1!

“The Joker War” part four of six! Batman is at his most vulnerable following a massive dose of an experimental new Joker toxin. With the Dark Knight haunted by demons and visions, it’s up to Harley Quinn to protect him while he recovers—because Punchline is on her way!

BATMAN #98

Review: Batman #96

Batman #96

There’s a lot I want to like about Batman #96, the second part of “Joker War.” Having been dosed with a new Joker Toxin, Batman is beaten and bloodied and has no idea what’s going on. He also was in the middle of a major attack on Wayne Enterprises making him a target of Gotham as a city.

Writer James Tynion IV bounces around the issue with interesting concepts but not enough depth to really explore any of the concepts. Like an individual dazed after being beaten, the comic stumbles in a way much like its main character. Batman hallucinates horrors, the Joker plays psychological games, the Joker’s team uses public relations and money to turn opinion around on Batman. All of those concepts are great and interesting. Each could easily be an issue by themselves. But, in a 22-ish page comic, it doesn’t feel like enough time to really explore any of them.

While I’d like to see a greater exploration of any of these concepts, the mix of them works too. It enhances the chaos that is Gotham currently and how in the moment Batman is in dealing with the situation. It enhances that this is a hero who is off his game and is struggling in many ways. It’s still interesting but as opposed to a concept with a lot of depth, the ideas feel a little shallow.

But, part of what makes it all work is the art by Jorge Jimenez. Along with colors by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the art helps enhance the unease Batman is experiencing. There’s some fantastic visuals from the subtle horror of Bruce’s visions to the opening action. There’s an interesting mix in the visuals of the comic. They all work together and in many ways are a logical step from one to the other. The visuals when examined on the macro is a descent for Batman from an ideal world to the horror of his reality. You can see that in the visuals and the coloring and even the lettering that depicts the madness of the Joker.

Batman #96, and “Joker War” as a whole, has been an interesting event that has had some great concepts. But, much like a summer blockbuster film, those concepts never quite get the depth and focus they deserve. There’s so many directions and levels this event could take place and we’re getting the “action” version of it. It’s not bad. It’s actually quite entertaining. But, reading the two chapters so far, it’s hard to not see the potential within and how many more interesting directions it could have gone.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.45 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read


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Preview: Batman #96

Batman #96

Story: James Tynion IV
Art: Jorge Jimenez
Color: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Reeling from the effects of the worst Joker toxin attack ever, Batman is on the run through Gotham City, pursued by the dark shadows and voices that haunt his past and present! As the Joker’s plan materializes, the only person who can save Batman from the brink of true madness…is Harley Quinn?! Plus, who is the mysterious new figure known as Clownhunter?

Batman #96

Get an Early Look at Batman #97, Joker War Part Three, Out August 18

Batman #97

Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Cover by Guillem March
Card stock variant cover by Francesco Mattina
1:25 Harley Quinn card stock variant cover by Jorge Jimenez
On Sale Tuesday, August 18, 2020
$3.99 (main cover)
$4.99 (card stock variant cover)

The war for the fate of Gotham City continues between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight and his allies! Here’s a look at some incredible pages from Batman #97 (The Joker War, Part Three), by Jorge Jimenez and Tomeu Morey!

The Joker’s army is growing hour by hour, with weapons beyond anything the Clown Prince of Crime has ever used before. Batman must hold his mind together so he can strike the final blow and take back his city – but how can he heal the rifts he’s created in his life to get the help he needs? And while all this is happening, the villains of Gotham City are waiting out the carnage that Joker has unleashed, and Catwoman assembles and army of her own!

Batman #97

Review: Batman #95

Batman #95

The Joker War” officially kicks off with Batman #95! Batman and Bruce Wayne have been stripped of their toys and wealth. The Joker has siphoned every dollar taking over Wayne Enterprises and is using the media and elected officials to play his game.

Written by James Tynion IV, there’s a lot to like about this beginning chapter of “The Joker War”. But, there’s also a lot there that feels like we’ve seen it all before. The concept of the rich superhero having their wealth stripped and company seized is something that regularly happens. Green Arrow and Iron Man have experienced it, if not multiple times. So, in that essence, Batman #95 doesn’t deliver a whole lot new. There are a lot of interesting details to make it worth checking out though.

Much of the issue dances around the two sides jockeying for position. It’s focus is the opposing factions taking stock of what assets they have. With Lucious Fox controlled by Punchline, the Joker’s crew taps into the material and tech hidden away at Wayne Enterprises. They also use the information at their disposal to paint a picture of a billionaire secretly funding Batman, and the media to demand that technology is returned. It’s a battle of public relations not just wits and fists. Batman has no idea what’s compromised so takes his opportunity to see where things stand and what the Joker is in control of.

Tynion does a good job of setting up the back and forth. Tynion also teases the game played between these two characters for years. By using his first case against the Joker, we see why Batman fears him and the psychological aspects of their relationship. And this is where the issue, and storyline, has the best chance of standing out. There’s a back-and-forth between these two that is hopefully explored more. What’s done here is an interesting set up that indicates we’ll see it. While the general plot is “been there, seen that,” the relationship between the two is unique, for example the Joker could easily unmask Batman but chooses not to. He knows Bruce’s trauma and looks to be using that somehow. These are the small things that stand out.

The art by Jorge Jimenez is pretty solid. Along with color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the look of the comic is solid. The fight between Batman and Punchline is well framed and though the comic lacks really dynamic splash pages or moments, there’s a tenseness to the art that really fits the story well. It feels like the coiling of a spring before an explosion of energy down the road.

Batman #95 isn’t an explosive start but it delivers an interesting start. There’s a lot of fascinating choices, the police standing up for Batman as an example, that will hopefully pay off nicely down the road. This feels like the opening of an epic film, a slow opening but one that does a fine job of setting things up. If you’re interested in “The Joker War.” Batman #95 is worth checking out. But, if you’re new to Batman and want to see what this story is about, you may walk away wondering what the buzz was about.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read


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