Monday, September 14, 2020

Batman #99 Review and *SPOILERS*

Snooze Fest

Written By: James Tynion IV
Art By: Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 15, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Remember when Tynion took over this title for King and we all had such high hopes? Remember when Tynion took over and started this new and intriguing story that involved all these cool assassins executing a plan by a mysterious puppet master? Man those were the days! Now, all that intrigue was thrown away to do another “Joker is destroying the city” storyline. Honestly, I’m starting to doubt that any writer can do a proper Joker storyline these days. He always has to top himself so he always does something bigger than the last time and I think we’ve reached a point where it doesn’t really feel any different anymore. The last few Joker storylines have felt nearly identical to each other and this one is the same way. I hope things can turn around but it’s gonna take a lot. I’m hoping we can just end this crossover and get to something better.

Our issue begins with Joker picking up a package and then hopping into his new ride (a jeep limo) and making his way towards ACE Chemical. As they drive through the city, we see a town on fire. The Joker Gang is destroying Gotham with almost no resistance. In this scene though, we do see Clownhunter continuing his warpath. However, this scene is mostly for the Joker to wax poetic. He talks about how Gotham used to be and how Batman/Bruce tried to make it into something that it isn’t. How Gotham is naturally a violent place and he just let Gotham be what it truly is. Eventually they arrive at ACE Chemical and Joker naturally offs the driver as soon as he gets out of the vehicle. He gets a call from Punchline who reveals what happened when she was up against Batman and Harley. She was apparently left for the police to pick up but the Joker Gang found her first and freed her. Joker is unfazed though as he knows that the climax is about to hit. He cleans up ACE Chemical by killing all the members of the Joker Gang that are still there and then tells Punchline to offer money for each dead body that is given to them and a really big prize for any bat. He then says he’s going to try on his new suit as we cut away.

We catch back up with Batman who has gathered the Bat-Family. He gives a big speech about how he should have gathered them sooner and he will be better (definitely haven’t heard that a million times). During his speech, he basically rallies the Family to protect the citizens and work together. He tells them about Batwoman have launched their raid on Wayne Industries but things are still bad and people are still being led to theaters for the slaughter. Batman will deal with Joker directly and Harley wants to go with him to kill the Joker but Batman refuses. As their meeting comes to an end, a Joker Gang member finds them and fires a rocket at them. They are able to stop it and then stop him very easily, but the time for action has come. Just before he leaves, Batman reveals that he grabbed Nightwing’s old uniform so that Dick and reclaim his alter-ego.
We cut to Catwoman who has teamed up with Penguin and Riddler as they decide to go after the Underbroker in an attempt to steal back the Wayne fortune. This part is basically an ad for the Catwoman book. Batman then arrives at ACE Chemical but is suddenly stopped by Harley. She tries to reason with him saying that she saved him because she thought he would finally realize that he needs to stop Joker for good. Batman disarms her but the two keep talking. She tells him that things will only be worse the next time, even if Batman stops him now. So she tells him that if he loses, she will take the shot and kill the Joker and if Batman wants her to stop, he’s going to have to make her. For a moment it seems that is what he will do but he decides to let her roam free instead. He enters ACE Chemical and is met with the reanimated corpse of Alfred. He initially believes it to be a hallucination But he then comes face to face with Joker who has dawned the diamond suit that Alfred had made for him, and he is pointing a revolver at Bruce’s head. This is where the issue leaves us.

As usual, let’s start with the good things because there’s really only one (two if you count the art, which is very well done). The conversation that Batman has with Harley Quinn near the end of this issue is very well done. It represents both sides of the argument well and even though Batman doesn’t agree to kill the Joker, he allows Harley to roam free knowing that she intends to kill the clown. Aside from that though, the rest of this issue is long speeches where our main character basically gets on their soapbox. It does absolutely nothing for the story overall. We’ve basically seen all of this. We’ve seen Batman do the same scene with the family over and over again. We’ve seen Joker spout his nonsense about the true nature of Gotham. Literally, nothing in this issue adds to the overall story. Comic books are long-form storytelling. So we have all of the history of these characters added to this book. So, it is redundant for the character to keep spouting the same thing over and over when we’ve already seen them do that dozens upon dozens of times.

Bits and Pieces

Batman continues to rob audiences of what they actually want. I can only assume that they decided that the ending should happen on issue 100 and thus, they are stalling for time. This is a disappointing title and I really want this Joker War to come to an end and hopefully, it won’t haunt the book for too long. Great art, but this story is crap.


1 comment:

  1. 485/5000
    Oh thanks for presenting a good review, I don't know if others get paid to speak well of this series but they overrate it.
    The only thing worthwhile in this issue is art, just that. An insipid meeting where only Batman speaks and we can read only me, me, me, and him, him. once he gets tired of the world turning around him so now if he's fascinated to have them back, in a trite matter the others are going to protect the city while he goes alone for the Joker. Pff boring.