Monday, October 5, 2020

Batman #100 Review and *SPOILERS*

Wait… WHAT?!

Written By: James Tynion IV
Art By: Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 6, 2020

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It all comes down to this. Months of building and building up this Joker War crossover eventually culminates in this final issue. While I was initially very high on this series when Tynion took over, that story soon changed to fit the massive crossover event that is The Joker War. Since the reveal of Joker being the Designer, this title has nosedived in quality and the reason is very blatant. We had months of issues that didn’t advance the story in any way and now that we are at a landmark issue, it’s very clear that the company was extending this crossover in order to have the finale take place during this landmark number. Artificially extending this story is the main cause of why this title is struggling but I have good news. We had a companion title come out just last week and overall it was very good. The question really is, whether this issue will capitalize on that goodwill or simply end things on a whimper. There’s only one way to know for sure so let’s jump into the finale of Joker War.

Our issue begins with Batgirl who is back in the Clock Tower. She gets reacquainted with the setup that she has and it becomes clear that Oracle is back. She immediately begins executing commands to the computer before she makes a statement. She uses emergency channels to contact not only the Bat-Family but the cops and vigilantes too. After her statement of unity, we see the GCPD getting ready for action but they then get the orders from City Hall to stand down. Bullock throws his badge on the ground and then addresses his men. He rallies them to stand up for what’s right rather than follow orders in order to keep their jobs. We then cut to Nightwing who is taking down some Joker Gang members as he coordinates with Oracle. We cut to Batman who is dealing with Joker and the reanimated corpse of Alfred. Joker seems to have the upper hand as he has changed many of Batman’s tools to fit his own style, in that they are very much able to take life. Batman meanwhile, is concerned with taking care of Alfred and that costs him as it allows Joker to get some major blows in. With his new suit though, Joker is much more capable than before. Just before we cut to another scene though, Batman cuts the lights and goes on the offensive.

We cut to Punchline who is flustered as the explosion at ACE Chemical is happening much sooner than expected. She tries to get an update on their other plans but gets no response. On top of that, the Underbroker tells her that he is ending their relationship due to the money that they were playing him with being gone. Just then she is interrupted by Nightwing and a fight ensues. She is clearly outmatched though as she calls in her goons quickly, but Nightwing calls in the Bat-Family and the fighting continues. We then get a small scene that shows the Catwoman is the one responsible for stealing back the Wayne Fortune. Back at ACE Chemical, Batman pulls himself from the wreckage of the explosion. However, the fight is still going as Joker uses the opportunity to stab him in the back once more. Joker mocks him of course. Throwing his dead father figure’s memory at him and ranting about how he has already won because Batman will have to start from scratch once again to save Gotham. His dreams will never come to fruition. The fight through the plant continues and eventually, Joker raises a blade above a helpless Batman when suddenly a gunshot rings out and a bullet goes through Joker’s eye. He looks up looking for the culprit and see’s Harley standing before him. She takes the opportunity to cuff Joker and then sets up a game for Batman. She knows that Batman won’t let her simply kill Joker so she instead straps bombs to both him and herself. She refuses to let this game of cat and mouse continue so instead the bombs are set to go off at the same time. She is going to run in order to make Batman choose. He can either save Joker or her.

She runs and Joker makes some remarks before telling Batman to remove his bomb already. However, this time Batman walks past him and goes after Harley, leaving him to die. The bomb goes off and the we cut to a week later. Harley is in the hospital and she wakes to find Batman in her room. The two talk for a little about what happened and where they are going to go in the future. We learn that the Joker apparently was able to escape from the bomb. However, the scene ends on a positive note in that even though Batman has to start over from scratch, he is up for the challenge. We then get a few scenes in an epilogue. The first shows a new foe gearing up to take his shot at Batman. We then get a scene where a young man is walking through the narrows until he reaches his apartment and he finds Batman inside. Batman knows the young man is Clownhunter. The young man, while not raving, is clearly not right in the head, most likely from the large amount of trauma in his life. The conversation goes over how he used to believe in the Bat but now he realizes that things are different. Batman tells him that he will not arrest him but if he plans to kill again, he will stop Clownhunter. He then gives a card that the young man, whose name is revealed to be Bao, can use to get in touch with Leslie Thompkins. After the Bat leaves, Bao considers it but seems to be planning on continuing his crusade first. Our final scene shows two men sitting at a coffee shop and one is reading the news. The other starts conversation with him and even shows him a video of the woman known as Punchline appealing to the public. The man sitting in the coffee shop is suggested to being the Joker and he kills the other man with some Joker toxin before he leaves. This is where the issue leaves us.

Before I tear into this thing, let’s talk about the good. The art in this book is really special. In addition, the relationship between Batman and Harley throughout this entire story has really been something incredible. It makes us think twice about Batman’s code as he is directly faced with a victim of the Joker who was forever changed by him. Harley will never have a normal life and it’s because the Joker wasn’t stopped before he met her. It’s a really great and interesting situation. Now as for the rest of the book I’ve got a lot of bones to pick. I want to say that there is a balance to uphold when it comes to crossover events. Obviously, you don’t want people to think that buying the tie-ins is pointless so you have to have major plot points happen in those titles. However, you cannot introduce a plot point in one book and then finish it somewhere else. That confuses the audience. FOR INSTANCE! It was a major plot point in this book that the Wayne Fortune got stolen. Now clearly, they decided to resolve this in the Catwoman book instead of this book. This isn’t the worst thing in the world as we got some small scenes here and there that showed what Catwoman was doing at the time in order to retrieve the fortune back. However, that is completely dropped in this issue. Instead of getting a few small scenes that would let the audience know how things went down, we just fast forward and suddenly the Wayne Fortune is saved or at least stolen from Joker. This is a plot point that was set up in this book. We need to see that come to fruition. Even if it technically takes place in another book, we need something small to tie up that plot point in this book because THIS IS WHERE IT STARTED! If you are only reading the Batman book, you have no idea how Catwoman did what she did, just that she somehow did it. This is true for a lot of things in this book. Bat Family storylines take place somewhere else and are given no context in this book. The GCPD finally rises against the corrupt system, but we never see them act on it. Clearly, it was something saved for another title. It just amazes me that we got 3 different epilogue scenes, one of which is for a completely different title instead of better fleshing out these plot points. Seriously, it feels like we spent months learning about how bad things are in Gotham and then they all got solved off-screen. The Batman book shouldn’t feel like a companion to the crossover which is supposed to be centered on the Batman book! I know it’s impossible to have everything we want, but I also know that you can do SO MUCH BETTER than this.

Bits and Pieces

The new Joker War storyline ends with a whimper as instead of seeing all these plot points come to fruition, we instead are treated to a long fight scene and all the major stuff takes place off-screen. I”m not saying there aren’t good parts. The art is great and the relationship between Batman and Harley Quinn is compelling. Unfortunately, there are so many parts of this story that are never capitalized on and require you to go to different titles in order to see the end of a story that started in this book. Very poorly done and I hope we don’t do something like this ever again. 



  1. This was a set of plagiarism that Tynion does from other writers, other numbers, only changing characters and modifying scenarios in a messy way.
    In short, all I need is for Harley to tell Batman "it's him or me" and throw a gun at him.
    That and all is giving Dick almost the center of all the action excluding the others.
    Too bad that such a mediocre and apathetic story ruins all art, which is the only decent thing in this issue.
    Wouldn't it be so hard on the rating if DC didn't revolve everything around Batman, give her the best stories, the best writers etc, for this? I think they kept the wrong people to stay, they are doing a very bad job.
    Oh and in the end when you think something different will really be done and the clown will finally be killed, you have to put such a cheap cliche. It is clear to me that all this that Tyrion did who thinks it is novel is to want to promote the Punchline series and give the Clownhunter a leading role in the future, which is a mix between the origin of Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, despite the fact that Clownhunter is much more interesting than Harley ... or sorry Puncheline (the cheap copy of Harley Quinn) neither character is interesting. Hope you make things better with Gost-Maker

    1. 100% - I hate when the "big thing" is only a set up for the "next thing".

  2. I cannot understand at this point in time why anybody wants to read Batman/Joker comic stories anymore.
    They are done to death.

    1. i agree! It's one of those things that everyone wants to do, but I am sick of it and there are so many cool villains to use and make that don't have to be connected or inspired just by the joker

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  4. atman comics has become most senseless, rubbish and Banal since the reboot.The Batman who laughs and Dark Multiverse are teh worst directions. Turning a Jokerzied Batman as the ultimate Crossover Moniter leveld emigod evil is utter crap. I am tired of how many times Batman shelles up drifts from his alleis, has his plans, weapons, assets stolen and uaed against him, how every tom dick and harry can juist walk into his pantheon and play his mind break him. Knightfall, Bane again in this ruin, Hush, Hugo Strange, Fake Dr Thomas Wayne after R.I.P, Tower of Babel, OMAC takeover after losing brother Eye,Gang war set by Cluemaster, Joker war.....list goes on and on. A smart man would learn from his mistakes and not repeat it ozen times like once every year? Is Creativity so dead? Sick of too much dark Batman comics now. How many tiems will he fail Damian? Did he not learn byuthing after the mistakes he made with Jason Todd? Who agrees Batman is dumbest hero of all at present?

    That brings me to who does not know who Batman is? Joker, Deathstroke, Lady Shiva, Hush, Bane, Lex Luthor, Riddler, Most noob child heroes across DCU who Batman would never trust with this knowledge? Even Punchline knows the whole family ID whats stopping her from outing it on arrest? I am amazed his ID isn't public by now. One thought his anonymity was his weapon. Who would not connect red haired Barbara Gordon and Batgirl, 4 Robins and 4 Young wards to Batman sponsoring Bruce Wayne?

    I also agree that so many innocents mass murdered by Joker are less important than that one worthless evil life? Is his ego and ethics so much more that he allowed hunderds to die at Theaters than call in Justice league, Superman and stop all those tech on streets to be stopped? Utter shit! I mean batman cant kill Joker dont tell me no Supreme Court in USA will want to legally kill him in a death sentence! I am for first time in my 45 year existence thinking of stopping Batman comics. DC and Marvel suffer from excess greed publishing way too many crap books. I had given up reading most of it a decade now. This too falls off. I have hit saturation point finally. Comics now make me want to puke. Comics once used to be fun. Now they are darkest, vilest, most boring drag. They once inspired kids to be heroes now promote mass murdering villains and violence as cool. I feel sorry for kids today.

  5. Could not believe how flat-footed Bats was in this mess - the Joker got the drop on him several times. COME ON.