Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #2 Review


Written by: Marc Silvestri
Art by: Marc Silvestri
Colors by: Arif Prianto
Letters by: Troy Peteri
Cover art by: Marc Silvestri
Cover price $4.99
Release date: December 6, 2022

Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #2 leans into the horror when the nature of Gotham's newest batch of monstrous killers turns out to be monsters in the truest sense. Can Joker help Batman unlock the mystery and find the kidnapped Jim Gordon?

Is It Good? 

Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #2 is an excellent issue in Marc Silvestri's experimental take on the Caped Crusader and a considerable step up over issue #1. Silvestri leans into the horror aspects of a story that mixes shades of Saw (2004), Seven (1995), and The Omega Man (1971) for a story that keeps Batman's quest grounded but elevates the theme into something surprising and otherwordly.

When last we left Batman, he agreed (too quickly) to cooperate with Joker to find Gordon and stop the inhuman killers rampaging through Gotham. Now, we see how Batman keeps an eye on Joker, the biological nature of the monstrous killers, the gravity of Jim Gordon's predicament, and a peek into the mastermind(s) behind possibly both mysteries.

Silvestri's plot leans into the horror with mutilations, blood, and body horror for a unique set of villains, unlike anything Batman's faced, except for possibly zombies or werewolves. The minor down point to the issue is the seeming lack of connections between the monsters and Jim Gordon's kidnapping. Both plots have plenty of tension and urgency, but the dots need to be more connected, so it remains to be seen how well Silvestri can bring the threads together in the future. For now, the plots feel mildly disconnected from each other.

Overall, this issue improves over the previous one for its mix of themes and horror elements, where the first issue felt somewhat vanilla. Kudos to Silvestri for taking a serviceable start and doing something interesting with it.

Of course, the big draw of this series is Silvestri's art, and rightfully so. The art is gritty, stylistic (without getting weird), and appropriately grimey. You can feel the dirt and darkness in every Gotham alley, so the art becomes just as much an important part of the storytelling as the script. If Batman horror isn't your thing, stay for the amazing art.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #2 takes the boilerplate setup from issue #1 and amps up the horror elements in surprisingly new directions for an issue with spectacular art and a suddenly more intriguing story.


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