Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #5 Review



Written by: Marc Silvestri
Art by: Marc Silvestri
Colors by: Arif Prianto
Letters by: Troy Peteri
Cover art by: Marc Silvestri (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: March 7, 2023

Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #5 turns Batman's attention back to detective work when he learns a heartbreaking truth about Donald Simms's research, and the true mastermind behind the killings is revealed.
Is It Good?

Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #5 turns the arc back to Batman's (via Marc Silvestri) masterful detective work as he investigates, scopes out, and tracks every lead to find the hidden lair of the mastermind behind all the death and destruction. It's too early to tell if the big reveal is truly satisfying, but I'm confident you won't see it coming.

When last we left Batman, he and Joker were forced to deal with a Jigsaw-styled trap to save a runaway train, and the final moments showed that Donald Simms has more of a connection to the unkillable monsters than he originally let on.

Now, Batman gets back to detecting with Joker to find where the monsters go after they've done their work.

Be warned. There's a LOT of exposition in this issue as Batman thinks aloud and converses with other characters to peel away the layers of the mystery. The issue has a fair bit of gore and a wee bit of action, but this is generally dialog-heavy.

Do the explanations makes sense? In a roundabout way, yes. Silvestri's big reveal at the end brings the entire mystery into focus, although one or two puzzle pieces are yet to be fit into place. In other words, you get a shocking reveal that leaves you with a "how does that work?" feeling.

With two issues left, there's plenty of time to tie up the loose threads, but a few nagging questions have been hanging out for a while. Why do the monsters look like Joker? Joker does practically nothing in this issue, so why does Batman keep bringing him along? If the mastermind is killing everyone associated with the Simms's wedding (see the previous issue), why keep Gordon alive as bait? Killing is a pretty strong motivator to get Batman involved. What was the point of the Jigsaw death traps?

The more you think about it, the more open questions come to mind. Hopefully, Silvestri will get the list sorted before the end.

Again, the story is good, but a significant portion of readers will come for the art, and it's fantastic. Rough gritty lines, powerfully dramatic panel compositions, and brutal action are on full display. Batgirl even makes an appearance, but leave it to a master like Silvestri to make the dopey Burnside costume look good. If to you, art is more important than the story, you're going to love this issue.

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 #5 amps up the detective work and the exposition to uncover the "true" threat behind the monsters, kidnappings, and murders. The art is gloriously good, Batman's detecting work is solid, and the mystery reveal is surprising. That said, this is a very dialog-heavy issue with little action, and many questions still need to be answered.


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