REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #95 – “The Joker War Part One”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #95

Batman #95 marks the start of the Joker War, the ongoing event that has been teased for months now. The issue is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV, with art by Jorge Jimenez, colors by Tomeu Morey, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Previously, the Designer’s true intentions were finally revealed with the Joker being behind the persona Batman faced down all along.

Batman #95 begins with a flashback as Bruce takes down the Joker during his rise to become the feared and well-known supervillain he is now. This opening is refreshing because Tynion is able to channel and explain exactly why the Joker is so terrifying. His lack of morals is only the start of what makes him so diabolical and evil. The sentence “to him they are just meat” is downright chilling. In addition to nailing the Joker’s relationship to humanity as a whole, Tynion also beautifully captures his toxic and disturbing obsession with Batman. Joker’s love-hate relationship with Batman can be difficult to capture without being too cheesy.

The Joker’s intelligence, and his ability to hide it, is often what helps him get the upper hand over Batman. This was also evident in the previous issue when he was able to frame Bruce at Wayne Enterprises, forcing him to lose his fortune. Now, without his heaps of cash to keep him safe, Batman struggles to regain control over Gotham City as the Joker starts and all-out war.

Batman #95

Joker’s vendetta against Batman feels personal and every move he is making is a direct attack on Batman and more specifically Bruce Wayne. I was extremely wary about reading another Joker centric arc but this opening issue was fantastic. This is also due to Jimenez taking over the art for the issue. His ability to beautifully capture the expressive features of each character sets the issue apart from previous ones in the run. That being said, Morey’s colors continue to be one of the biggest high points of the book. While most of the book is bathed in dark blues and blacks, a few pops of the Joker’s classic fluorescent, sickly green makes the panels stand out. Additionally, Cowles lettering is not cluttered and keeps the flow of the book dynamic.

This issue also featured Punchline holding her own against Batman and while I would still like to see more from her character, this is the first time in the series she did not actively annoy me. Punchline knows she cannot win in a straight-up fight with the Dark Knight and adapts accordingly. Previously, Punchline’s fighting ability seemed unstoppable so it is nice to finally see her with some real limitations. Overall, I would still like to see her get more character development and layers to her personality.

Batman #95 is a return to form for the series. Joker stories are hard to make interesting because there are just so many within Batman’s lore. However, so far, The Joker War is off to a great start because it takes the time to examine the Joker’s intellect and how that directly related to Batman and Joker’s relationship.

Batman #95 is available now in comic book stores and through digital retailers.


Batman #95
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TL;DR

Batman #95 is a return to form for the series. Joker stories are hard to make interesting because there are just so many within Batman’s lore. However, so far, The Joker War is off to a great start because it takes the time to examine the Joker’s intellect and how that directly related to Batman and Joker’s relationship.