Batman Ends The War with a Bang!
Batman finally fights back. As the Joker, Punchline, and their gang have taken Gotham; Batman gathers the family for an all-out attack. The Batfamily quickly heads to work, with Nightwing leading the charge, while Bruce heads to Ace Chemicals. Before he can find Joker, however, he is intercepted by Harley Quinn. She gives Batman a warning: if he doesn’t kill Joker, she will. Bruce refuses to allow the death of the Joker and heads in to find him. What the Dark Knight finds instead is a reanimated Alfred and Joker in the high-tech Batsuit. How will Batman prevail?
**Some Spoilers Below**
Batgirl heads back to the Burnside Clock Tower to take control of the situation as Oracle. She sends out a message on the GCPD and Emergency Communication system to explain that the Bat-Family is retaking the city. This kicks Commissioner Bullock into gear and orders his officers to start fighting back with the vigilantes. This leaves Batman and The Joker, who have begun their final battle in Ace Chemicals. As they fight, Joker reveals that all of this was to show Gotham how Batman and Wayne Enterprises can’t help. Gotham will always remain broken. Before Joker can deliver a final blow, however, Harley stops him and gives Batman an ultimatum.
The battle between Batman and Joker may be what the readers came for, but seeing the family come together was a huge win. Seeing a big finale like this is epic, especially if you kept up with the tie ins. If you’re a reader who only stuck to the main book, its still epic seeing the other storylines pay off. From Nightwing’s return to Catwoman bankrupting Punchline, it’s a reminder of how grand the Joker War is.
The most significant moment, however, is what Batman chooses to do with Joker. Harley straps a bomb to herself and Joker before telling Bruce he has to decide who will die. Rather than have a device that could destroy both bombs, Tynion IV has Batman choose to leave Joker. Of course, there’s a way for Joker to live, but Batman choosing to let the villain figure his own way out was a bold surprise. This reviewer can’t think of the last time something like this happened, especially with an A-List villain. I won’t be surprised if this was a one-off moment, but it was definitely a memorable moment.
When it comes to art, this might be the best work Jorge Jimenez has ever done. The battle between the Joker and Batman is just as brutal as the art from the Snyder and King runs but still contains that style Jimenez brings to the table. The Bat-Joker might be one of my favorite looks for the Clown Prince of Crime, but I think it’s only because of the art style. Tomeu Morey was a perfect choice for colors as he brings out the neon nightmares that Joker is best known for. I hope this team returns soon because they can bring a whole new light to Gotham.
Overall the conclusion to The Joker War was pretty damn awesome. The way Tynion IV was able to bring all the stories of the tie-ins together is damn near perfect. The art team brings a beautiful, stylistic look to this arc and knocks it out of the park. The only complaint that can be made is that it doesn’t quite live up to that #100 title. It’s a great ending to Joker War, but with a milestone like that, you’d want something more. Despite that one small detail, this issue was still very enjoyable and leaves us wanting more Batman.