Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Clayton Cowles
The Rundown: Stripped of his resources and alone, Batman will discover the next trick in the Joker’s arsenal is personal.
Bruce has a vision of the future Gotham he has been trying to create and finds that vision quickly ripped from him with the harsh reality that he is still in a Gotham controlled by the Joker and Harley Quinn is the only ally he has.
After hearing about what Joker is doing to the city, Harley shows him a message meant for him alone. A message urging him back to where it all started for a young Bruce Wayne. Harley tries to help him, but Bruce goes out into the night anyway and finds that Joker has something sinister and special planned for him.
The Story: One of the main premises of Joker War is that we are seeing how Batman fares in a city controlled by Joker without his resources and wealth. While James Tynion IV captures the psychological warfare Joker is waging really well, the effects of a penniless Dark Knight seem like an afterthought in a story where that condition is supposed to be a negative. Harley explains to Bruce what the effects Joker being in control of the Wayne fortune are, but we never really get a chance to see it and that’s a shame.
I want to see how Joker is keeping the police in check. I want to see what weapons and tactics Joker gives to the criminals of the city. I want to see Batman struggle with not having his fortune and in this issue, I didn’t. With the exception of his tenuous grip on reality, Batman seems to be just fine taking down a group of thugs and going about his business as he hunts for Joker. While the action and stakes are well done throughout and the dream sequence is great to see, another story where Batman is pushed to his emotional and psychological limits needs to showcase how effective Batman can be a world where he has nothing to count on but his wits and his skills.
The Art: Jorge Jimenez blew me away with the art in this issue. There are so many great visual moments from Bruce’s utopian-esque Gotham to the finale with Batman at the Monarch Theater. The art conveys so much emotion throughout and really engages the reader.