The Dark Knight’s had a rough go for the last decade. However, Batman #100 may just change everything for the better. Just like the old cliche though, it’s always darkest before dawn.
After years of Batman toughing it out alone, we finally see a return to form. There’s only only thing that can stop the Joker this time, and it’s the entire Bat-family. This double sized issue comes to us by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles, Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, and Guillem March.
The entire Bat-family stands united against the clowns, led by Nightwing, back to form, and Batgirl, back in the Clocktower. Their fight will unify the city to rise up. However, Batman still has to face the Joker one last time, or Gotham will fall…
This is without a doubt the best issue of Tynion’s run, and it’s exactly what the series needs to give it a push into the future. By restoring the Bat-family, easily the best thing to happen to Batman, he reestablishes a Batman that’s better because of the people around him. With Oracle and Nightwing at the helm for the B plot, it was the perfect amount of nostalgia right alongside the superhero action. Plus, the inclusion of the newer members of the family, particularly Duke and Kate, keeps the move from feeling like “been there, done that.”
As for the confrontation between Batman, the Joker, and Harley, it’s exactly what this rivalry needs. The two foes duke it out, and Tynion lays out the stakes for their relationship. We, the readers, know that Batman will win the day, but what that victory means, and the cost of it, pushes the story forward instead of gazing into the past.
Jimenez pulls out all the stops for this issue. He frames the action in some cinematic ways, but keeps the layouts engaging and vivid. His fluid character work creates a sense of motion as our heroes seem to bound across the page. It all leads up to a quiet epilogue, where he’s able to flex his muscles best by slowing down and showing a quiet moment between Batman and Harley as the two connect in a way that only the two of them really can. It feels like a quiet connection between two people with shared trauma, not just a comics page featuring two of DC’s best selling characters.
If you caught my review a few issues back, you probably saw my frustrations with this run, that it didn’t really feel like Tynion’s. This issue though makes a statement of what the run could be, including clearing the Joker off the board for a time, having the family as an increased presence, and forging Batman ahead to a brighter future. It makes me excited for the future again, especially with this creative team having found their way.
Batman #100 is available now from DC Comics.
“The Joker War” comes to a city-shattering conclusion as Batman battles The Joker in a brutal, no-holds-barred duel! This is a fight 80 years in the making, and its outcome won’t just change Batman’s life-it will change Gotham City for years to come!