NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Batman #95 written by James Tynion IV with art by Jorge Jimenez is not just another issue, but rather the beginning of a new era for Batman. The Joker War, which is supposed to be the culmination of the ongoing battle between Batman and the Joker and much of the recent Batman comic events, officially begins with this issue. The story will spill out into some other Bat titles, but the main story will conclude with Batman #100. After that issue, something is likely going to be different compared to the current Batman status quo. We may have a new Batman, a new Joker, or maybe they will reverse roles. It seems like this story is quite important, and it does start with a bang or two in Batman #95.
This issue seems like the start of its own story. If you haven’t been following up on Batman, you can probably jump in here and enjoy the Joker War. The story introduces us to the state of things in Gotham as we speak. We get a few good scenes with Batman, a menacing scene with Joker, and a bunch of clips of all the bad that’s going on.
The opening Batman scene is essential for Batman and Joker fans. It’s a flashback to when Batman was first investigating the Joker and realizing what he’s up against. He makes some interesting observations as he discusses the case with Alfred. These panels are a treat for Batman fans. There is some present time some action scenes with Batman as well later on in the issue.
The Joker scene is another classic Batman sequence. The Joker visits a key location in Batman/Bruce’s history and creation. The Joker seems to know everything and is reveling in the plan that he is slowly unveiling. It’s a very creepy sequence that displays Joker’s superpower and felt like a scene out of The Dark Knight.
We do get a lot of Punchline, Joker’s new girlfriend/sidekick. It seems that she will be featured heavily in this storyline. As we haven’t seen a lot of her character, maybe this will be her story or defining moment. The character currently feels like a replacement for Harley Quinn that no one exactly wanted. I’m not excited or interested in the character as her role seems like Joker’s “number one guy,” which we’ve seen before.
The overall feeling of the comic is chaos. We get a few teases that this will be a Batman-universe shaking event, and then everything starts moving very fast. The comic quickly turns into a checklist of the things Batman is up against and will have to deal with in the coming issues. By the end, I was a little worried about Bruce and what he’ll have to do to overcome these obstacles. I am excited to see him get down to business, though, and solve this case.
There is a new Batsuit that makes an appearance in this issue. We don’t know much about it, but Bruce acknowledges it. It doesn’t look much like any Batsuit that we’ve seen in recent continuity. It’s bright, shiny, and hopeful, which I’m sure is on purpose, but that doesn’t make it any better of a Batsuit. It kind of looks like the Batsuit that Superman would design for himself.
There have been a lot of great, dark, and majorly deviating Batman stories recently. They have all had their place in Batman lore, but not in the main continuity. This story seems like it could be one of those miniseries tales because it’s going to be that extreme. I’m excited to see the Batman and Joker story and relationship progress. I am not excited that the main Batman continuity is at stake. I don’t think this war will ruin Batman, but the appearance of the new suit did make me think twice. I think this story will ultimately be entertaining, though, as it dives back into Batman’s history and digs up some critical pieces.
I think this first entry in the Joker War is a good one. It’s fast-moving, it offers some new scenes regarding classic Batman lore and locales. It also takes everything in Gotham and throws it up in the air for Batman to catch. Batman #95 is a good starting point if you want to get into Batman or just read a short story arc that’s all about Batman and the Joker. Be warned that the darkest hour that’s right before dawn starts here. I give Batman #95 4 out of 5 Batarangs.