It's been a long time since we reviewed a comic book. And full disclosure it's been a long time since we've read a comic. When I started all of this I tried to review as many comics as I could for Geek Unhinged. And it was unmanageable. Trying to read and review some times upward to 10 comics a week was just unsustainable. However, we remember Tynion IV. We're on record for saying: "This is what Tynion does so well. He pulls on those heart strings that make you feel for these characters and it’s so damn cool." - Our "The Batman Who Laughs #1" review. So when we found out he was the mastermind behind the Joker War. We knew shit was gonna get real.
The issue starts with a flashback that sets the whole tone. It's a particularly dope opening because Tynion is doing what he does best. Instilling a feeling of fear in you of just how terrifying and genius the Joker is. I haven't seen an portrayal of Joker's and Batman's relationship done so well since the pages of "The White Knight".
You also get, and here comes a "City of Bane" SPOILER, that heartstring tug with Alfred. Who says something to the affect that he will always be with Bruce as he fights his never ending war with the Joker. Who has since been killed by Bane in issue Batman #77. So In the first 3 or so pages Tynion IV has captivated us 100%
What I truly appreciate about the issue. Is that I haven't read anything that has happened up till this point. And Tynion has laid it all out through a series of "Breaking News" recaps that give me all of the information I need in the beginning. Then toward the end with the conversation between Graves and Bullock. Tynion doesn't waste a single panel with unnecessary words. Even the conversation between Punchline and Lucius feels like it serves a purpose other than her just pulling information.
Then we move to artist Jimenez and colorist Morey and well, damn. They say behind every great writer is an even better artist and colorist. (*Editor Notes: No one says that ever.) And the visuals in this book are fan-fun-tastic. Jimenez is the one who designed many of the new characters introduced at the start of Tynion's run makes it all feel like a comic book. And I know that sounds dumb, but it's really not. The vibe just feels right and makes you want to look at every beautiful detail.
All the while you have Morey giving us some of the best colors in a comic book right now. It would have been really easy for Morey to do dark tones. But he keeps colors bright and popping which compliments the clean line art of Jimenez.
Who by the way does such a great job at drawing the fear in Batman's cowl clad eyes that it's amazing. One moment you see Batman's appreciation and love for Lucius and the literal next you see the fear and confusion of Batman's situation in his eyes.
If Batman #95 seems like a slow start. That's because it is. But that's not a bad thing. This issue sets the tone with a captivating story and stunning art of what's to come; as it show cases just how smart the Joker is. And just how Entangled (I couldn't resist) his relationship with Batman is.