Batman #96 Review

by Wes Greer on August 04, 2020

Writer – James Tynion IV
Art – Jorge Jimenez
Colors – Tomeu Morey
Letters – Clayton Cowles

After a big opening issue for Joker War two weeks ago the heat picks up again with todays release of Batman #96. I enjoyed the last issue, but I felt like it might have been a bit over hyped and was more of a foundation issue which is a lot of what we had gotten before the event started. This issue however kick things into full gear and even though I wish they would have done this last issue; things look bright for the rest of the story line moving forward.

With this issue Tynion starts off by giving us a glimpse into the future of Gotham as Batman is still feeling the effects of the new Joker Toxin that Punchline exposed him to in the end of the last issue. Tynion uses this sequence to give us a more personal look into Bruce’s head which is something he hasn’t really given us other than a few emotional pieces about the loss of Alfred and the way Tynion executes the emotions in this issue is fantastic. He shows us a little more of the human side of Batman and explores his fears which helps to make the reader feel more connected with batman and sympathize with the character. After the sequence Tynion wastes no time turning up the heat and getting us into some blood pumping action and excitement. We see the introduction of Clown Hunter in this issue as well which while brief is impactful as well as the return of one of my favorites Harley Quinn and we learn what happened to her after her last run in with Punchline. The story continues to ramp up and Joker comes back into play and we learn why he has been purchasing all the theaters in Gotham. Tynion also introduces one of the most vile schemes we have seen from the Joker in a long time and reminds us all why he is the Clown Prince of Crime and just how far he is willing to go to win this final war with Batman. This entire issue keeps the blood flowing and Tynion really hits all the sweet points that got us excited for his run in the first place.

While the writing of this series has had its ups and downs, one thing that has been constant is the art done by Jorge Jimenez. Jimenez has spent a lot of time working on his art work for this series and going on social media to address fans and let them know he was going to give Joker War everything he had and with the last issue it really showed us he was not messing around. With such incredible work on Batman #95 I really didn’t expect it to get much better but with this issue Jimenez raised the bar against himself and has created some of the most incredible panels I think I have ever seen in a Batman story. His character designs in this issue all feel of the same world he has already created but he has gone back in and added even more detail and features to certain characters such as Harley and Batman making them that much more beautiful. His design of Harley in this issue makes her look more human and realistic and is seriously one of my favorite versions of her I have seen yet. Jimenez also leaves little to the imagination giving full attention to detail on every single panel and has just created something so spectacular for readers to immerse themselves in. The panel work is all clean and perfect and he uses some creative designs for certain parts of the issue that really makes it that much better visually. The colors of this issue start off very sharp and vivid and change with story going to a more dark and muddy kind of look that the story calls for. The colors themselves are beautiful and with this issue we see a lot of blending of tones that creates one of the coolest looking city light effects I have seen in a recent comic. Tomeu Morey has just been nailing it with batman but you can tell that the detail in Jimenez’s work has made him step it up as well creating a beautiful final product.

Overall Batman #96 checks all the boxes that readers have been expecting in this Joker War story. The writing explores a more emotional and deep side of Batman as he struggles to only maintain his sanity but his mission to protect Gotham after having lost everything, a dark and vile Joker that you love to hate, and stunning artwork that immerses the reader into a deep and beautiful world taking us deep into the emotions of Gotham City. This issue is one of my favorite in the series so far and I feel like the creative team has tapped into their creative genius and are giving us everything they have to deliver one of the greatest Batman arcs of this generation. Batman #95 is available today so head to your local comic shop as soon as they open because this one is going to fly right off the shelves. Make sure you guys let me know what you thought of the issue as well as what you thought about the premiere of Clown Hunter by commenting in the comment section below!

-Wes Greer

Our Score:


A Look Inside