REVIEW – Batman: The Joker War Zone #1

Batman: The Joker War #1 – DC Comics

“A Serious House” Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Guillem March
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Ben Oliver

“Family Ties” Written by John Ridley
Art by Olivier Coipel
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Deron Bennett

“The Symbol” Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by David LaFuente
Colors by Hi-Fi
Letters by Gabriela Downie

“Ashes of Eden” Written by Sam Johns
Art by Laura Braga
Colors by Antonio Fabela
Letters by Tom Napolitano

“Clown Hunt” Written by James Tynion IV
Art by James Stokeo
Letters by Clayton Cowles

The Joker War has begun, and we’ve been on the front lines so far. Still, it would be nice to know what is happening in other parts of Gotham. That’s exactly what Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 brings us. Different heroes, different rogues, all with different stories to show what kind of a ripple effect this war is having all across the city. There are some powerhouse creative teams at play here, too. I’ll try my best not to spoil anything for you.

There are multiple stories at play here, involving both heroes and villains. Two of those stories say they will be continued in 2021,which isn’t as far away as you think. There is a story involving Bane that looks like it could make an instant impact, or at least, play a big role in the Joker War down the line. We also get to learn more about the mysterious Clownhunter. We definitely get some answers regarding his identity, but mostly, we learn what his mission is. I’m not talking about the obvious, there’s more to it than that.

John Ridley’s story may have given us a preview of his upcoming Batman series. There were some powerful moments involving the Fox family, and quite a few that made me feel uneasy. The tension was certainly at a high level, but when you consider what Punchline put Lucius through, that’s to be expected.

Perhaps the most intriguing was a story that involves Poison Ivy. This one seemed to feel more like it will have a big impact outside of the actual War. There are a certain group of fans that will definitely be talking after seeing how this one plays out. Dare I saw, is someone going back to their roots?

Overall the art in the story is very good. You could tell that great care was taken in selecting the correct artist for each story. I really enjoyed how David LaFuente crafted Spoiler and Orphan in his story with Joshua Williamson. There is also a larger than life villain in that story that was made much more entertaining by the art.

Normally I’m not a huge fan of tie-ins, but Batman: The Joker War Zone actually builds on the world of the overall story. You don’t have to wonder what’s going on with (insert character name here), because this book gives you that information. It also makes you wonder if a couple of characters, who weren’t a part of the story before, will make an impact later on. This isn’t a cash grab by DC. This is a book that adds legitimate value to a larger arc. It’s up to you to decide if you want that extra content or not. Personally, I enjoyed it.