Through means that really functionally don't matter, the Joker now has access to Batman's greatest weapons: money and secrets. The entire Wayne fortune is in the hands of the Clown Prince of Crime, as are the identities of everyone he works with, as are every technological toy in question, finally giving Jack Nicholson the answer to the question he asked in 1989. This brings the pasty clown knocking at Barbara Gordon's door along with one of the most horrific moments in her life, both roaring back with a vengeance.
It is unfortunate that one of the most defining things about this character remains rooted in trauma, as the Joker again violates the body of the polymath/activist/businesswoman/hero. She is, in fact, so much more than that singular moment. This issue plays out like a tense psychological thriller along the lines of Sleeping With The Enemy but sadly does so by essentially victimizing a powerful woman.
Writer Cecil Castellucci has a pretty skillful grasp on the mechanics of psychodrama, pushing this plot effectively towards its conclusion and functionally gives this the best Bat performance against the villain thus far in this crossover. Likewise, the helter-skelter camera angles in the visual storytelling of Robbi Rodriguez, Jordie Bellaire, and Andworld Design make a geographically limited sequence of events engaging. However, something just doesn't quite work. Everybody here knows how to do comics, but somewhere along the line, perhaps too many eggs got broken in the effort to make this omelet.
As such, this is a well-done work product that has some challenges. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
By: Cecil Castellucci, Robbi Rodriguez, Giuseppe Camuncoli
Knock knock! Who's there? The Joker. The Joker who? The Joker who's here to have a nice chat with Barbara Gordon! Don't miss this devastating tie-in to 'Joker War'!
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.