Welcome back, everybody, to my read through DC’s premiere Bat Event for 2020, The Joker War! I’m continuing to take a look at each issue, including tie-ins, and assessing the Joker’s damage during this all-out war for Gotham-wide control! I’m adding each review to the master Joker War Reading Order and assessing which issues are essential and what tie-ins you can leave out if you like.
Today, I’m looking at this week’s (8/12) new release, Detective Comics 1025. It’s available through TFAW, Ebay, Comixology, and of course your local comic shop. Look out for the sweet Bermejo cover B. That’s the one I picked up!
I don’t know if I would call this issue and essential tie-in to the main Joker War story, but it plays on some of the larger set pieces in Gotham that the main story is played out in front of. We start our issue with Batwoman trying liberate GCPD from a cemetery where they’re pinned down. The Joker has armed his group of clown thugs with heavy ordnance and 3D printed drones. Of course, Batman shows up to team up with his estranged Bat-Fam member and the two decide the drone problem needs to be addressed once and for all. Cue a trip to Wayne Enterprises where Lucius Fox is pumping out drone production under the influence of Joker Toxin.
This issue is classic Batman action-packed beat-em-up. There’s no lengthy investigative process going on here. We’re in the midst of all out war! No time for subtlety. There was one main sticking point for me when an o-so-convenient tank shows up. Bruce always has a contingency plan, but we’ve been told in Batman 96 that Joker has control over all of Bruce’s batcaves and resources. So, this feels a little like having your cake and eating it to. Yes, Joker controls all of Batman’s resources, except Batman has some super secret secrets. So Mary Sue Batman gets to drive a tank. Ok. I’d give this element of the issue a harder time if it weren’t otherwise such a joy to read. There’s something classic about a beloved character being in trouble and the perennial hero swooping in and liberating that character. Drone production for the clown army has ostensibly been shut down as well. I maintain that playing on Batman’s underdog status without the tank may have been a more interesting take.
If the story is a formulaic Batman action scene, Rocafort’s illustration dresses the whole presentation up so you either don’t notice or don’t care that action is all you’re getting. Rocafort’s art is always strong and I just love all the tiny details he packs into panels! He manages to bob and weave between action sequences with a deft hand. As a reader, you don’t feel like you’re missing any of the steps in the action and its all communicated clearly. I especially loved the profile view of Batman in the tank with a rangefinder. I thought that was a novel angle to take.
In terms of reading order, it’s not yet clear exactly where Detective Comics 1025 sits in the Joker War. It’s clear this is after we are introduced to Lucius’ captivity in Batman 95, but between Batman 95 and 96, Batman was blown out of the Wayne Enterprises building. With his state of health when Harley pulled him to a convalescence house, it’s unlikely he performed all this Fox liberating at that point. Further, in Batman 96, we leave Bruce in the movie theater confronting Joker. So, this probably fits after Batman 96 when the theater showdown is resolved and also after some subsequent entries into the story line. We’ll update as things become clearer.
Detective Comics 1025 is available now! Official solicit:
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Card stock variant cover by LEE BERMEJO
“The Joker War” explodes with an assault on Wayne Enterprises! The Joker has taken control of Waynetech R&D – and with it, all the weapons hidden in its sub-levels – plus Lucius Fox as a hostage!
The Joker and his clown-masked henchmen are now using Wayne Enterprises as an armory, using sophisticated 3-D printers to produce weapons to rule Gotham City… but Batman and Batwoman might have something to say about that. It’s all-out action in this non-stop issue!
On Sale 08.11.20
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US