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 taking a look at Detective Comics 1026. All in all, this issue felt a bit rushed and of little consequence to the Joker War story line. Batman wants a moment’s peace and doesn’t get it. Before he knows it, armored truck drivers are being dragged into the sewers.
No sooner does Batman go to investigate than he hears screams from a block away. Same story. No mystery here! Time to head into the sewers.
Gasp! It’s Killer Croc and new friends. What happened to Killer Croc!? We thought he was on the straight and narrow. One page of exposition later we learn Joker burned all that down and some mutated humans in hiding int he sewer joined forces with Killer Croc. Croc now wants to form an army to look out for itself when the Joker War ends.
This appears to be the first appearance of Ratty Riz, Hardback, Gup, Ally, Garter, and Bandit. However, these new rogues aren’t really sold with much staying power because for starters it doesn’t look like they have very much distinctive about their abilities beyond their looks and second they’re defeated and captured by Bats in under a page. I could be wrong, but these look like throwaway D-Listers.
Batman is given a general Rorschachian tone during his brief interaction with the citizens on the street and seems to have little worry that he’ll lose this fight. The mission felt shallow, rushed, and far too easy to be of interest. Which is a shame, because Rocafort’s art, again, crushes it! It’s a great mix of fine detail, comic proportions, and the whole thing is topped off nicely by Daniel Brown’s almost surreal color palette.
In the end it seems all is well and forgiven between Bats and Killer Croc. Croc just has to stay positive. You know, like the brooding Batman.
Label this issue as non-essential to Joker War.
As “The Joker War” rages on, the casualties are mounting, and the underground residents of Gotham City must deal with the devastating effects of the Joker toxin that’s been pumped into the city’s old tunnel system. Batman must risk everything to guide them to safety, but a familiar face has mobilized these forgotten souls to rise up in anger…and Killer Croc takes no prisoners!
DETECTIVE COMICS #1026
written by PETER J. TOMASI
art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
card stock variant cover by LEE BERMEJO
ON SALE 08.25.20
$3.99 US| 32 PAGES
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99