SET UP (Batman #98 Review)

Writer James Tynion IV

Artist Jorge Jimenez

Colors Tomeu Morey

Letters Clayton Cowles

Cover Jimenez & Morey

Variant Cover Francesco Mattina

Last Issue

After fighting off a horde of nano controlled zombies of all of the Joker’s victims. Bruce stumbles out of the theater of his nightmares into Harley Quinn, who yet again saves Bruce from Joker’s antics. She takes him to her Eden. A place Ivy had fashioned for her when she was having trouble quitting the Joker. A clown rehab full of wonderous plants that all help to get Bruce’s mind right. She hands him a cup full of some sort of poultice to flush all of the new Joker toxins out of his system. First, he’s gotta take this trip to its peak and face some inner demons while his body flushes out.

Elsewhere, Joker and Punchline go over the status of the city. She informs Mr. J of a new vigilante in the Narrows. He kills any clown who crosses into his territory and calls himself the Clownhunter. Joker is elated to hear this news. It means that new vigilantes are popping up that do not follow Bruce’s rules. As elated as he is, they can’t just allow it to continue. He orders Punchline to send in some heavy hitters to crucify him as a message to the city.

This Issue

While things heat up at Cobblepot’s cold panic room. Bruce does a bit of soul searching after drinking Harley and Ivy’s special cleansing tea. Where he’s desperately trying to find some tailor-made optimism to help him through his situation. He won’t find it here. In the real world, Punchline finds Eden. Holding a flamethrower, she comes straight for Harley in what appears to be an attempt to assert her own identity.

Within the confines of Bruce’s mind. He fights to find a semblance of inner peace. Alfred, as he always has, arrives just in time for Bruce’s last fatherly reality check. He reminds Bruce that this isn’t forever. That he himself is also temporary, and if Bruce wants any hope of making it through this. He needs to remember who he is. The Batman.

Thoughts

Honestly, after the ending we just got. I expect this to be the last issue of set up for Joker War. Which would be more of a relief if it wasn’t on the fourth part of this arc. After so much build-up and anticipation, the bar becomes too high for the payoff to really feel like a payoff. With Punchline presumably taken down. I’m not sure where this goes from here exactly. At this point, the art is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in this arc.

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Travis Tucker

Travis Tucker

Born in Florida, dragged to California because of Internet dating. Comics have always helped me have a healthy escape when I was younger. As I got older my friends used me as their comic encyclopedia for random trivia. Now, I show my daughter all the stories and characters that helped me through, and being able to share my views on that through reviews is one of my favorite privileges.
Travis Tucker

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Summary
I'm pretty sure this is the most action we've seen in Batman for at least 5 issues. With that being said, I very much enjoyed Bruce's moment of awakening. Even if the result was straight cheesy if you ask me. However, that doesn't mean I'm not chomping at the bit to see how this war is going to play out. For the first time in a long time, I'm seeing Bruce call for help from the family. A group of people he's always pushing away. Maybe some serious development is the payoff. I like it, just wish it was delivered in a way that was more enthralling. Considering the landscape of Gotham right now.
6.5
Fair
Written by
Born in Florida, dragged to California because of Internet dating. Comics have always helped me have a healthy escape when I was younger. As I got older my friends used me as their comic encyclopedia for random trivia. Now, I show my daughter all the stories and characters that helped me through, and being able to share my views on that through reviews is one of my favorite privileges.

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