Writer James Tynion IV
Artist Jorge Jimenez
Colors Tomeu Morey
Letters Clayton Cowles
Cover Jimenez & Morey
Variant Cover Francesco Mattina
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.
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.
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.