Writer James Tynion IV
Artist Jorge Jimenez
Colors Tomeu Morey
Letters Clayton Cowles
Cover Jimenez & Morey
Batman is now off the Ivy style ayahuasca. Ready to finish this war once and for all. He can’t do it alone. After calling in the family. They lay out a play to take their home back. With Dick having his memories back. Bruce brings him his trusty blue Nightwing garb. We’ve all missed him so very much. With the man wonder leading the charge to retake Gotham Bruce is left to confront Joker in a final showdown.
When he arrives, Harley shoots him in the arm. She knows that Bruce is only going to beat him senseless and lock him up once more. That’s not good enough this time. Joker has got to die. After the massive casualties, this war has brought to Gotham. Joker has to be wiped from his mortal coil. She gives Bruce and ultimatum. Kill Joker himself, or Harley does it right after he’s locked up. Of course, Bruce is against this. Harley knows better though and if Bruce can’t do it, she’s going to. Unless Bruce takes her down right then and right there. Something Bruce can’t bring himself to do. Storming off into Ace Chemicals.
Upon entry, he finds the place is empty. Filled with nothing but the Joker’s words echoing through the place. There he stumbles upon Alfred’s walking corpse. That neat new treat Joker has learned with chemistry takes it to hail mary to send Bruce into despair only Joker can invoke. Seeing his father’s corpse before him. Speaking to him even. Which has Bruce distracted long enough to allow Joker to get the drop on our caped crusader.
It’s fight night folks. This is it. Joker and Bruce pitted against each other as they always are. Chaos and Order. Clashing in an everlasting conflict that has now enveloped the city in chaos. Something Joker absolutely thrives in. Armed with all of the tech Bruce employs against him. Joker plans to make a serious impression on Bruce and shake up his very foundation with some good ol’ nihilism and a few explosive batarangs of his own.
In the city, the family mobilizes to take their home back from this army of murderous clowns. Babs goes back to the clock tower and takes point as the handler of this op. Taking control back through her own computer that was once dusty and cover with sheets for lack of use. Reclaiming her rightful place as the Batfamily’s eye in the sky. Helping the family coordinate and eradicate this clown menace.
So I know I have been bashing this war pretty hard. If I’m being honest to me it was exactly what this issue confirms. An arc to make Gotham mutable. Not only introducing a new vigilante of Gotham that kills, but also striking at the heart of Gotham itself. Changing the dynamic of Gotham forever. Showing everyone there how Bruce has failed them. Not by the number of lives he has saved but by the amount he has indirectly condemned by letting Joker live for this long. This time his sins warrant death many times over. Which to me is pretty much the only way I wanted this to end. With Jorge Jimenez bringing the rain down with his phenomenal artwork and Tynion’s story finally setting Gotham onto a path of redemption. Gotham, Bruce, and us the fanbase can finally breathe a sigh of relief and perhaps get some more new and refreshing ideas into this canon. To quote this issue indirectly. “It started getting awful boring, don’t you think?”