DC Comics news big Batman story arc event will be "Joker War", which will (or at least was supposed to, before the Coronavirus Pandemic) be arriving this summer, with "Joker War". The even will follow the current "His Dark Designs" prelude story, which has introduced a unique new Batman villain, as well as some major retcons to the history of the Batman rogues. All that new intrigue has set the stage for "Joker War" to not only be a major debut ofr new Batman writer James Tynion IV, but also one of the most pivotal Batman/Joker stories yet, culminating in the upcoming Batman #100.
Scroll below for a quick-read of reasons why Batman's "Joker War" should definitely be on your radar!
Not Just A Gimmick
The big thing that DC Comics fans (like us) were worried about was that "Joker War" would turn out to be a gimmick. So often, big "event" stories with "war" in the title tend to hit the ground running, only to lose steam really fast when the spectacle of conflict grows tired. With early reports of "Joker War" having The Joker and Catwoman gathering armies to fight for Gotham, it sound like that was exactly where Tynion and Co. were headed.
However, the "His Dark Designs" prelude has recently added some wonderful notes of substance to the story, which could play out nicely in "Joker War". Especially the thematic arcs about Batman and Joker examining respectively excamining what they've been to Gotham - and more importantly, the greater (and/or terrible) roles they could play.
New Big Bad
"Joker War" will obviously be all about the titular Joker, but the storyline is connected to (and catalyzed by) "His Dark Designs", which has introduced an interesting new Batman big bad. That would be The Designer, a masked master criminal with a unique ability: being a master strategist so skilled that he can plot chess moves exponentially further ahead in the game than his best opponent.
Thanks to Designer, Batman's big rogues - Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, and Joker were all put on to bigger better schemes that upped their respective levels as criminals. And it's what Designer cooked up with Joker that really will really give substance to "Joker War".
Devil in the Details
What's going to galvanize the story "Joker War" is the mystery of what Designer planned for Joker's career. According to the Clown Prince of Crime himself, he didn't so much listen to what Designer said as he did examine who the villain was: the devil in the flesh. And, as it turns out, Joker's master plan was to become the devil himself. Finding out Joker's interpretation of "becoming the devil" is definitely hooking us. It seemed Joker War will have greater purpose than just the horror of war.
Batman comics have covered everything form natural disaster dystopia ("No Man's Land") and enemy occupation ("City of Bane") but not since Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" have we had a truly character-rich all-out war for Gotham's strets. James Tynion IV has already teased just how big the "war" portion of "Joker War" will be. With one army having been inspired by The Joker, that's definitely going to be conflict worth seeing.
Even though "Joker War" is just getting started, there's already a whole lot of potentially exciting mystery being woven into it. Some immediate ones are "Who is Designer?", as well as the real origins of some of the other new characters the story arc will introduce. The final nuggets of mystery will be finding out what Joker's larger plan is - and how everything may well be part of The Designers ultimate plan, in turn.
New Clown Characters
You can't have a milestone comic book story arc without introducing a few new characters. "Joker War" is already generating interest and excitement over its two new clown-themed characters: Punchline and Clownhunter. Both are shrouded in mystery, but the names may reveal enough to go on . Punchline sounds like she could be the next Harley Quinn (who will also be in Joker War), while Clownhunter sounds like a violent vigilante who pops up to fight back against the Joker army. That's just speculation - we're excited to see the real thing!
Next Level Joker0comments
Of course, nothing about "Joker War" will really matter, if the titular villain doesn't shine. After a slow start, Tynion has actually loosened up a bit and cut loose with his version of Joker, whose been a fun composite of the darker post-80s sociopath, and the lighter clown-themed villain of earlier times. But with a set up like Joker enacting the most disastrous plan he's ever hatched - and this being the final battle between him and Batman - the Joker we get in this storyline is (hopefully) going to be one that sits along with some of the greats.
"The Joker War" will begin in Batman Comics (presumably #94 or #95) this summer.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.