Batman: Joker War Sets Up Joker vs Bane

DC's Gotham City has been profoundly shaken up by the circumstances of the "Joker War", an arc that has spanned multiple comic series and impacted a lot of characters in the process. To an extent, the arc plays off of years worth of storytelling in the flagship Batman title, especially when it comes to The Dark Knight's conflict against Bane. While Batman himself doesn't appear in the most recent "Joker War" installment, the anthology one-shot Batman: The Joker War Zone, that didn't stop the ongoing arc of Bane from being taken into a new direction. In the process, the one-shot hinted that Bane might have to face a whole other foe entirely. Spoilers for Batman: The Joker War Zone below! Only look if you want to know!

The issue opens with "A Serious House", a story from Batman creative team James Tynion IV and Guillem March. The story essentially reads like a deleted scene of the main Batman story, with The Joker visiting Bane in Arkham Asylum, as he is being tortured by a machine that will strip him of his superhuman venom toxin. After monologuing and teasing Bane, Joker pulls a gun on him, and argues that he could easily kill him and get away with it -- except it would be too unceremonious. He then argued that Bane was "supposed to be better" than he is, as the moves he made while in control of Gotham City ultimately led to Batman regaining the upper hand.

As Joker left Bane's prison cell, he promised that he would get revenge on Bane for the way things unfolded -- and that he would be doing so when Bane least expected it. He also left Bane with his signature luchador mask, arguing that it would help people mistake him for something actually scary.

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(Photo: DC Entertainment)

The story ends with a note promising that the story is "to be continued in 2021", which certainly seems to tee up a major conflict between Joker and Bane in the months to come. Given the fact that the issue also sets up a major new status quo change for Poison Ivy, it certainly seems like Batman's rogues gallery will be taken to new heights in the new year.

What do you think of Bane and Joker's rematch in Batman: The Joker War Zone? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!