The pieces are starting to come together in the final issues leading up to DC Comics’ epic summer battle, The Joker War. Batman #93 reveals that there is so much more to the story than meets the eye, and it also demonstrates that writer James Tynion IV has no qualms about putting the members of the Bat Family through their paces.
In other words, no one is safe right now. No one.
Spoilers for Batman #93
Tynion probably isn’t going to steal a page from Tom Taylor’s playbook. I honestly doubt he’s going to kill off a bunch of major characters…but he might. The story is certainly shaping up that way, and as the main Batman title steams toward its 100th issue, well, anything is possible.
(Though why, WHY, do major events have to be deaths? We lost Alfred. Give us some happiness for once!)
Batman #93 is the issue where the villain spills the details of his plan before killing the hero. In this case, Batman has arrived at the Designer’s location – which happens to be Bruce Wayne’s office in Tricorner yards – and the Designer tells Batman to explain his diabolical plan to him. Of course, Batman is spot on with his deductions, but what he doesn’t realize is that Batman isn’t the main target. Not yet, anyway.
Oh…and the Designer isn’t the Designer after all. He’s someone who is much more familiar, and he’s the mastermind pulling the strings.
If you guessed that the Designer was a front for the Joker, then bravo, you win! After all of the machinations to bring the Designer back to Gotham City, it turns out that Joker is the one calling the shots. But he isn’t ready to reveal the final act just yet. He needs one more piece in place, and that brings us to…Catwoman.
Catwoman is working to move money into her account with the Underbroker while Harley Quinn learns that Punchline is not someone who enjoys being the butt of a joke. She’s ruthless, and she cuts Harley’s throat as proof of how far she’s willing to go.
So if Batman isn’t the main target right now, that means that Joker is gunning for Mrs. Bruce Wayne herself. Punchline ensures that Catwoman won’t be making that transfer after all, leaving Joker the richest man in Gotham City.
Tynion had to do something really big for his first major arc on the Batman title, and Batman #93 delivers. The issue is a non stop thrill ride from start to finish, but the proof will be in the pudding. What’s Joker’s next move? Why is he after Bruce Wayne’s money, and why does he want Batman alive to see what happens?
(We can assume he wants to torment the Bat by making him watch his loved ones suffer…but that seems a bit too easy, doesn’t it?)
With so many questions left at the end of the issue, including who is still alive and in the game, I’m very eager to see what happens in upcoming issues.
Batman #93 is written by James Tynion IV, with art from Guillem March and Javier Fernandez, colors from Tomeu Morey and David Baron, letters by Clayton Cowles and a cover by Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey.
Available now at your local comic shop.