This has been the year of thick $5.00 to $8.00 Batman books with short stories galore from various writers and artists…and truthfully, I’m kind of over it. We’ve been celebrating Batman’s anniversary along with his sidekicks and villains now for the entire year. It reminds me of Mickey’s birthday land where he celebrated his birthday every single day for a year. He had to know that Minnie had planned a surprise party and Goofy was going to jump out of the cake…every single day and yet he acted surprised. That’s kind of what we’re doing. Oh yeah, another 100-page Batman book special – Yippie!
First there was the Batman Anniversary, then the Robin Anniversary, then the Joker Anniversary, then the Catwoman Anniversary, then the Joker’s War Finale Aftermath, then the Detective Comics Batman Anniversary and now, hopefully the last of this money vacuum – Batman #100.
There are three stories in here and, of course, they’re continued in at least 2 different titles. Gotta keep that money train moving along. We can’t just make a good story in one book, when we can have people buy five. And yes, I’m one of the suckers.
So, this is yet another wrap-up to the woefully mediocre storyline of Joker’s War. This issue (or at least one story within it) is basically a big fight scene between Batman and Joker, who is dressed in a Batman suit, as well as a Nightwing vs. Punchline, and the finale brings an appearance by Harley Quinn. I don’t think Tynion really understands Batman all too well. The Joker manages to 1) sneak up on Batman multiple times 2) The Joker stabs Batman in the back multiple times – through his armor 3) The Joker manages to best Batman in a fight, where he is standing over him. I’m calling bull on all of that. There’s no way, unless the Joker has special weapons, a special trap, or a really big henchman that any of that is going to take place, even within the realms of a comic book. So, here I am reading and rolling my eyes, trying to buy into it all.
Then Harley decides that she won’t outright kill the Joker, but she’ll force the Dark Knight to choose between herself and Joker by strapping bombs to them both and then she promptly runs away. Of course, Batman chooses Harley, the Joker disappears shortly thereafter. Escaped again. After all of this, he wasn’t even taken to Arkham. I’m also still confused about Lucious stealing Bruce’s fortune, but truthfully, I don’t care. I feel like this entire storyline was more of a gimmick than anything else. The stakes never felt real.
For one, I’m just glad it’s over and we’re moving on. I liken it to being on a film set and having the actor do twenty takes to complete a shot. When the director finally says, “Moving on!” everyone lets out a sigh of relief.
Then the main story is followed by a short story of Clownkiller, who really had no part in this story. It was just an afterthought to throw in a new character. Followed by yet another short story with Punchline, showing the Joker free, while she’s telling some wild story on social media about paying for her crimes. This one is continued in PUNCHLINE #1 – yes, you heard it right. They are trying to take this blasé character and put her into her own book. There is absolutely nothing likable about this character and unless some amazing writer gets hold of her and does something amazing, I’m seeing a very quick death for Little Miss Punchline. Count me out of this series or mini-series. I think #1 might do well and then it’s going to crash and burn like the Batwoman television series. Looking forward to issue #101 and possibly a new writer. Keeping my fingers crossed.
About Frank Zanca
…began working in local television at the age of 22 when he became a Promotional Producer for Channel 9, the Orlando ABC affiliate. During this time he wrote and produced thirty-second spots for the newscast and syndicated shows such as Geraldo and Sally Jesse Raphael. Later he worked as a Production Assistant on NBC’s Gonzo Games and Dick Clark’s Sea World Summer Spectacular.
Frank created and wrote his first comic book, which was distributed internationally under the name of Shadow Raven. For a number of years, Frank worked in Sales and then moved into Marketing where he became CFO and later President of two Independent marketing firms that were later sold for several million dollars.
Recently Frank helped design Shadow Raven: the Combat Card Game, which was distributed internationally and has written the Shadow Raven novel (to be released next year). Frank is currently producing Shadow Raven: Fading Thoughts, a thirty-minute pilot, which is designed to become a feature film or television series.