Another issue where nothing happens. Batman gathers the Bat Family together and says I will take down the Joker. Harley says she'll kill him and chaos still reigns. We see the Joker take a ride in his Joker limo and go to Ace chemicals and kill all his henchmen.
What little happens is of the tell, not show variety. That's bad writing. We see the villains go to the hq of the Planner or the Designer or whatever his name is. There's no clever plan, no strategy.
So let me get this straight? Catwoman's plan steals all of Bruce's money despite the fact that there are a thousand laws and regulations in place to stop that kind of thing. That money is used to buy an army of goons despite the fact that there would be a paper trail a mile wide that would give authorities leverage to stop said transfers. Joker is killing goons and they keep on being loyal? All law enforcement authorities just stand by? Money doesn't work that way.
Joker is collecting bodies to reanimate and when Bruce gets to Ace Chemicals one of the bodies is Alfred. Bruce just clobbers the body and says this isn't real. It's real all right, but Alfred is just a reanimate corpse. I really am hating this part of the story.
To quote Tony Stark. Not a good plan. Even the Clownkiller is just seen and not actually does nothing this issue.
Batman once again says yeah, I should have brought you guys in sooner. So his family just stood on the sidelines waiting for the coach to get them off the bench? They have aboslutely no free will? They are essentially bat robots? No not buying it.
This whole story arc is just a lot of waiting around until Batman 100, when once again it will end with Batman punching out the Joker and giving a declaration of principles that ends with "I'm Batman."
Harley actually makes a very compelling argument that the Joker should die. I like Batman's no kill rule, but authors keep wanting to have the definitive Joker story, so they keep upping the body count, so four or five times a year, the Joker kills dozens and dozens of people. That makes the stories boring and repetitive with no sense of style or wit. And it makes Batman and the authorities look SO LAME. Put the Joker on the shelf and keep him there until someone actually does come up with a definitive Joker story (and it's not the Three Jokers).
This is not good story telling folk. Stop deconstructing Batman to the point where he is shown to be counter productive and in the wrong all the time.
Or I could be wrong.
All that - aAaand VERY NICE art. The 2 mid-way splash pages were GORGEOUS, moreso the Ace Chemical Plant one - buUuut it's amounts to more poser art than substanstial story content. Even the long awaited return of Nightwing looks grabber great on the cover - if the misleading blurb makes the symbolic scene sadly feel an issue premature. It was generous to get so many inclusive concurrent footnotes provided - stiiill it just more of that tell not show story telling drama that has been peeving. It's so sad Alfred's body was gravenapped (Bruce's parents must be spinning in their graves if Ra's hasn't taken them again). When have we seen Joker animate corpses before? Does Alfred calling "Master Bruce" mean his soul is back too (which might lead to a magical return) or does precident suggest it will only be the one programmed verbal cue?
PREVIEW: Batman 099
I miss Dad & Dan.