What’s Up With the Joker in Batman #26 ?

Joker and the Riddler Begin Their War in Batman #26

Batman #26 is a flashback story taking place before Zero Year, told from the perspective of Bruce Wayne. The story pits the Joker and the Riddler against each other in war.

The story is Batman following a trail of dead bodies and explaining who each person was. Batman explains that he tried to stop it but all he could do was collect the names of the dead.

Batman #26 is slow-paced with a ton of action, all building up to the war between Joker and Riddler.

The story opens with a cool call back to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman.

The Joker doesn’t seem to be himself in this story. He’s not cracking jokes and he struggles to smile. In one panel he pulls his mouth open into a smile, only to have it fall back down into a plain face. He doesn’t find the cabbie’s joke funny and when he calls Carmine to make a hit on the Riddler, he is nothing but business. The Joker seems to be in a funk.

The story is only rivaled by the art. The perspectives Mikel Janin chooses are beautiful. The coloring and spatial lighting are masterful.  The cover art is simply genius.

Batman #26 “The War of Jokes and Riddles” is getting tense and I can’t wait to see the tension explode into all out war in Gotham.

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