Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Mikel Janin
Published by DC Comics
This is the first part of the storyline “The Best Man” in the main Batman title.
The title infers to the Joker wondering if he is indeed Batman’s best man (he’s not…Superman is).
This issue has some great moments but it’s over all together too quickly. It didn’t have enough meat for me, whereas previous issues recently have.
That’s not to say that’s it’s a bad issue at all! It’s not.
But I was able to read it in about 6 minutes flat and I feel I like got everything.
The setup is completely simple. The Joker goes into a church and kills everyone to get Batman’s attention. Batman shows up. The fight. And that’s pretty much the whole issue.
The good part of it is that we have never really seen King put the Joker against Batman.
Sure, we saw them both in the storyline “The War of Jokes and Riddles” but it was not exactly a street fight. This is a real classic Batman versus the Joker match up. King delivers the action when it counts here.
The thing is though, that’s all it is. One continuous musical beat in one location. They fight.
Philosophy comes out. And that’s about all.
King does have a good take on the Joker’s madness and he makes good use of it.
The best part is one wonderful one page that’s almost a religious moment between the two combatants. It’s nicely handled in an incredibly macabre way. And it’s up there with the final scene of The Killing Joke with what it means.
Janin handles the facial expressions well in this issue. He also gives us a good fight scene and keeps things visually interesting, which is tough to do here because it’s all in one location.
All in all, this is a decent enough issue that one can read very quickly. It’s nicely done and but moves so rapidly that there’s not much in the way of consequences.