Batman Villains Fight to Survive in The Joker War Zone

The Batman: Joker War tie in book War Zone brings new talent and old characters to Gotham.

Batman: Joker War Zone
Photo: DC Entertainment

The Joker War rages on in Gotham, and ahead of the release of Batman: The Joker War Zone, DC shared new information about the tie-in book’s contents. Guess what that means? If you guessed “James Stokoe drawing a Clownhunter story”, please leave next Wednesday’s Powerball numbers in the comments.

The 48-page book has five announced stories. The first looks at Poison Ivy’s return to Gotham (which happened in Batman #98). It’s called “Ashes of Eden,” written by Sam Johns (DC’s Crimes of Passion, Over the Garden Wall: The Benevolent Sisters of Charity) and drawn by Laura Braga (Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica). As you can see from the preview pages, Braga has a vaguely Amanda Conner feel to her art that should play well in such an exaggerated setting.

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Batman: Joker War Zone - Poison Ivy 1
Batman: Joker War Zone Poison Ivy 2

The second story is the aforementioned Clownhunter feature, by regular Batman writer and Joker War mastermind James Tynion IV and world renowned Xenomorph artist James Stokoe, and it’s just ridiculous.

This Gotham is so dense and detailed that it makes you half expect to see fractal Gothams drawn into the lines if you zoom in on the image. It’s a nice reminder that Katsuhiro Otomo did a Batman story for Batman: Black & White and it’s currently on DC Universe. Stokoe’s that good.

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Batman: Joker War Zone Clownhunter
Batman: Joker War Zone Clownhunter 2

John Ridley, writer of 12 Years a Slave, the upcoming The Other History of the DC Universe, and a mysterious Bat-title coming soon, gets paired with superstar Olivier Coipel (Legion Lost) for a story about the Fox family getting into the fight against the Joker’s army.

John Ridley, Olivier Coipel and Batwing
John Ridley & Olivier Coipel Joker War Zone pg 2
John Ridley, Olivier Coipel & Batwing - Luke Fox Appears

Coipel is another very sharp artist who mixes his manga influence with traditional American superhero action flow, and the result is always really fun. Ridley will be joining Batman Group Editor Ben Abernathy to dig into this story more at FanDome 2 on September 12th.

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Batman: The Joker War Zone has more stories that have yet to be previewed. Tynion joins his Talon art partner Guillem March for a story about Joker and Bane, while Spoiler and canonical Best Batgirl Cassandra Cain get a team up from Flash‘s Joshua Williamson and Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man‘s David LaFuente. That’s Stephanie Brown. This isn’t actually a spoiler. She is. Dammit.

Joker War culminates in Batman #100, and caps off an impressive run by Tynion on the Clown Prince of Crime that ran through Justice League and Hell Arisen, the metanarrative shaping event books pushing DC’s line through the last few years. It looks like The Joker War Zone just gives him a little more room to play around.