Warning! Spoilers for Batman #99 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles below!
The ‘Joker War’ has featured one of the biggest personal attacks on Batman in DC Comics history. The Clown Prince of Crime has successfully stolen all of Batman’s money, tech, and influence while releasing a toxin that’s messed up both citizens of Gotham and the Caped Crusader himself. Now, the Joker is taking his tormenting to a new level, as he just stole Batman’s future suit and put his own spin on it.
In James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles Batman run, Bruce Wayne had discovered that Alfred built him a future suit for when he became a brighter knight in a future where he won. Batman experienced that future in a hallucination via toxin, but the suit had never been worn in reality by the superhero. Tynion IV teased the Batsuit would appear again in his ‘Joker War’ arc and in Batman #99 it has returned in a shocking way.
In Batman #99, the Dark Knight brings his Bat-Family back together after realizing he can’t stop Joker’s takeover without his most trusted allies. After Batman arrives at Ace Chemicals for a final showdown with his longtime villain, he runs into the reanimated corpse of Alfred as the Joker reveals that he “dug him up from your backyard myself.” As Batman stands at shock at Alfred’s reappearance, the Joker points a gun at his head while wearing his own Batsuit, telling him “see Bruce, I promised… you’re not ready for this at all.”
The Joker’s Batsuit is the same future suit Alfred made for Batman’s brighter future. However, Joker has accessorized it as he pleased, adding a smile on the logo, marking “HA HA HA” across the suit, with his trademark sinister smile standing out more than ever. The suit isn’t just Joker stealing Batman’s property, it’s the villain taking the future Alfred laid out for his closest ally and degrading it. It’s a shocking moment somehow even more messed up factoring in Alfred’s reanimated corpse showing up to the festivities.
The ‘Joker War’ was all about inflicting trauma on Batman and taking over Gotham in the Joker’s image. It’s safe to say, Joker has been successful in his truly monstrous intentions and actions. Gotham is in rough shape and Batman (just recovered from a toxin attack) has to deal with a zombie-like Alfred and the Joker taking part of his future and toying with it. If Batman can overcome the Joker’s trap, he can overcome practically anything – the question remains, can he overcome his shock and grief to save Gotham? Jimenez’s Batsuit looks great, but don’t expect the Joker to keep it for long as the final chapter of the ‘Joker War’ is coming next.
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