I’m sad to start off this review with the revelation that this issue suffers many of the same problems as its predecessor. The main problem that I complained about at the beginning of my last review was that the parallel stories weren’t flowing together. There’s the main story and then the side projects of the side project that gets jammed in when the main story is lacking any stakes.
Von Fries, Agent Prince and Agent Stewart are the awkward additions to the main story that all feel so underwhelming. We have Von Fries on the inside with Napier’s kids and the Agents on the outside threatening to arrest them all in order to subdue the Joker. Both sides barely impose themselves during their time to shine. The Agents have a discussion about arresting the kids as though they were terrorists while Von Fries attempts to expose the kids to the real Jack Napier. My biggest problem with both being that they are very one note. Everyone says their piece and the story moves on without any real repercussions.
They are all secondary to Napier’s kids who end up in this endless cycle of rehashing previous problems. So when Katana Collins and Clay McCormack make the secondary characters try to bring something new to the table it’s completely pointless because the kids don’t reflect it at all. Instead of seamlessly mixing the stories together we just have plot points knocking at the door so that the kids open it up and walk to the next set piece.
All is not lost though! The main story does take a pretty serious turn towards the end that I don’t want to spoil. The stakes become concrete and involve multiple characters whose motivations impact each other. So there’s a lot of hope for the next issue as the story gets over this little hiccup. While I don’t expect the dialogue to surpass conveying the basics of any problem I’m still excited about the next chapter in the kid’s escapade!
The art of this issue by Mirka Andolfo isn’t mindblowing, there aren’t any flashy spreads, but the craft is there. You can see the intention of the artist incredibly clearly and it allows the comic to read incredibly well. The composition of the characters and their expressions are the focus points to hammer home the emotional weight of the story. Does it always match? Not really. The story tends to have a weird balance between comedy and heartfelt confessions that doesn’t always work. For the most part though I can confidently say that you’ll be witnessing a soft and bouncy aesthetic that focuses on characters in a way that adds to the cartoonish elements of their childhood escapade.
- Your school library wants to add to their comic section
- There’s never enough stories with Neo Joker
- The ending being better has you intrigued
I keep reading this series with the understanding that the main story talks about a conflict that I’ll never relate to. At least not anymore. While stories meant for children can be great for any audience, this childhood feeling of needing to take control of your own narrative doesn’t really pack that much of a punch unless you really feel like it’s speaking to you. I think the story is serviceable but I’m not going to want to revisit this bump in the road and hopeful that it’ll continue to get better because the ending of this issue certainly works a lot better!
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman-News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.