"The Thin White Duke of Death"
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea
To quote Sports God, the first thing you can say about this comic is that it is "masterfully drawn" which is a very accurate description of what Tony Daniels has done here. That isn't to say that Daniels manages to steal the spotlight from Morrison's story. The story continues to be just as equally masterfully done. At this point anything can happen and you as you read you know that this is one of those stories that could launch a new era of how things are written. As in the Dark Knight, the Joker again steals the show by being retooled by Grant Morrison. We were being teased about this Joker for a long time and the wait was worth it. It was in the Clown at Midnight when Batman describes the latest Joker as a walking holocaust which actually might be underplaying what this Joker is. This Joker will probably only appear in Batman because no other writer could probably do anything with this Joker. He seems too wild to be used by any other writer. You also have to appreciate how much of a loose cannon this Joker is. He is chaos personified which is a scary thought. The explanation of how retarded it was for Batman to look for rhythms or any meaning in what the Joker does. There is no deeper meaning there and he clearly shows it by taking apart half of the Club of Villains (R.I.P. Evil Rey Mysterio in a suit, you will be missed but not forgotten). We also get a "shocking" revelation that Jet is somehow involved with the Black Glove or could be (I still think the big reveal is coming) which makes sense since she pretty much has been there for at the start of a lot events such as the museum when Talia attacked, parachuting when the third Batman attacked, and the restaurant when the 10 eyed assassin attacked. As for Batman, he has some moments in this issue. We learn that Bat-mite is indeed a device invented by Batman to help keep him honest while he is in his Zur-en-arrh form (side note how balling it would it be if Bat-mite had a similar costume). Another big development is now there is no way that Gordon doesn't know that Batman is Bruce Wayne. It is a bit overlooked as people are more concerned with Joker finding out but he doesn't care, I'm curious to see if Gordon knowing who Batman is will change anything. The biggest thing we can take away from this issue is the foreshadowing of Robin. Something is going to happen involving a Robin and Tim Drake is still out there. We also have Nightwing waiting in the wings as well as Damien, Talia, and Gordon getting ready to make a move. All of this is offset by the fact we still don't know who Black Glove, Bruce Wayne may be dead, and there is still a third Batman that somehow will factor into this (mark it down bitches). It seems like such a shame to wait sooo long for the next issue but there is so much to look forward to that it seems unbearable. This issue wasn't even the climax! It was very well written, "Masterfully drawn" and thus deserves our highest marks.
Bottom Line: OWN IT