Writer: Marc Silvestri
Art: Marc Silvestri, Arif Prianto, and Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 2nd, 2023
Batman and the Joker have fought across streets, rooftops, railways and caverns, against horrors beyond of their wildest nightmares. Deep underground, witnesses to an undead wedding from Hell, they finally go up against their bitterest enemies: each other! Can the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime save Commissioner Gordon and Harley Quinn, or will the flames of their reignited rivalry consume all? Find out, detail by bloody detail, in the epic conclusion to Marc Silvestri’s dark and brutal Gotham opus as Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #7 concludes. This oversized finale clocks in at 31 beautiful and horrifying story pages.
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An opening inconsequential fight lands Batman and the Joker back into harm’s way for no reason other than to add more suspense to the story as Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #7 kicks off. My point is that Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #6 felt like it could have been the ending we needed. Nevertheless, the issue ended with a standoff between Batman and the Joker. So, the thought was that it would amount to something substantial for issue 7 or that we’d have some type of twist that we never saw coming.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #7 felt like an extra issue just to have an extra issue. The series certainly could have ended last month. Moreover, fans probably thought some wicked twist was on the horizon. Well, don’t be shocked to find out that issue 7 just drags on a story that was perfectly paced and primed for a sweet ending for no real reason… until the last quarter of the story where we see Silvestri’s true intentions.
Additionally, there is a scene where a flood begins to happen thanks to everyone’s favorite bat vigilante. However, the focus of this flood fades away from who Batman was intending to save and redirects itself to Harley and the Joker. What about Gordon? Why is Batman more concerned with helping the Joker rather than Gordon? That seems absolutely ridiculous. Granted, as the story ends, you see the reveal that was meant to be shocking. And, could this reveal had been the reason why? I suppose. But Batman is one of the least selfish heroes I’ve ever met. He’d never put himself first which is why saving the Joker first makes no sense. Yet somehow it’s Gordon who rescues Batman in the end as the comic art makes it seem as though they fall… up…. out of the cavern … Somehow.
Nevertheless, fans will discover why Silvestri decided to drag the series out with a familiar cornerstone associated with Batman and the Joker that I feel has been played out in many stories between these two iconic characters prior. Point being: it wasn’t anything new. Nevertheless, I was still curious as to how this plot thread would play out with Silvestri at the helm. And truthfully, it’s actually exactly as you’d expect and kind of how it’s been done in the past. I guess my biggest problem was that it appears as though Silverstri would like to continue his “universe” at a later date and time, which is totally fine. However, I feel like this familiar cornerstone could have been the start of the next series and rolled into the cliffhanger at the end of Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #7 creating a more fine-tuned story.
Additionally, Silverstri attempts to make this big revelation that Bruce discovers as the issue comes to a close. And sure, I can get behind it. Yet, this too felt like it’s been done before. In essence, that’s my biggest problem with Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #7. Up until this installment, Silvestri’s Batman take felt inspired and new. New characters, new villains, and new angles fortified the pages making this series almost film worthy. However, this final issue brought everything back to so many of the same tropes we’ve seen in other Batman stories that made it feel almost hollow at the end. The story felt like it was just running through the motions as it concluded which is totally the opposite of how I felt from this series since Day One.
Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #7 felt like Silverstri was trying to do something he thought was new but actually came across as just the same old Batman story in the end. Sure, the ending wasn’t bad by any stretch. However, for a narrative designed on the backbone of brand-new characters and fresh story beats, this reviewer was expecting that same continuation. Overall, Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #7 certainly wraps up this story and fully explains every plot thread well. Readers will leave this story with all their questions answered, which is absolutely fantastic concerning the current comic landscape. Most writers leave loose ends but not Silvestri. Additionally, Silvestri leaves the screen door cracked open for the possibility of future stories to come from this, which I would be excited to read.
Even though the ending may not have been what I wanted or expected, Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo was still a rock-solid story cluttered with creativity and fresh new plot threads. Ultimately, I still feel that it’s a rock-solid Batman Movie waiting to happen that would certainly be different than what we usually get, however, I just can’t shake the disappointment I felt from the final issue. Altogether, Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo was pretty darn good. However, as final issues go, I was expecting something more from a story that was on point since issue one. Nevertheless, I highly recommend Batman fans give this series a look especially if they’re looking for something that borderlines horror and provides a different element of eerie mystery to the character that’s perfect for Halloween. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!