After the struggle that was The Gift arc, it’s nice to see Tom King has his mojo back with the first chapter of The Best Man. We didn’t have to wait long for Joker to start enacting his ‘plan’ to confront Batman over his pending nuptials to Catwoman. I’m still waiting on King to explain how Joker found out about Batman’s wedding, but that’s for another issue.
At hand here is Batman confronting Joker at a church where he has calmly and insanely gunned down a wedding party. The War of Jokes and Riddles saw Joker more restrained than usual and King fully unleashes the craziness that is Batman’s arch enemy this time.
The only catch here is for a prolonged Batman/Joker confrontation, King has Batman act uncharacteristically cautious and hesitant. Typically, Batman is far more aggressive in dealing with The Joker since any indecision can and will cost people’s lives. This works in showing how deranged Joker is, but doesn’t do Batman any favors.
Mikel Janin returns to handle the art. At this point, Janin is the signature artist on King’s run so it’s appropriate that he’s back for one of the biggest arcs yet. Janin is acclaimed for his smooth art, but his take on The Joker continues to be impressive. Janin captures all the lunacy and unpredictable nature of the character making him look completely deranged. The layouts were very intense starting right away with the first page. This is an issue that sinks its claws in to readers early.
The Best Man gets off to a quick and unexpected start with Batman immediately confronting Joker and a shocking cliffhanger as the countdown to the wedding continues…provided the groom survives.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10