Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Batman: Annual #3 - A Review

Five years ago, Tommy Blackcrow was a newcomer to Gotham. A hard-nosed reporter of the old-school, Tommy didn't believe the mystique that Gotham's supervillains generated - particularly The Clown Prince of Prime. Tommy's courage took him places few would dare to go... including The Joker's lair! And it was there that Tommy did something brave but foolish. Tommy laughed at The Joker as he played nice with his minions and boldly declared that The Joker didn't have any real friends.

Little did Tommy realize that bold statement would change his life and that the next five years would seen him changing his name and running around the country. Because it turns out The Joker appreciates honesty - particularly honesty expressed as an insult - and decides that only a true friend could be so honest. And Tommy Blackcrow is about to discover that the only thing worse than having The Joker as an enemy is having him as a friend.

It's been said that some of the best Batman comics don't feature Batman as a character. That's certainly the case with Batman Annual #3 where Batman's presence is limited and the focus is firmly upon Joker's new best buddy. The script by James Tynion IV is a strong one, with a lot of honest humor as The Joker goes through great lengths to try and bond with the increasingly unbalanced Tommy.

The artwork isn't quite as strong as the script, unfortunately. Roge Antonio does a decent enough job in general. His design for The Joker is truly terrifying but nothing else in this issue really stands out or demands attention. The coloring by Nick Filardi is a bit off at points, with Harley Quinn's hair-coloration continually changing in regards to which side is red and which side is black.

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