'Batman: Joker War': Reading order, key characters and all you need to know about DC Comics' epic crossover event

James Tynion IV's first big crossover event as the writer on the 'Batman' ongoing series is on its way with exciting new characters and a story that promises to challenge the Dark Knight in a whole new way


                            'Batman: Joker War': Reading order, key characters and all you need to know about DC Comics' epic crossover event
(Francesco Mattina/ DC Comics)

There's a war brewing in Gotham City, one that threatens to engulf the already unstable city in a whole new world of chaos. 'Batman: Joker War', James Tynion IV's first big crossover event as the writer on the 'Batman' ongoing series is on its way with exciting new characters and a story that promises to challenge the Dark Knight in a whole new way. 

Here's everything you need to know about the event:

Reading order

The story begins with 'Batman' #95, out in stores on July 22. The main plot will continue in the pages of 'Batman' from issues 95 to 100. There are also a number of tie-in stories that will be told in 'Batman: The Joker War Zone', 'Nightwing' #70-75, 'Detective Comics' #1022-1026 and more. Here's the full checklist, courtesy of Tynion IV's newsletter 'The Empire of the Tiny Onion'.

'Joker War' checklist

Background and plot

'Joker War' explores the question of what happens when the Clown Prince of Crime decides to end his eternal battle with Batman. After years of back-and-forth, the Joker has decided to begin the final chapter of their never-ending dance, and one way or another, this war will spell the end of the story of the Dark Knight and the Harlequin of Hate. For now, at least.

Key characters

The event will feature the Joker's Clown Gang and the Bat-family, including Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Catwoman, Red Hood and more. The event will also feature two new characters, Punchline and Clownhunter. Punchline is the Joker's latest partner and girlfriend, an anti-Harley Quinn if you will. She makes her first proper entry into the 'Batman' story in Issue 92, in stores on June 10.

Punchline in Batman #92 (Guillem March / DC Comics)

Clownhunter has been teased as a new kind of vigilante without the morality of Batman who turns the streets of Gotham into a living hell for the Joker's Clown Gang. He has been revealed to be a young man whose parents were murdered by the Joker and he only survived that attack because of Batman. He grew up idolizing the Dark Knight and once the Joker War breaks out, he takes to the streets armed with a baseball bat upgraded with a Batarang to make every Clown feel fear like never before. 

Clownhunter character design (Jorge Jimenez/DC Comics)

Writer and artist

James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez

Artist James Tynion attends DC Entertainment hosts "Darkness & Light" party at San Diego Comic-Con International benefitting We Can Be Heroes held at Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery on July 12, 2012, in San Diego, California (Getty Images)

Tynion IV is the current writer of the ongoing 'Batman' series and has previously written for a number of titles including 'Detective Comics' and 'Justice League Dark'. The story will be illustrated by Jorge Jimenez, one of the most talented artists currently working for DC and a co-creator of many of the new characters being introduced in the current 'Batman' run.

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