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Comic Review: Joker #1

Joker #1 DC New 52 Forever Evil Villains Month

Villains Month at DC keeps it safe with a years-ago tale of the Joker that doesn’t impact the events of Forever Evil.

Instead, writer Andy Kubert and artist Andy Clarke use their one crack at the Joker to tell a one-off wacky, twisted and weird episode from the Clown Prince’s past that never brings Batman into the frame.

You want wacky?

Joker raises a gorilla as his child.

You want twisted?

He brings the gorilla up the same way he was brought up: not well.

You want weird?

It’s the Joker, and weird is par for the course.

Maybe the expectations for Batman’s #1 villain are a little too high to fairly judge this book. In the past year, we’ve seen Scott Snyder do some incredible things with the Joker in Death of the Family, and with his early alter ego Red Hood in the current Zero Year Batman storyline.

Setting that kind of storytelling aside, this is a fun book that hits all the right beats and is visually well-suited to the character.

Clarke’s pencils bring out the drawn, skeletal nature of the Joker, especially in the many childhood flashbacks we get.

Kubert gets it here too, as he writes a Joker who is sentimental for all the wrong reasons.

That insane sentimentality is what drives this story, and what makes the payoff so fun.

Though not a flagship-type story, Joker #1 is worth the read.

7 out of 10

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