Working at a comic book store, I know that this comic sold more than any of the other villain’s themed books this week, showing you the power of not only the villains month gimmick but of people’s favoritism in specific characters. What’s interesting about this issue was that Andy Kubert was not drawing the issue, but was instead writing it. Most comic fans would pick up a comic for that reason alone. So I decided to leave the best selling book of the bunch for the very end. Before I get too far ahead of myself, here is what I liked about the issue:
1. I enjoy Andy Clarke’s art, and it was great to see his interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime pre-face lift/loss.
2. We witness some of the defining moments in the Jokers childhood, maybe.
3. We witness Jokers first sidekick. Jackanapes.
Rating before reading: 7
Rating after reading: 5
This comic honestly fell very short of expectations, making a believable and enjoyable Joker one shot should have been a hat trick for DC, instead it turned into a trivial waste of time. Seeing Joker raise a gorilla sidekick was silly and out of character. No version of the Joker I’ve ever seen has ever loved anything or anyone. Yet here we have the Joker clearly in love with his surrogate son and turned evil doer. The comic itself is fine, and Andy Kubert does a great job at telling a story but the real issue comes down to the story itself. Given the grim state of the DC Universe, we get a story completely unrelated from everything else. And while the Joker is a “fun” character, he isn’t a Loony Toon’s Style crook. He is one of the major forces of evil in the DC Universe. So to have an entire issue not focusing on how evil he is, but focusing on his ability to nurture is off and out of place. I was disenchanted with the story and found it a poor usage of time. Something that should have easily been the highlight of the week turned into a dull, joyless waste of time. The character presented in the comic certainly didn’t feel like any Joker I like or ever want to read. Yet it sold so fast, to dozens of people who don’t normally read comic books. And what will they get? A fascinating look into one of the Joker’s early days? No we’ll see him raise a monkey. Because that’s how you get people to read a comic.
Until the next time, I need a drink.