The Criminal. The Comedian. The Clown.
Bruce. Barbara. Jason.
Three Joker’s meet three heroes.
Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok present us with The Three Jokers nearly 5 years after the concept was first introduced during the Darkseid War storyline in the Justice League book. Teases of it showed up here and there in the Batman books for DC Comics. By moving it to the Black Label line it is not shackled by that continuity of the regular comic books.
If you ask anyone I am not the biggest fan of the Joker. This is a character that is often overexposed to levels usually limited to Batman and Wolverine in today’s comics. Because of that sometimes alternate takes on him do not seem to fit together and want nice neat puzzle. By creating the concept of the Three Jokers, Johns nicely wrote a way out of this particular conundrum.
The art is wonderful. Jason Fabok’s work has been missing for far too long. He had really come into his own during the Darkseid War storyline. Which unfortunately seems like the last time we saw Fabok’s work. Besides depicting the current day story He also depicts scenes from the past most notably some of the more chilling scenes from The Killing Joke and Death in the Family.
This is one of Johns strengths-pulling from DC Comics history as a foundation for new stories. This is not simply a story of Batman versus the Joker. I would say in this first installment it is much more about Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon. Red Hood and Batgirl.
Of all the members of the Bat family they have suffered far worse than anyone else. And the Joker’s desire to make them suffer has little to do with either Jason or Barbara, it is all about hurting the Bat.
The best and probably most disturbing moment of this issue came when the Joker was reliving his beating to death of Jason Todd. Not only did Jason, just a kid then, beg for his life He also said he would do anything if the Joker would spare him.
He said he would be HIS Robin…
And in a way he has. Taking the moniker Red Hood(one of the Joker’s earliest aliases), at times becoming a criminal and then a merciless vigilante breaking Batman’s one rule. You could say that Jason’s change it since coming back from the dead may hurt Bruce even worse than his death.
This is just a first issue. There will be much more to unpack and I’m sure many more twists and turns before we come close to the finish. But it was a very good start.
And one that may even soften my personal stance on the Joker.
That in itself is a huge accomplishment.