Review: The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1

 

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writers: Scott Lodell, Joey Cavalieri

Artists: Brett Booth, Norm Raphund, Luciano Vecchio

Colors: Andrew Dalhouse, Luciano Vecchio

Letters: Wes Abbott, Saida Temofonte

 

Summary

“Why Tho Teriouth” is a collision course tour de force for both of these insane personalities to mesh in a proposed heist that originates at, of course, an Acme Warehouse.  This dark side tale of Daffy’s path as a head henchmen in Joker’s gang is fraught with homages to past Joker and Daffy adventures and Scott Lodell blends both of those perfectly in a new tale that leaves the reader asking “Why didn’t these two join up long ago?”

“Silence of the Lame” is a comedic homage to Thomas Harris’ “Silence of the Lambs” complete with the lighter side of Daffy providing a host of one-liner psychoanalytical comments analyzing the Joker within Arkham Asylum.  Doctor Daffy Duck is called in to by Commissioner Gordon using the bat signal as a shadow puppet signal for Daffy to arrive.  Daffy’s high jinks and jokes provide a comedic escapade to end this issue on a lighter note than the “Theriouth” storyline.

Positives

“Why Tho Theriouth” is simply perfect.  Both the Joker and a darker Daffy Duck are given the serious treatment in this story, and why not?  As Batman notes, it is perfectly plausible in Gotham City for a duck to combine forces with a supervillain.   For those of you that have been Batman and Joker fans for a long time, homages are given to some of the Joker’s gruesome work (Jason Todd’s death) and two perfect movie lines “Get a load of you!” (in perfect Jack Nicholson form) and of course, the title of the story.  It is evident that Scott knows a good Joker rhythm as he has the Clown Prince quoting or misquoting Sally Field and AC/DC lyrics within frame to frame.

However, each page is a poster ready for framing.  Brett Booth, Norm Raphund, and colorist Andrew Dalhouse perfectly deliver the right kind of art that should go with a story like this.  The Joker has never looked so good and his small “John Lennon specs” are a perfect touch in their artistic renderings.  Daffy is perfectly plausible as a henchman, and Lodell provides a solid moral thermometer for Daffy to get some aspect of redemption.  Lodell knows his Looney Tunes as well as he pays respect to a recent issue where Daffy trains Porky Pig.  In this issue, he trains the Joker’s henchmen.  The artwork alone rivals when Todd McFarlane penciled Batman years ago.

“Silence of the Lame” is an expected soft landing after such a hard core tale.  However, Joey Cavalieri has some great inside jokes (particularly Catwoman inquiring of Poison Ivy about the ingredients in her brownies).  And Riddler’s “Thinking Man” pose as he ponders “free will” and “life after death”.  Cavalieri’s dry humor is perfect for a Daffy story and he does a great job poking fun at both genres of cartoon antics versus the serious comic reader.

Negatives

“Why Tho Theriouth” is perfect and ranks among “A Death in the Family” and “The Killing Joke” as one of the best Joker tales.  There are no negatives about this story!

“Silence of the Lame” is what one would expect with a cartoonish story that includes Daffy Duck, and the ending cops out a bit, but it adheres to the escape formula typically used in a Looney Tunes format.

 

Verdict

“Why Tho Theriouth” alone should be a leaping point for a more serious Daffy Duck in the vein of Scooby-Doo Apocalypse.  Maybe Gotham does have a new force to be reckoned with that can be alongside Joker in future tales.  That story alone, along with the wonderful artist depictions of the Joker and Batman, is well worth the price of admission.  “Silence of the Lame” is the cherry on top!

 

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Carl Bryan

Doc B is a college physical education instructor that has coached numerous sports on the rec, club, and collegiate level. He has a wonderful wife, two awesome kids, and remembers when Kryptonite came in a lot of different forms. He also has learned not to utter "Mxyzptlk" backwards!