Featured Review: Batman: Three Jokers #1

Review: Batman: Three Jokers #1

 

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

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Jason Fabok

Colors: Brad Anderson

Letters: Rob Leigh

 

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan

 

Summary

“We do what we always do.  Try to make a better Joker” – The Joker

Thirty years after Batman: The Killing Joke changed comics forever, Three Jokers reexamines the myth of who, or what, The Joker is and what is at the heart of his eternal battle with Batman.
New York Times bestselling writer Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok, the writer/artist team that waged the “Darkseid War” in the pages of Justice League, reunite to tell the ultimate story of Batman and The Joker!
After years of anticipation starting in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, the epic miniseries you’ve been waiting for is here: find out why there are three Jokers, and what that means for the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime. It’s a mystery unlike any Batman has ever faced!

Positives

This is one of the most anticipated books in years as we all stood still when A Death in the Family occurred.  We all were shocked when Barbara Gordon was shot and paralyzed in The Killing Joke.  To have the thought of three Jokers in the mix… I mean, we only have two in a standard deck of cards.

Geoff Johns has been “wetting our appetite” for quite some time and he has done an organized job with issue #1 in setting the stage for rage.

Written at the beginning as a  three act play…The Criminal, The Comedian, The Clown we see the psychological damage that the Joker has wrought on Batman, Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) and Red Hood (Jason Todd).

Jason Fabok doesn’t play!  His pencils are legit and he’s perfect for this book.  Ironically the only time I have seen pencils equivalent was in a Daffy Duck/Joker comic a year ago.

For instance, the road map of injuries that have culminated on Bruce’s back as Alfred ( I miss Alfred) cares for his more recent wound at the hands of the Penguin.  We get the macro-view, but Fabok narrows in to several wounds with a flashback in grey and black of battles with each one of the Rogues Gallery of Batman.

The crack of Bruce’s spine at the hands of Bane resonates in this comic.  He walks us through a history lesson from the alley to Barbara being shot and paralyzed to Jason being brutally murdered.

Those that are fans of The Killing Joke and A Death in the Family will appreciate the work Fabok has done in homage to his predecessors.  Again, it is an artistic way of showing the psychological toll that Joker has taken on these three heroes.

 

Positives 2.0

Almost every page has six to seven frames telling the story in a cinematic fashion.  The transitions, the back grounds, and the locations are familiar but this new locale… a hidden cabin in the woods where the Three Jokers reside.  That’s errie.

Spoiler alert – to see a Joker instructing two other Jokers is bizarre.  How can one be in charge of the other two.  How can so much ego be in the room?  And the quote I used….is it even possible they want to create a fourth?  To see the Joker flip a coin to make a decision… doesn’t he(they) and Harvey hate each other?

Jason Todd… how he has kept it together this long, we will never understand.  Johns has set up Jason to get a confrontation he has probably longed for since he was resurrected.  Joker pushes too many buttons this time!

Positives 3.0

I mean there are three Jokers… and the possibility of more?  Johns, Fabok and Brad Anderson have done their homework.  This book reads like a movie, but unfortunately we don’t get the ending yet!  Argh!

While we are enjoying the Joker War in our present time line, Johns takes us to some traumatic moments in the Batman history.  Perhaps he sews them up in a neat package or perhaps this sets the stage for something that rocked us like the bullet in Barbara’s spine or the crowbar crashing down on Jason’s head.

Verdict

I’m in!  I’m really in.  This is a great pairing of heroes and to see how they all face the purple demon is going to be interesting!

 

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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!