Review: The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox – Chapter 3

by Carl Bryan
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Review: The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox – Chapter 3


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

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg

Artist:  Jesus Merino

Letters: Ferran Delgado

Colors: Uliles Arreola

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan



I know who you are Black Mask.  You are a very dangerous man in Gotham City.  Yes?  This isn’t Gotham City..“- Russian Mob Member

Joker provides the GCPD with another missing piece of the puzzle involving two faces and two masks: Black Mask has traveled halfway around the world on the hunt for one of the pieces of the MASTER ENGINE, but someone is following him…someone with a gun aimed AT HIS FACE.

The mystery deepens with not one but TWO double-crosses in the hunt for who killed the Riddler!


Matthew Rosenberg and Jesus Merino have created the ultimate puzzle box.  In fact, it is maddening at times as the Joker is our narrator and even Batman has not been able to crack his code in years.  What makes one think we can even put the pieces together?  

Metaphorically speaking, try putting together this puzzle if it has been poured out in every room of a house and a piece is missing in every room and the doors are locked and you cannot find the keys as…..well.  You get the picture.

It truly is great story telling as you pour over the pages in hopes of getting a clue, and subsequently read the dialogue over and over to see what is missing.  Obviously by now, you have read issues #1 and #2 and I am still scratching my head in regards to why The Joker always uses different titles for Jim Gordon.  Drop your rationales below in our comments section.

This book…The simplest way to describe it is that it’s the Joker telling stories about Gotham’s most dangerous villains. But it’s much stranger and more complicated than that.  It’s equal parts an episode of The Twilight Zone, a book of riddles, an Agatha Christie mystery, a police procedural, and some other weird stuff all thrown together with callous disregard for comic book norms.  Again…it’s a new tint on the Joker and it works!



It would be terribly insulting of me to give away even one clue in this puzzle box.  However, there are moments in the dialogue where you wonder why Joker uses particular terms or names. So…we get the theme of using incorrect titles for Him Gordon.  Joker’s recent account has Two Face dying, but he is clearly in the cell with all the others.  What’s the back story and is it a clue?  Again, drop your thoughts in the comment area.  


I’m so intrigued by this puzzle that I cannot think of a negative.  it’s like this…I’m the guy who wants to know how everything works, but I don’t have all the clues.  There are so many pieces missing that I am not sure if I am solving anything or I am being mislead by the Joker like everyone else is.  This is not a negative, but if you get easily frustrated by any puzzle, you may not enjoy this experience!  


This Matthew Rosenberg adventure is not what it seems.  When I read and re-read the comic, I think we will eventually see clues all in Joker’s accounts to James Gordon that point to the actual killer (if there is an actual murder).  On the surface, when you read it, it is far fetched.  But taken out of the context of the current timeline, this “puzzle” would be worth your time and energy to try to solve!  


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