Review: The Joker #11

by Carl Bryan
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Review: The Joker #11

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

Writers: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns

Artists:  Giuseppe Camuncoli, Belen Ortega

Letters: Tom Napolitano, Becca Carey

Colors: Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Alejandro Sanchez

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan


“Let Cookie know to prepare the spit…Tomorrow we’ve got Clown Meat on the menu” – Mr. Sampson
The Joker is about to learn the harsh reality of the motto “Don’t Mess with Texas” as the Sampsons bring him back home to their ranch…for dinner!
PUNCHLINE BACKUP: While Harper Row has been making sure that Punchline stays behind bars, her brother, Cullen, has been getting closer to Punchline’s fans. His new boyfriend, Bluff, is hiding a wicked secret that promises to change the shape of organized crime in Gotham, and Punchline’s role, for years to come.


I can’t think that this historical dive into the events of The Killing Joke and the glimpse into the impact on James Gordon and his children sets up a deeper impact on the choice that Gordon has before him. He failed to take the shot on The Joker earlier in this series and arguably was manipulated into helping the villain escape the clutches of other enemies that have reared their heads in this story.

The psychological impact that Joker has made across the DC landscape is almost immeasurable. Sam Johns and Matthew Rosenberg are providing us a case against all things Joker and Punchline and again, making it easier for the reader to accept that The Joker wins if Gordon kills him, but Gordon arguably has every right to eliminate the source of all things evil in Gotham.

Positives 2.0

Ironically in the story, we have Batman who is a psychological profile in and of himself in both motivation and duality advising Gordon that he needs to accept help from a psychiatrist. One could look at this story through a lens of “the pot calling the kettle black”, but given the state of mental health in the world during a pandemic, the advice Batman provides resonates.

I’m beginning to accept the flashback stories being drawn differently as I was addicted to the earlier issues of more intense art…blood, muscles, and expressions. Given the long ball of the storyline, however, it’s more acceptable to view this work as a total book rather than a running comic. Connecting the Joker dots is an intense job, but this book is exceptional in that! 

Chapter Eleven continues…

Losing steam… I think so. There’s only so much pulling the strings behind bars and we need to “hear the punchline”.  Well… we need to see her back on the street. This story is dripping along a bit too long, and we need a new adventure for Joker’s new accomplice/girlfriend.


Where is Alfred’s daughter?  You cannot just drop that on us in issue #7 and then there’s no follow-through. I know we got a LOT of information fleshing out this storyline, but Julia Pennyworth’s existence is a pretty huge thing deserving some ink time!

Other than no Pennyworth, this is one of your finer Joker issues in regards to the authors working this up to the main crescendo. How The Joker is going to get out of being dinner is beyond me!


The Sampsons…literally and figuratively, they eat their own! This is arguably the best issue to buy as of late as the story really delves into Gordon’s motivations and finally we get to see The Joker in a position where he is not in charge!  I love it!



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