Review:  The Joker #13

by Carl Bryan
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Review:  The Joker #13

[ 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, Luis Guerrero

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan


“The Joker will strike again, and when he does, all that anger and fear Gotham feels will swell and demand the blood for someone else.  next time it will be one of your sons or daughters unlucky enough to be near him.”Punchline testifying at her trial.
Vengeance has spent her short existence waiting for the moment she could kill The Joker, but she knows that if she fulfills her programming, she’ll be dragged back into the servitude of the terrifying Knightfallen of Santa Prisca.
Jim Gordon may be her only way out, but a revelation close to his heart has the potential to send him down a darker path. One he may never turn back from.
Punchline Backup: The trial of the century in Gotham City begins to draw to a close, and no one will be left happy with the results…except for one Alexis Kaye, a.k a. Punchline!


I think we can chalk this issue up to a few head-scratchers. First of all, the Texas dinner party where Joker is to be the main course…this is DC Black Label stuff.  The Joker storyline could exist in that when you look at this Sampson Family.  Giuseppe Camuncoli’s meal depictions will gross you out.  

James Tynion IV has worked us up to a frenzy with this storyline often delving into Gordon’s past forays with the Joker.  However, Joker hauntingly teasing the cook who dumps hot grease on him…this creature doesn’t feel any pain.  Also, the beating that he takes at the hand of Vengeance all the while taunting her that she was born in a tube.  

Joker’s best character attributes are on hand here.  He is best at self preservation, and he sure does that.  How can Jim Gordon be even in the company of Bane as they all confront/save the Joker from his impending doom at the hands of the Sampsons?  

Tynion IV has written himself into quite the corner and we are the better for it.  He knows how to use his scripts to escape!

Positives 2.0

Punchline’s soliloquy testimony on the stand is courtesy of Tynion IV and Sam Johns.  Big Spoiler Alert…as if you didn’t expect it, someone is getting out of prison and if Joker gets out of his conundrum, Joker War may be a pale comparison to what is ahead.

After mulling around for several issues, releasing Punchline may be the best thing yet!  Time will tell. 

The Art

While often in my reviews, I focus on the authors and their storylines, however, this issue is to be celebrated for this art team that melds two different stories seamlessly.  From eyeballs and fingers to Vengeance’s bodybuilding physique to Punchline’s appearance in court, this team of artists and colorists should be applauded.


This review echoes this main theme in the negative column… Where is Julia Pennyworth?  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’s existence is a pretty huge thing deserving some ink time! Other than no Pennyworth, (sigh…this is getting old not having her)… this is a perfect issue!


Bane and his daughter Vengeance.  Joker’s back is against the wall and Gordon still finds time to smoke a pipe.  How can he not take out the Joker with all that the clown prince has done?  As Batman says in the new film The Batman….”You’re a good man.”  

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