Brandon says everything not marked “ELSEWORLDS” takes place in the mainstream DC Universe. I say, that unless a book or series is referenced in a character’s core book, you can disregard it as independent fiction. This debate got so heated that if it hadn’t been for Tresise and my lithium kicking in, one of us would surely be dead.
JOKER falls into this category of “does it or doesn’t it fall into the mainstream DC Universe.” The book is written by BRIAN AZZARELLO with artwork by LEE BERMEJO and it is simply a masterpiece! You can quote me on that DC marketing department (please do, that would be so awesome)!
The book is about 126 pages (I counted last night but I was sleepy) of beautiful and often disturbing images. The story is mature. It‘s dark with a hyper-reality reminiscent of ARKHAM ASYLUM. It actually seems more like a sequel to the DARK KNIGHT than something that can be tied into DETECTIVE COMICS.
The Joker, himself is a twisted, complex character. That’s not to say that he’s not pure evil. He is. It’s just that there’s something going on in his head and in this trade you can almost see what it is. Of course if you could actually understand the Joker’s motivations in their entirety, he wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. He sports the same scarred grin he wears in the movie and recently acquired in the comics. He makes creepy, inappropriate and often unfunny jokes (although sometimes they’re actually quite clever here). And he kills just about half the people he comes across.
Other well-known Gothamites make appearances in this tale as well. I won’t name them here because I’m not a ruiner. But they are all depicted as being complex and plausible characters. Even the more outrageous ones come across as being real and none of them take away from the grounded feel of the book. They engage in real life, grown up activities like flashing their tits and having sex.
There’s actually no real nudity here and only one could-be objectionable word (although I didn’t object to it). The violence takes place either off-screen or in shadow. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a PG book. The aftermath of violence is depicted often and it’s not always shown in the form of a mangled corpse. Sometimes its much more subtle and disturbing (points to the aforementioned “villain sex”).
Any UPJ psych major could dissect anyone of the characters in JOKER and get an easy “A”. I didn’t even mention the narrator, who’s interesting in his own right. But I’m guessing everyone will probably want to write about the Joker. Just remember, he’s not you’re friend. He has no friends. He’s evil and insane and he’ll kill anyone who stands close to him for too long.
We sold three of these trades on the first day they came in. One of our customers even came back the next day to tell us how much he liked it. We still have more for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!