Batman: Three Jokers #2 review – as dark (knight) as it gets

5

Summary

If you only read one book this month, it needs to be Batman: Three Jokers.

DC Comics Black Label imprint miniseries Batman: Three Jokers #2 hit the stands last Tuesday, and after a stunning first issue, there was little doubt that this book was going to be in demand.

I would venture that this series, three issues in total, will go down as a Batman classic, and be looked back on in the same way as The Killing Joke and Batman: Year One. Written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Jason Fabok, this is really a sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ The Killing Joke, and it continues to emulate that book as it goes.

SPOILERS

Jason Todd has murdered one of The Jokers already. Batgirl, who witnessed the murder in issue #1, is frustratingly trying to tell Batman of his crime, but it seems Bruce has other worries on his mind.

A murder weapon has been found that has the fingerprints of Joe Chill on them, the man who murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne, and when Batman reaches the prison cell of the killer, he is gone. Meanwhile, Jason has been following some leads of his own and finds himself at an abandoned swimming pool, filled with chemicals, and victims of The Jokers. The pool seems to be filled with bodies, but Jason is caught off guard by The Joker, who drugs him before he can make a stand.

Meanwhile, by the time Bruce and Barbara get to the swimming pool, they are attacked by an army of Jokers, that rise like zombies from the chemical pool, attacking our heroes.

If this all sounds like grisly fare, then brave heart dear reader, as this is genuinely scary, disturbing stuff, and definitely for mature readers. The themes and tone of this book are as dark as you have ever seen, and the Black Label imprint has been used so that the creators can dredge the bottom of the pit for a truly terrifying comic book experience.

There are still great character moments here, and the spotlight does tend to linger on Jason and Barbara more than Batman himself, but I do have a feeling that the third issue will shift that focus onto Bruce.

A shock-filled final page of this second issue seems to set the scene for the finale, and I am ready to see where this whole sordid tale will lead.

This is as dark a story as anything we have seen before in Batman, maybe for some a little too dark. The zombie Jokers and violence may feel a little over the top for casual readers, and the whole premise is very unsettling, but there will be fans of this style of Batman story that will love this series very much.

For me, this is exactly the sort of book that is probably propping up a lot of the comic book industry just now. It is an “event” book, but not a sprawling 68 chapters that cross over into every title being published, but instead, this is a quality item, written and drawn by creators at the top of their game, producing riveting storylines that will entice people to perhaps return to comics as a medium. A concise story, cinematically drawn, with layers of story that can be explored or dismissed as the reader sees fit.

If you only read one book this month, it needs to be Batman: Three Jokers.


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Louie Fecou

Louie Fecou reviews films, tv shows and comics for Ready Steady Cut, HC Movie Reviews and We Have A Hulk.  He currently runs his own business in between watching films.

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