The teasing is finally over! The Joker has returned to share his twisted humor with Batman fans once again.
First off, we get the first diamond cut cover (Which looks good) of the New 52, revealing Joker’s face. Story-wise, he wants revenge, blaming Batman for his fall into the vat that forever changed his face , and, little by little, he’s gonna tear Batman and his bat-family limb for limb until he’s satisfied. This Joker is by far one of the darkest, most disturbed Jokers I’ve read to date. Gone are the days of smiles and laughter only to be replaced by frowns and horror. Mr. J even teams up with Harley Quinn in this issue using her to fool Batman into thinking she is the Joker, successfully pulling off the old bait-and-switch routine. Also, included here is a Harley Quinn and Joker prequel back-up story, leading to her appearance in the book and further explaining their reunion. With Quinn now one of the good guys, I wondered how she was going to be involved in the story. Without giving the story away, all I can say is that she felt he was not the same Mr. J. he once was, and how she relayed her concern was not what I expected. Snyder has taken his place among the elite writers in the comic book world, putting his own touch on the new Joker and making this by far one of my favorite Batman books to date. While other New 52 books are beginning to hit a lull, Batman has begun to hit its stride
Capullo brings us his own twisted touch on the Joker’s new look since having his face removed by the Dollmaker (See previous issues prior to the New 52). I will leave a little surprise for you in how the Joker looks, but believe me – it’s creepy. I would have loved to see this version of Joker in The Dark Knight movie. Heath ledger’s Joker doesn’t even compare to this one. With Ledger’s Joker, his face was mangled with a knife of some sorts, but the Joker in this Batman book had no face until he stole it back and applied it to his own head as a mask-type piece of headwear. Frightened facial expressions pasted on those who were poisoned by the Joker are haunting (Spoiler Alert! When the officers are poisoned by the Joker and their faces begin to form into the frown, the fear in their eyes is palpable).
As I said previously, this is a must-have book to add to your collections. No words here can do justice for how good this book was. I’m excited, intrigued, and impatiently awaiting #14. I give it 3 out of 3 Batarangs. Calling all Batman fans – Pick this one up ASAP at your local comic shop. You won’t be disappointed.
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo