- The long awaited return of the Joker
- Batman vs. the Joker inside a church. Is this an omen? I hope not
- Tom King perfectly nails the schitzophrenic nature of the Joker
- Mikel Janin does an amazing job conveying the different expressions on the Joker's face as he changes moods
- June Chung's beautiful stark coloring job puts the focus on the dialogue
- BATMAN AND THE JOKER KNEEL AND PRAY TOGETHER
Well, every since DC Nation #0, we’ve been building to this moment. It’s the long awaited return of the Joker in one of the most insane issues of Batman I’ve ever read. For people who have been waiting for Tom King to get his hands on the Joker, your ship has finally come in. And, it is everything you were hoping for an more.
The whole issue plays out in one location, a church. The Joker is trying to get Batman’s attention, and he feels the best way to do so is to go to a church and kill everyone inside. Of course, this being the comics, there has to be a wedding rehearsal going on. Of course, Batman does in fact, arrive, and what follows is one of the craziest bits of interaction between Batman and the Joker ever. The Joker has no inner monologue and actually does play-by-play of the entire situation, as it’s happening. You will find yourself wondering who he’s taking to.
This entire situation results in one of the most insane sequences ever, as Batman kneels in front of the altar and PRAYS WITH THE JOKER! Of course, the Joker has planted a bomb in side the cross, which then explodes. When the dust settles, Joker is standing over an unconscious Batman. meanwhile, Catwoman has been monitoring from the rooftops across the street, since Batman has asked her to stay back.
Tom King has crafted a masterpiece face off between Batman and the Joker in this issue. I would personally place it in the same vein as the Killing Joke and Scott Snyder’s Death of the Family and Endgame storylines. Mr. King seems to have perfectly captured the gleefully psychotic mind of the Clown Prince of Crime. In a truly deft bit of writing, the Joker changes personalities, from manic to scared, to confused to contrite as easy as snapping fingers. I look forward to seeing the resolution of this storyline in two weeks, which now seems so far away. Also, kudos to Mr. King for the awesome use of the 60’s Batman TV Theme.
But, none of this would be possible without the extraordinary art of Mikel Janin. The split second shifting in personality id only believable because of how beautifully is it conveyed in the Joker’s changing expressions. Due to Mr. Janin’s skill in this area, you can instantly tell which emotion Mr. King means to convey. I also have to commend Mr. Janin for one of the coolest panels I have seen in a Batman comic recently. The two pages in question involve Batman crashing through a stained glass window that the Joker is standing in front of. It is a visually stunning sequence. Also, special mention must be made of the beautiful coloring job done by June Chung. It is a terrific contrast for most of the issue, the grey walls and brown pews of the church, and the black and grey of Batman, make the beautiful stained glass window and, most importantly, the purple tux and green hair and eyes against the Joker’s white skin really pop. In fact, the juxtaposition of the Joker and Batman has never been clearer than this issue, where the stark background provides the perfect muted showcase for the showdown between Batman’s muted black and grey, with the slight yellow accents, to face off with the garish purple tux and bright green hair and manic eyes, with red lips against his white face.
In the end, the wait for the Joker’s return is over, and it was well worth the wait. This is the type of issue that makes two weeks seem like an eternity. I will be waiting right there with you, so come back next week to see what the verdict is on the end of this storyline. Two issues till the Wedding…here we go.