Release Date: 14th November 2008
Publisher: DC Comics
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this at Comiccon
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
An original hardcover graphic novel that tells the story of one very dark night in Gotham City–from the creative team behind the graphic novel LEX LUTHOR: MAN OF STEEL.
The Joker has been mysteriously released from Arkham Asylum, and he’s none to happy about what’s happened to his Gotham City rackets while he’s been “away.” What follows is a harrowing night of revenge, murder and manic crime as only The Joker can deliver it, as he brutally takes back his stolen assets from The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face, Killer Croc and others.
Brian Azzarello brings to THE JOKER all the visceral intensity and criminal insight that has made his Vertigo graphic novel series 100 BULLETS one of the most critically-acclaimed and award-winning series in all of comics.
Joker is a dark and gritty graphic novel that follows Gotham’s favourite villain after he’s released from Arkham Asylum. The story is told from the perspective of Johnny Frost – a member of the Joker’s gang who helps the Joker in his attempt to retake the city.
I thought this was quite an interesting read, it follows Joker as he murders and fights his way back to the top. The art style is stunning and really brings to life the dark and seedy Gotham underworld. I really liked the art style and it definitely gave it that dark and gritty crime feel.
While I did enjoy this – it was a fast and quick read and I enjoyed being back in the Batman Universe – I did feel it was a little repetitive, and it didn’t really do anything we haven’t seen before in a Batman story. Batman appeared in the story very little, so it felt a lot more like a crime story than a superhero one. Joker is one of my favourite characters so it was fascinating watching him live life on the edge, toeing the line between madness and reality. I also liked Johnny Frost, he was an interesting addition to the tale and it was fun to see Killer Croc and the Riddler make an appearance too.
The story is well executed and I think the plot and the art style combine together really well, but it just didn’t pack the same punch as some of my favourite Batman stories. I enjoyed seeing Joker as the central focus of the story, but it left me wanting a bit more overall. If you’re a fan of darker, more realistic graphic novels I’d highly recommend checking this one out and if you love Joker this should definitely be an addition to your collection.