This issue is frankly the reason I prefer and love DC Comics. Just by reading a few panels (and looking at the amazing artwork for the cover, props Jock!) I was instantly reminded of “The Killing Joke” my favorite comic book of all time. The eerie darkness mixed with insanity in this differs from the phoom-boom-kapow of superhero comics that are flooding the shelves today.
The issue picks up on the last issue’s story of Jim Gordon coming to terms with the fact that his son really is the merciless monster that Barbara thought he would be. Even though they unmasked James Jr.’s scheming plan to tear down Gotham City, more problems surfaced as the Joker was set loose upon Gotham for the millionth time. Commissioner Gordon leaves his case to go and protect his loved ones before the Joker gets them. Seeing as the Joker “always comes after [them]. [Their] family. Anyone [he] cares about,” it’s a smart idea.
Then we get pulled into a narration by Gordon about Gotham City’s “darkest and most brilliant architect” – the Joker. We get to see Gordon’s ex-wife for a split second before we get mounted with terror and tension and she gets… well you’ll see what happens to her when you read the issue. The issue is written so disturbingly well that there is an overpowering sense of dread that honestly makes you fear what might happen– the recipe for a great comic book if you ask me.
What did it for me was how the Joker was portrayed. He wasn’t your average Joker. Sure he was straight out of the loony bin as always, but this one was a lot more child-like. An insane sinister child that wanted his “bat” – not Dick Grayson. Of course that proves the Joker’s pure genius. I especially loved how the letterer Jared K. Fletcher gave the Joker his own lowercase font in the word balloons which estranged him even more concisely from the rest of the characters.
Basically this is issue reminds me of the reason I love Batman. Any Batman die-hard fan that has lost faith in the newer releases or even casual fan should check this out. It is absolutely breath taking.
DC Comics 2011
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist + Cover: Jock
Colors: Dave Baron
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Katie Kubert
Associate Editor: Janelle Asselin
Editor: Mike Marts