Hot Best Seller

DC Comics Essentials: Joker (2015-) #1

Availability: Ready to download

The creative team behind the sensational LUTHOR-award-winning writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo-re-team to delve into the world of Gotham City and the life of the Dark Knight's most dangerous and deadly adversary: The Joker! This excerpt from JOKER is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS AND CHRONOLOGY 2014 c The creative team behind the sensational LUTHOR-award-winning writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo-re-team to delve into the world of Gotham City and the life of the Dark Knight's most dangerous and deadly adversary: The Joker! This excerpt from JOKER is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS AND CHRONOLOGY 2014 catalog. Inside is an expansive look at our rich backlist collection created by the best writers and illustrators in the industry. This catalog can be used as an important resource for new fans seeking a starting point, as well as a look back at our impressive backlist for the most fervent DCE enthusiasts.


Compare

The creative team behind the sensational LUTHOR-award-winning writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo-re-team to delve into the world of Gotham City and the life of the Dark Knight's most dangerous and deadly adversary: The Joker! This excerpt from JOKER is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS AND CHRONOLOGY 2014 c The creative team behind the sensational LUTHOR-award-winning writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo-re-team to delve into the world of Gotham City and the life of the Dark Knight's most dangerous and deadly adversary: The Joker! This excerpt from JOKER is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS AND CHRONOLOGY 2014 catalog. Inside is an expansive look at our rich backlist collection created by the best writers and illustrators in the industry. This catalog can be used as an important resource for new fans seeking a starting point, as well as a look back at our impressive backlist for the most fervent DCE enthusiasts.

30 review for DC Comics Essentials: Joker (2015-) #1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Plotwise, I thought this was kind of overrated. It's ok. Not amazing. Not mind-blowing. Not OHMYGODTHATCHANGEDTHEGAME. It's ok. The gist is that Joker gets released from prison because he's 'not crazy' anymore. <--what the actual fuck? That's not science. Anyway. The next few weeks or so is told through the eyes of this low-level thug who volunteered to pick him up. The book seems to be a more realistic crime tale than a superhero comic, and the tone would fit just about any gritty cop show on tv Plotwise, I thought this was kind of overrated. It's ok. Not amazing. Not mind-blowing. Not OHMYGODTHATCHANGEDTHEGAME. It's ok. The gist is that Joker gets released from prison because he's 'not crazy' anymore. <--what the actual fuck? That's not science. Anyway. The next few weeks or so is told through the eyes of this low-level thug who volunteered to pick him up. The book seems to be a more realistic crime tale than a superhero comic, and the tone would fit just about any gritty cop show on tv. EXCEPT for the part about why the hell Joker is roaming around a free man. Ok, even if they somehow 'cured' a psychopath of his psychotic tendencies, you do not just get a free fucking pass to test out your newfound sanity on the streets. That's not how Law and Order works. Right, Ice-T? Alright. So you gotta suspend disbelief for the first few pages. Because, of course, as soon as Joker gets in the car, he immediately goes on a (rather gory) crime spree. And then everything is pretty much a bland(ish) tale of this nutty gangster with a fucked-up face doing nutty gangster stuff for no discernable reason, whilst toting this scuzzy narrating thug along for the ride of his scuzzy life. They have good times, they have bad times... And while it isn't a terrible story by any means, it's just not all that meaty or engaging once you strip away the visuals. <--which I thought were awesome, by the way. The reimaginings of some of the traditional Batman villains are hit or miss. Killer Croc has a bit less crocodile problems and more...eczema issues? He's definitely not the product of life as a mistreated sideshow freak, he's just a guy who needs to moisturize that flaky looking skin. Riddler is just this skinny Elton John knock-off with pidgeon-toes and a fedora. Hello, I'm Edward Nigma. I've got some weird tats and a cigarette dangling between my lips. And I steal shit and sell it on the black market while rattling off nonsensical puzzles. Ok. Two-Face is Two-Face. He has...two faces? And ONE side is almost always in the shadows. Get it -foreshadowing! (view spoiler)[You're right. You're right. That's not nearly as funny as I thought it was when I was originally typing it. Sorry. (hide spoiler)] Anyway. Decent story, cool art.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Seriously. Being The Joker is no laughing matter. The Joker left the campy, groovy ‘60’s in the dust some time ago. Maybe rearranging Robin’s (Jason Todd) hairline with a tire iron was a turning point for him. Who knows? Let’s leave that debate for the comic book scholars. The family friendly cartoon version usually portrays him as 25% Insanity – 50% Madcap humor – 25% Menace. Brian Azarello plays with these percentages a bit, but doesn’t let you in on the formula. Sure the crazy is still there, t Seriously. Being The Joker is no laughing matter. The Joker left the campy, groovy ‘60’s in the dust some time ago. Maybe rearranging Robin’s (Jason Todd) hairline with a tire iron was a turning point for him. Who knows? Let’s leave that debate for the comic book scholars. The family friendly cartoon version usually portrays him as 25% Insanity – 50% Madcap humor – 25% Menace. Brian Azarello plays with these percentages a bit, but doesn’t let you in on the formula. Sure the crazy is still there, the humor goes from the trick BANG! gun to the kind of humor that if you think it’s at all amusing you keep it to yourself in polite company. Menace? It’s like a snake lying low in the grass waiting to strike anyone lulled into thinking The Joker’s your pal. Cheers! This one starts off with Jonny Frost choosing the short straw and getting to pick up The Joker after he’s released from Arkham. In an effort to “get acquainted”, The Joker pays a visit to some of his old pals, including the Penguin. Along the way the body count goes up and free advice is proffered. Bottom Line: As a comic book villain (character?), the Joker’s regularly makes most people’s top five lists, usually beat out by cosmic level villains like Dr. Doom. This book along with Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke should be must reads for comic book fans who want to get more of an understanding as to what makes The Joker tick. And seriously? Good luck with that.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    We’ve all read (or seen) the story before: the savvy but borderline crazy street-level crimeboss goes about his day, protecting his turf, extorting money, consuming copious quantities of drugs and alcohol, skinning a guy in a strip club, and having some laughs. It’s equal parts scary and depressing, and maybe even a little bit thrilling. This time around, instead of being some slick-haired mobster type, our antihero is the Joker. Does that make the story scarier? More depressing? More thrilling? We’ve all read (or seen) the story before: the savvy but borderline crazy street-level crimeboss goes about his day, protecting his turf, extorting money, consuming copious quantities of drugs and alcohol, skinning a guy in a strip club, and having some laughs. It’s equal parts scary and depressing, and maybe even a little bit thrilling. This time around, instead of being some slick-haired mobster type, our antihero is the Joker. Does that make the story scarier? More depressing? More thrilling? All three? I think it’s all three, in addition to being simultaneously more interesting and more disappointing. Clearly, I have some ambivalence about this story. On the one hand, it’s a gripping and well-executed tale of a man on the edge, a desperate man living in a desperate world doing desperate things to survive. It’s terrifying, but strangely relatable. On the other, this is THE JOKER. One of the craziest, most insane villains to ever grace the four-color funny pages. To see him reduced to this—a common street criminal whose vices are not the stuff of spandex-clad legend, but rather the sad coping mechanisms of a troubled mind—runs counter to why we (or, at least, I) read comics in the first place. I’m not a huge grim-and-gritty kind of guy when it comes to comics. I can enjoy and respect a well-told tale regardless of what angle it takes, but when I read a Joker story, I want it to be wild and over the top and so outlandish that it could only happen in a comic—not suburban New Jersey. So, maybe the long story short is this: this is a well-written, well-conceived story with quality art. It features an intriguing antihero. And it keeps the pages turning. It’s just maybe not quite optimally suited for me, and so fell a little short. (Then again, I once wrote a 1,600-word impassioned review/manifesto/screed about the greatness of Saved by the Bell, so feel free to openly question my taste.) We’ll call it 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I thought this was a pretty good story. I didn't think the graphics were too great but there was something about the story I really liked. It seemed sort of laid back to me but still the Joker if that makes any sense. Jonny Frost gets to pick up the Joker when he gets let out of Arkham. Jonny hangs out with the Joker and takes him all around. He tells the story in his perspective. I mean that's not the whole story with Jonny telling it, he just tells his thoughts as well. We get appearances from I thought this was a pretty good story. I didn't think the graphics were too great but there was something about the story I really liked. It seemed sort of laid back to me but still the Joker if that makes any sense. Jonny Frost gets to pick up the Joker when he gets let out of Arkham. Jonny hangs out with the Joker and takes him all around. He tells the story in his perspective. I mean that's not the whole story with Jonny telling it, he just tells his thoughts as well. We get appearances from Harley Quinn, Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and of course Batman. I might have left someone out. Anyway, there are a lot of other freaks and what not in the novel too. And of course people being killed and things being blown up. You know, Joker stuff! I'm not good at writing reviews for graphic novels. I have said this time and time again so I'm just leaving it at . . . I have wanted to read this book for a long time and it didn't disappoint me :-)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    In this one-off non-canon book, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, both extraordinary artists, imagine a more realistic take on Joker partly in the style of Chris Nolan’s “Dark Knight” film. The story is told through the eyes of Jonny Frost, a low-level thug sent to pick up a newly-released Joker from Arkham Asylum. Joker sets about reclaiming his criminal empire against Two-Face with the help of Killer Croc. Re-reading this 4 years after I first picked it up, the book still retains In this one-off non-canon book, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, both extraordinary artists, imagine a more realistic take on Joker partly in the style of Chris Nolan’s “Dark Knight” film. The story is told through the eyes of Jonny Frost, a low-level thug sent to pick up a newly-released Joker from Arkham Asylum. Joker sets about reclaiming his criminal empire against Two-Face with the help of Killer Croc. Re-reading this 4 years after I first picked it up, the book still retains its power and brilliance. Azzarello creates a Joker with newly revealed sides to his character than just the insane murderer he’s usually portrayed as. In a brilliant one panel aside, Joker is seen in private on his knees, arms wrapped around Harley Quinn, sobbing, as we really see his relationship with her – she is the only one he can truly be himself with. Azzarello’s Joker is a pill-popping junkie, snorting lines and chugging brown liquor, fuelling his rampages to explain his extreme behaviour than simply writing off his actions as those of a crazy man. Azzarello and Bermejo utilise comics’ unique format of the spaces between the panels to intimate some truly heinous actions by Joker. In one scene Joker randomly wanders into an apartment and murders an elderly couple in their beds with a razor blade, but the reader sees only the break-in and a murky aftermath as Joker lies on the bed atop contorted and bloodied human forms, the blade glinting off to the side. Later, Jonny’s wife is saved from Two-Face and it’s hinted that Joker then raped her before setting her free. Azzarello’s vision of Joker in this book is far more human and far more scary in moments like this than has been seen before in other comics. This makes Joker even scarier as he seems almost charming and likeable in moments of (seemingly) sober contemplation, as both the narrator and the reader find themselves warming to him despite his horrible deeds. Lee Bermejo draws the book beautifully. His Joker takes his cue from Heath Ledger’s visual portrayal with the cut-open mouth making up a grotesque clown’s smile but otherwise it’s the familiar Joker of old minus the stark white face and a more cut figure. I thought his depiction of Croc as less a mutant-lookalike and more a thug with a real-life skin disease was an inspired choice though his depiction of Batman’s outfit (he appears briefly at the end) was a bit too S&M, there were too many straps. You won’t find a more brilliant artist drawing Batman comics today – I highly recommend checking out his own Batman scripted and drawn book “Batman: Noel” for another example of his fantastic art as well as an excellent Batman book. “Joker” is an incredible book, maybe the best one about Joker ever written – yes I’m including “Killing Joke”. Azzarello captures Joker’s voice and character perfectly, making all the right artistic choices with the other characters. While the book’s plot doesn’t really resolve itself, hinging on a “Pulp Fiction”-type literary device, the book is less about plot and story and more about giving the reader a fully realised character study of the Joker. In that, the book succeeds completely, complimented perfectly with Bermejo’s gorgeous art. “Joker” is a powerful vision of one of the best literary villains ever created and a must-read for all Batman fans. If you enjoyed this, definitely look up Azzarello and Bermejo’s previous book on another DC villain, “Lex Luthor”.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    Off the Damn Side of the City, Man! “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture,” Alfred Hitchcock once observed, and that rule of thumb is arguably even more relevant for comic books than for movies. The Joker is usually described as the greatest comic-book villain of all time, yet he is often written as little more than a clownish, spectacularly absurd nut case who happens to be obsessed with keeping the Batman on his toes. Not all that interesting. Occasionally, though, a Off the Damn Side of the City, Man! “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture,” Alfred Hitchcock once observed, and that rule of thumb is arguably even more relevant for comic books than for movies. The Joker is usually described as the greatest comic-book villain of all time, yet he is often written as little more than a clownish, spectacularly absurd nut case who happens to be obsessed with keeping the Batman on his toes. Not all that interesting. Occasionally, though, a writer comes along who manages to unlock the Joker’s full terrifying potential, and Brian Azzarello is one of those writers. Granted, Azzarello's Joker still tells a lot of jokes, but the thing is – those jokes are not even remotely funny. Instead, they seem to bring down the room temperature by about 30 degrees from one second to the next – and that’s before things start to get ugly… Make no mistake: Azzarello’s Joker is one earth-shattering force of chaos. He has the unique ability to see all those little “strings” attached to us and our feeble realities, that is, he fully understands the degree to which our lives are determined by social rules and bonds and structures. And he has come to the conclusion that those strings must be cut. After all, who in his right mind would voluntarily transform himself into a mere puppet by becoming a productive member of society? As far as the Joker is concerned, he’d much rather toy with all those little puppets out there, and Lee Bermejo’s detailed artwork ensures that such alternative forms of entertainment look appropriately nasty and disturbing. One of the Joker's henchmen sums up the whole mess like this: "I been to some parties in my day... but this... was one hell of a party. It wasn't just off the hook... it tore the hook off the wall... and the wall off the house... off the damn side of the city, man." Sounds like fun?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Wilson

    Welcome to the most overhyped Graphic novel of the year. Boring, pointless, and containing nothing interesting to say about The Joker either as an Icon or a Character. Boring, both over and under plotted, and with art that crosses the line from simply ugly to fucking stupid (Gotta Love 2 Fast 2 Furious Riddler). Those hyping it as the next Killing Joke are kidding themselves.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carlos De Eguiluz

    3.25 Tras la liberación del Joker del asilo Arkham, este se ve en la necesidad de recuperar a toda costa aquello que le pertenece: su ciudad, Gotham. Visto desde los ojos de su nuevo esbirro, nos percatamos de una nueva visión del malvado villano, posiblemente, esa que sólo sus más fieles seguidores son capaces de ver. A lo largo de la entera extención de la novela nos encontramos con una historia más bien densa, sin ese toque característico de humor que siempre parece estar presente en el hombre 3.25 Tras la liberación del Joker del asilo Arkham, este se ve en la necesidad de recuperar a toda costa aquello que le pertenece: su ciudad, Gotham. Visto desde los ojos de su nuevo esbirro, nos percatamos de una nueva visión del malvado villano, posiblemente, esa que sólo sus más fieles seguidores son capaces de ver. A lo largo de la entera extención de la novela nos encontramos con una historia más bien densa, sin ese toque característico de humor que siempre parece estar presente en el hombre sonriente, con algunos de los antagonistas de la historia base de Batman, y una Harley Quinn aparentemente muda. No me pareció especialmente buena como "The Killing Joke". Sin embargo, pretendo estar leyendo un poco más de Batman —Year One entre otros— y sus villanos en los próximos meses. "A bit of advice... don't ever apologize to no one for the way you look." "I don't know what he was thinking... or if he even was. Joker, I was lernin'... wasn't about thinkin'... but all about doin'." "You'd know that the safest place to hide... is in sanity." "They say there's no honor among thieves. I guess that's true. But is that exclusive to thieves? Maybe there's just no honor, period. "You know what I hate, Jonny Jonny? Everything." "My friend... Jonny Jonny... What I hate more than everything is apologies." "I'm on the top of the world, looking down. You know what I see? Do you want to know what I see? I see you. A disease. One that has been around longer than Gotham, the city infected. A disease that's older than any city. Hell, it's probably the same disease that built the first one. There will always be a Joker. Because there's no cure for him. Not at all. Just a Batman."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Donovan

    Thank you, Brian Azzarello, for this Joker mini series. Batman only has two scenes, so this book is one for the villains, pure Joker. Azzarello creates a low level thug named Jonny Frost (read: Joe Chill?) who narrates and serves as Joker's right hand man. Let me tell you, Jonny sees some wild shit. So wild, at one point he stands on a rooftop edge for an entire afternoon he's so dumbfounded at what's happening. Yeah, it's pretty intense. What's most brilliant about the writing is the Joker is a Thank you, Brian Azzarello, for this Joker mini series. Batman only has two scenes, so this book is one for the villains, pure Joker. Azzarello creates a low level thug named Jonny Frost (read: Joe Chill?) who narrates and serves as Joker's right hand man. Let me tell you, Jonny sees some wild shit. So wild, at one point he stands on a rooftop edge for an entire afternoon he's so dumbfounded at what's happening. Yeah, it's pretty intense. What's most brilliant about the writing is the Joker is at his most psychological: human, fragile, broken, disguised beneath his war paint. He laughs, cries, rages. He sucks down pills and liquor, lusts after women, projects his own self-hatred and disillusionment onto others through his brutal and senseless acts of violence. Jonny says he isn't crazy and I think he's right. Joker is just pure evil, one complex villain, and my favorite. Even the best writing can suffer from terrible art and doom a potential classic to be forgotten. But Lee Bermejo absolutely kills it. It's scratches and slashes, dark and muddy, and maybe wouldn't work with a different subject. But the art perfectly complements the writing and the "weather" Joker creates. Azzarello just gets dark and gritty Joker. This comic is overwhelmingly good. It's close to being on par with the Killing Joke. Close. Not enough Batman for that. Not quite timeless enough. Not enough jokes. But here's one for you: Where's the safest place to hide when the world is against you? In sanity.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lina

    Is it childish to say that the main reason I hated this book was because Harley Quinn didn't utter a single word of dialogue? I mean is just turned into this massive, overly sexualized thing...not even a person, she is treated as a thing. I am sick of it and this might be a projection because I hate how comics/video games have treated the character, but I just can't help be wonder...did people watch B:TAS? You know the show that invented the character? Because by the way that everyone tries to m Is it childish to say that the main reason I hated this book was because Harley Quinn didn't utter a single word of dialogue? I mean is just turned into this massive, overly sexualized thing...not even a person, she is treated as a thing. I am sick of it and this might be a projection because I hate how comics/video games have treated the character, but I just can't help be wonder...did people watch B:TAS? You know the show that invented the character? Because by the way that everyone tries to make her a Suicide Girl I'm starting to have my doubts >.< [deep breath] Beyond that I just found this book very dull. It was supposed to be this gritty story and while it does have a lot of grisly scenes, they did not effect me. I just felt like this story was weak overall and it relied on flash more than substance. What is said about the Joker is nothing special than what hundreds of comics have said before. Plus, the way they turned Killer Croc into the stereotypical black thug...yeah, not here for that. I am not familiar with Azzarello's other work, although I am interested in reading Luther because that's my fictional boyfriend, but this really did not leave me with a good impression.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Seizure Romero

    I don't understand why so many panties are damp for this (or for the latest Dark Knight movie for that matter, but that's another argument). The art is good but not great. Artistically, the Joker here is obviously modeled after Heath Ledger's. The story is ok. The Joker gets out of Arkham Asylum and goes around killing people? Quelle surprise. I guess it's 'edgy' if you don't get out much, but I really didn't see anything new here. Telling the tale from the viewpoint of the henchman-wannabe-bada I don't understand why so many panties are damp for this (or for the latest Dark Knight movie for that matter, but that's another argument). The art is good but not great. Artistically, the Joker here is obviously modeled after Heath Ledger's. The story is ok. The Joker gets out of Arkham Asylum and goes around killing people? Quelle surprise. I guess it's 'edgy' if you don't get out much, but I really didn't see anything new here. Telling the tale from the viewpoint of the henchman-wannabe-badass was a good idea, but loses steam early on. The man's got no depth and is therefore uninteresting. You want nutjob bad guys and over-the-top violence in your comic books? Read Garth Ennis. He seems to stay awake nights trying to come up with ways to be disturbed. It gets old. Tell me a good story and give me some artwork that makes me say "Wow." Note to dust jacket blurb-writers: Telling a story at night does not make it 'noir.'

  12. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This is a book about the Joker, bet you didn't guess that from the title, right? It's the Joker (or is it The Joker?)from that movie that the guy who did Memento and which stared Patrick Bateman and that gay cowboy who overdosed on pills down a few blocks from here in Manhattan. Did I mention I'm at work? And that I'm so fucking bored? If I were the Joker I would have just killed the man who just bored me so much with his very uninteresting story of why he wants a test prep book. It's time like This is a book about the Joker, bet you didn't guess that from the title, right? It's the Joker (or is it The Joker?)from that movie that the guy who did Memento and which stared Patrick Bateman and that gay cowboy who overdosed on pills down a few blocks from here in Manhattan. Did I mention I'm at work? And that I'm so fucking bored? If I were the Joker I would have just killed the man who just bored me so much with his very uninteresting story of why he wants a test prep book. It's time like that I wish I were a sociopath who would go into some insane rage at having to deal with unbearable people. Seriously, it feels like there is a vortex of boredom surrounding the information desk right now, like anything vaguely interesting, like this graphic novel, which wasn't really that interesting, would collapse into it self and just add to the vacuum of total fucking blahness that this man left in his wake. I don't really remember much about this book. I read it almost two years ago and that is like ancient history to me as far as books go. k --- that was made by Karen trying to be 'funny', but she's so egotistical, she thinks she's fucking Zorro or something. Oh look at me, I leave a lowercase kay, because that is my initial and because i only type in lowercase, i'm karen! Even Karen isn't adding any excitement to this information desk, the vortex of boredom still looms, fuck that motherfucker. If I were Batman I'd throw him off of a building like he did to the Jack Nicholson Batman. I hate that man, he ruined my evening with this boredom and he inspired this review, so hopefully I have spread the boredom. To rid yourself of this boredom you might want to read this graphic novel, but it's not really all that good, so you might still be pretty bored when you're done with it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    This is a dark comic with a Heath Ledger look-alike Joker. And I dare say it's a comic about Jonny Frost since it's told from his point of view. As I said it's a dark comic with a really scary Joker. And I have to say I prefer the classic Joker with the purple suit and his jokes. This one is just a madman without a funny bone in his entire body. Also, there's Harley Quinn. She's reduced to a stripper who doesn't have a single line in the entire comic. That doesn't work for me as Harley is the reason This is a dark comic with a Heath Ledger look-alike Joker. And I dare say it's a comic about Jonny Frost since it's told from his point of view. As I said it's a dark comic with a really scary Joker. And I have to say I prefer the classic Joker with the purple suit and his jokes. This one is just a madman without a funny bone in his entire body. Also, there's Harley Quinn. She's reduced to a stripper who doesn't have a single line in the entire comic. That doesn't work for me as Harley is the reason the Joker started to grow on me in the first place. There's only one moment when Jonny spies through a bedroom door and sees Joker crying while holding Quinn. But she appears to be quite detached which I find so unlike her. All in all, I'm not sorry I've read The Joker, but I could have lived without it. Meh.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ronyell

    Introduction: After reading the classic “Batman” tale, Batman: The Killing Joke I wanted to read more stories about one of Batman’s most infamous villains, the Joker! So, I went ahead and picked up Brian Azzarello’s take on the Joker “Joker” and while it has many slow scenes, it was a truly interesting take on the psychotic mind of the Joker in a more dark and gritty way that I would have never imagined possible! What is this story about? This story is being told from the viewpoint of one of Introduction: After reading the classic “Batman” tale, Batman: The Killing Joke I wanted to read more stories about one of Batman’s most infamous villains, the Joker! So, I went ahead and picked up Brian Azzarello’s take on the Joker “Joker” and while it has many slow scenes, it was a truly interesting take on the psychotic mind of the Joker in a more dark and gritty way that I would have never imagined possible! What is this story about? This story is being told from the viewpoint of one of the Joker’s newest henchmen, Jonny Frost and in this story; the Joker was just released from Arkham Asylum and he is NOT HAPPY! The Joker just realized that while he was gone, his fellow villains, the Penguin, Killer Croc, The Riddler and Two-Face had sold off his properties and the Joker is planning on getting them back! Be prepared for one violent and nightmare ride as we see how scary the Joker can be when he is really angry! What I loved about this story: Brian Azzarello’s writing: Since this is the first time I had read any of Brian Azzarello’s works, I was actually impressed with how dark and gritty this story is and the fact that it fits so perfectly with the Joker’s insane nature. I loved the fact that this story has a bit of crime noir in it as I am a huge fan of crime stories and it was interesting seeing the story being played out from a villain’s point of view. What was so intriguing about this story was the fact that Brian Azzarello really showed the dark side of the Joker as the Joker spends most of this story committing horrible crimes and torturing his fellow criminals and yet, gets away with everything until the very end of the story. I enjoyed the dark and gritty take on the Joker and he seems to remind me heavily of Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker in “The Dark Knight” movie as both characters were dark and were trying to prove a point to other people. It was also interesting that we actually get a good look at the Joker from the perspective of his henchman since it added more dimension on how the Joker’s own henchman feels about the Joker himself. Lee Bermejo’s artwork: Lee Bermejo’s artwork may seem a bit scratchy in some panels, but in doing the close up images of the Joker looking so crazed and dramatic, it was truly beautiful! I loved the way that Lee Bermejo painted the images of the Joker’s face close up as it truly looks disturbing since it seems like the Joker had cut his mouth open to make it look like an actual smile and that was truly disturbing to see! What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: The reason why I gave this comic a four star rating is that there were many slow scenes in this comic as most of the scenes basically dealt with the Joker just discussing with the other rogues gallery about how he wants to split the profits with them. Also, there is some language and gory violence in this book, where the violence includes people getting shot and blood spurting out of the wounds and there is one REALLY DISTURBING scene that I cannot really say, but let us just say that it involves some SKIN RIPPING! Final Thoughts: Now, even though I liked reading “Joker,” I still preferred “Batman: The Killing Joke” over this story since I felt that “The Killing Joke” was one of the best “Joker” stories I had ever read. “The Killing Joke” was trying to define the different ideologies between both Batman and the Joker while “Joker” was just showing the more violent and dark side of the Joker. However, I did enjoy both books for different reasons and if you want to read a “Joker” story that shows the Joker’s violent side, then “Joker” is a great book to read! Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    2.0 stars. Overall, I did not really care for this one. Other then a few decent moments of Joker acting the consummate psychopath (specifically the random break in to the old couple's apartment which was a pretty shocking scene) this book had very little to offer. Not bad enough to warrant 1 star, but I certainly didn't like it enough to rate it any higher than 2.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Batman

    Not my favorite protagonist, but good insider information.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    Tough book. For some reason, Azzarello decided to interpret Joker through the lens of a gritty gangster movie. There are Bat villains that would fit into that prism nicely. Penguin, for example, or Two Face, both appearing. Joker? Not exactly. Riddler? Didn't buy it. Killer Croc? Um... The story itself would have worked, if it wasn't tied to the existing Batman villains. And starting your story with Joker getting released (not escaped, actually released for not being crazy anymore) from Arkham d Tough book. For some reason, Azzarello decided to interpret Joker through the lens of a gritty gangster movie. There are Bat villains that would fit into that prism nicely. Penguin, for example, or Two Face, both appearing. Joker? Not exactly. Riddler? Didn't buy it. Killer Croc? Um... The story itself would have worked, if it wasn't tied to the existing Batman villains. And starting your story with Joker getting released (not escaped, actually released for not being crazy anymore) from Arkham demands an explanation, which never comes. Bermejo's art is quite good, and suits the overall tone and style of the story. Joker's design is pretty obviously based around Heath Ledger, which I have mixed feelings about. I found Riddler's design here more puzzling than anything else. Really, I think the whole book was an excuse to do an original book that would tie in with The Dark Knight while including as many villains as possible. And in most ways, it sadly fell flat.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cassie R. (cassie-loves-reading)

    I would round this up a bit to a 2.5 if Goodreads let me. The artwork wasn't my favorite, the style is harsher than I prefer. It wasn't bad though and the colors were great. The story left a bit to be desired. It didn't feel very complete and there certainly could have been more. I would have liked there to be more information on each of the characters. I liked seeing Harley in this but was greatly disappointed by the fact that she didn't even get any lines, she just hung around in the backgroun I would round this up a bit to a 2.5 if Goodreads let me. The artwork wasn't my favorite, the style is harsher than I prefer. It wasn't bad though and the colors were great. The story left a bit to be desired. It didn't feel very complete and there certainly could have been more. I would have liked there to be more information on each of the characters. I liked seeing Harley in this but was greatly disappointed by the fact that she didn't even get any lines, she just hung around in the background. I liked seeing things from Johnny's point of view but we still only got to know some vague things about him as well. The story just didn't feel very developed, I don't think this is part of a series but it might have been better if it was.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Brian Azzarello's graphic novel tells a gang war story set in Gotham City and focuses on The Joker after some dumbass at Arkham Asylum granted him an early release and he just strolls out of there of his own accord. The story is told through the eyes of a two-bit, low-level hood named Jonny Frost, who's the only one with the balls and ambition to pick up The Joker on his release and join him on a rampage through the Gotham City underworld to re-stake his claim. The stand-out element in this scuzz Brian Azzarello's graphic novel tells a gang war story set in Gotham City and focuses on The Joker after some dumbass at Arkham Asylum granted him an early release and he just strolls out of there of his own accord. The story is told through the eyes of a two-bit, low-level hood named Jonny Frost, who's the only one with the balls and ambition to pick up The Joker on his release and join him on a rampage through the Gotham City underworld to re-stake his claim. The stand-out element in this scuzzy, grungy little crime book is a now infamous depiction of the Crown Prince of Crime, with the longer hair, the wrinkled, scarred face, and the ragged Glasgow Smile cut through his cheeks. Reportedly, early drafts of this depiction were used as reference for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and it's Heath Ledger version of the villain, which popularized the look. And within these pages, backed by Lee Bermejo's artwork, it's pretty freaky to look at. And the story is pretty good too, as we see Joker bumping heads with other baddies for a change and it's interesting to see him through the eyes of criminals rather than the good guys this time. And the tension really ramps up as Jonny begins to see just how unhinged and unpredictable and downright insane The Joker is, and how it's a huge mistake to believe that you can simply be "friends" with a man like that. The Joker is possibly one of the greatest villain characters ever created in any medium, and this book does him justice.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danni The Girl

    I thought this was a stand alone read, I found it confusing. Jonny Frost is a pointless character. There’s too much thinking from him and not enough from Joker. Didn’t really like this. What batman says at the end is good though

  21. 5 out of 5

    Etienne

    4,5/5. The plot of this comic is very average, but it's still a good comic. Why? The Joker! It's a very good presentation of who is the Joker, how it think, the craziness but with that same logic in his action. It remind me a lot of the personification that Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight, not sure which came first, but seem to have gone out it 2008... (if you know please let me know in the comment). If you are a Joker fan, this book is a must, at least for the cover, is it the most disgusti 4,5/5. The plot of this comic is very average, but it's still a good comic. Why? The Joker! It's a very good presentation of who is the Joker, how it think, the craziness but with that same logic in his action. It remind me a lot of the personification that Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight, not sure which came first, but seem to have gone out it 2008... (if you know please let me know in the comment). If you are a Joker fan, this book is a must, at least for the cover, is it the most disgusting creepy comic cover ever? I would have like a more solid plot line to go with it, but definitely worth my time!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I try not to write mean reviews, but Joker was like a mugger at a state trooper convention, and just deserves what it gets. Ugly, cruel, poorly written and self indulgent. This was not a Joker story; it was a Sin City riff dressed up in joker drag. If you have no respect for a character and want to toss all of their "baggage" out the window, just make up your own character. It has pretty much been established after many decades, that the Batman defines and completes the Joker, so if you remove the I try not to write mean reviews, but Joker was like a mugger at a state trooper convention, and just deserves what it gets. Ugly, cruel, poorly written and self indulgent. This was not a Joker story; it was a Sin City riff dressed up in joker drag. If you have no respect for a character and want to toss all of their "baggage" out the window, just make up your own character. It has pretty much been established after many decades, that the Batman defines and completes the Joker, so if you remove the bat from the equation? You get this book. I know Brian says that the film "the Dark Knight" had no influence on this GN, so you have to wonder why this is the first time the Joker's face has ever been scared in comics. Even if it wasn't based on the Dark Knight's Joker, at lest tell us how his face got mangled. Based on Brian's Batman and Superman work, one can only assume that Brian Azzarello effing hates superheroes and probably should just write his never ending crime comics. There is a reason this book was shrink wrapped, because if a reader like myself could have read the first three pages, I would have quickly tossed it back on the shelf and shoved my face in a barf bag. As for his gritty, realistic approach, well if that's what he was going for, then he should have explained why a psychopathic serial killer, with a body count in the hundreds, maybe thousands, was released from an insane asylum. It was like watching Hannibal Lector walk out the mental hospital gates with a new suit and cardboard suitcase and someone forgot to tell Clarice Starling. Hell, he didn't even have to do any time in a halfway house. The Dick Sprang “funny Batman” didn’t have gaps in logic like this “mature” audiences exercise in glossed up slasher comics. The art is fantastic BTW. For fans of shock as a means of storytelling, just go see the latest installment in the SAW horror franchise. He is called the Joker for a reason; he finds humor or irony in his crimes, he doesn't train serial killers. This book seriously lowers the bar on dreadful mainstream comics, while pretending to not be mainstream at all, even though it features the Batatman, Joker and someone who may be the Penguin, but for some reason is not named Oswald Cobblepot. The best I can come up with is that this was an unused 100 Bullets script, with not much search and replace used in MS Word. If you loved the Saw films, then this is the book for you. If you want to be entertained by a really good, sophisticated serial killer story, add Let the Right one in to your Netflix que. Sic Semper tyrannis CPR

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo is not a study of the Clown Prince of Crime. That is The Killing Joke. This one is more grounded, a gritty crime story (with a whiff of film noir) told from the perspective of his trusted henchman, Jonny Frost. So there is no groundbreaking stuff that happened here, just a slice of life, the life of a deranged murderer. The overall mood of Joker, if summarized into four adjectives is gritty, harsh, dark and dirty. The Azarrello-Bermejo tandem is the perfec Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo is not a study of the Clown Prince of Crime. That is The Killing Joke. This one is more grounded, a gritty crime story (with a whiff of film noir) told from the perspective of his trusted henchman, Jonny Frost. So there is no groundbreaking stuff that happened here, just a slice of life, the life of a deranged murderer. The overall mood of Joker, if summarized into four adjectives is gritty, harsh, dark and dirty. The Azarrello-Bermejo tandem is the perfect pair for a story like this. Azarello can pull off some of the best street-level crime stories while Bermejo has that talent to draw muck and filth to faces and places and still call it beautiful. If Alex Ross' style is hope, then Lee Bermejo's is rot. Batman has made himself scarce here, something that gave Joker enough space and room to do what he wants too unchecked and unafraid. Again, there is nothing in the graphic novel that we haven't seen or known. If it weren't for Bermejo's art, Joker would end up as another generic story that is focused on the eponymous villain. Some of the villains in Batman's rogue gallery are there as well: Killer Croc, Two-Face, The Riddler, Penguin and Harley Quinn. Their level of importance vary from just a cameo appearance to a supporting character. Overall I got a lot of fun reading Joker though this may be skipped if you are just a casual reader of the Batman mythos.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    One of my major reasons for wanting to read Brian Azzarello’s Joker is that I’m a fan of Harley Quinn. A friend described the portrayal of the usually bouncy and obnoxious character and I was immediately intrigued. She doesn’t appear often, and when she does, she is utterly silent and not at all bouncy, but every appearance is powerful and solidifies her place at Joker’s side. Not as his crazy, obsessed girlfriend who tolerates his abuse because she is crazy and obsessed, but as his partner. Whe One of my major reasons for wanting to read Brian Azzarello’s Joker is that I’m a fan of Harley Quinn. A friend described the portrayal of the usually bouncy and obnoxious character and I was immediately intrigued. She doesn’t appear often, and when she does, she is utterly silent and not at all bouncy, but every appearance is powerful and solidifies her place at Joker’s side. Not as his crazy, obsessed girlfriend who tolerates his abuse because she is crazy and obsessed, but as his partner. Where she was once the needy one in an cruel relationship, this depiction makes her Joker’s equal, with one moment implying just how much he needs her in his life. I love this book for Harley alone, but, as per the title, this is about the Joker first and foremost. It begins with Azzarello confirming Arkham Asylum’s questionable revolving door policy by releasing Joker with absolutely no explanation. Joker’s first priority as he gets into the car with Jonny Frost is to take back control of his assets from all those who had divvied up his turf and funds during his incarceration. Jonny has a few problems of his own, but catering to the Joker’s whims, unsurprisingly, takes priority. The result is a seemingly mayhem filled romp through Gotham as the Joker hunts down his prey. But the beauty of this book is that Azzarello does not give us a giggling, insane Joker. “I’m not crazy anymore, just mad,” he explains to Jonny, who spends the book trying to understand the man. I am not a fan of writers who simply excuse antagonists as “evil” and “crazy.” Given the amount of research in and awareness of mental health problems these days, I consider it lazy writing. Even if something is not working quite right in their heads, villains are still people and I love stories that give us their humanity, even if what we see is still deplorable. Azzarello’s Joker even goes so far as to meticulously pick apart the mental states of his adversaries, including wonderful scenes of his dealings with Harvey Dent. Plural. Right down to the scarred face, this is definitely Heath Ledger’s Joker, though where the movie failed to firmly connect the Joker with Batman, Azzarello makes it clear in just a few panels why the one cannot exist without the other and why the sick, twisted city of Gotham needs them both.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    My first experience with Batman was through the 1966 series as I was growing up in the 80s. I remember watching it and finding it hilarious. Holy atomic pile, Batman! Then as I got older I watched Batman with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney (Keaton was my nr 1 Batman and still is) and Jack Nicholson was a mad and fun Joker. Then came  Christian Bale and with him Hedge Ledger as the Joker and his Joker was a mess, a great mess but very much far away from the Joker of my childhood. An My first experience with Batman was through the 1966 series as I was growing up in the 80s. I remember watching it and finding it hilarious. Holy atomic pile, Batman! Then as I got older I watched Batman with Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney (Keaton was my nr 1 Batman and still is) and Jack Nicholson was a mad and fun Joker. Then came  Christian Bale and with him Hedge Ledger as the Joker and his Joker was a mess, a great mess but very much far away from the Joker of my childhood. And Joker in this graphic novel is very much a dangerous, psychopathic mess just as Joker is in The Dark Knight. Somehow Joker is released from Arkham Asylum, which is very weird since he is clearly crazy and should be looked up… for good! But he’s back in the street. This story is told through the eyes of Jonny Frost, he’s the guy that picks up the Joker outside the Asylum and he will follow Joker around as he is trying to establish Gotham as his city again. Many famous people will cross path with the Joker and Jonny; The Penguin, Two-face, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, The Croc… and, of course, Batman. The Joker is very dark, gritty and violent. It’s not a fun read, The Joker is clearly out of his mind and anyone standing in his way will get hurt and those by his side… well they will get hurt too. I liked the artwork. I liked how he crossed path with other villains and how it slowly led the way to the final confrontation with you know who...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wasee

    The story is told through the eyes of young and hungry Johnny Frost, a low rent thug looking to make a name for himself. Even by working for a dangerous madman. Johnny sees firsthand what Joker is willing to do to get his realm back, his respect from those that thought he was lost in the asylum forever. The resulting story is filled with blood, violence, and bodies in a path that only the Joker knows where it is truly leading, if he even knows at all. It was pretty good, but in comparison" The Ki The story is told through the eyes of young and hungry Johnny Frost, a low rent thug looking to make a name for himself. Even by working for a dangerous madman. Johnny sees firsthand what Joker is willing to do to get his realm back, his respect from those that thought he was lost in the asylum forever. The resulting story is filled with blood, violence, and bodies in a path that only the Joker knows where it is truly leading, if he even knows at all. It was pretty good, but in comparison" The Killing Joke" back in the 80's, it's gonna disappoint u a bit This joker is a Ledger-inspired reinvention of the character & wasn't as nasty or evil as many earlier versions I've seen.. but overall, i find it good !

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    This is a really well done Joker comic. It's short and a stand-alone (as far as I know), which makes it easy to read in one sitting. The artwork is great. It's super gritty and perfect for the story that Azzarello wrote. By narrating from the perspective of Jonny Frost, the Joker maintained (maybe surpassed) his previous levels of creepiness and insanity. I feel like I need to read this one again because there's something I missed about Joker in here. But it was a good comic and I would recommen This is a really well done Joker comic. It's short and a stand-alone (as far as I know), which makes it easy to read in one sitting. The artwork is great. It's super gritty and perfect for the story that Azzarello wrote. By narrating from the perspective of Jonny Frost, the Joker maintained (maybe surpassed) his previous levels of creepiness and insanity. I feel like I need to read this one again because there's something I missed about Joker in here. But it was a good comic and I would recommend it for serious fans.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I liked this one, especially the artwork. The Joker is unexpectedly released from Arkham Asylum, and sets off on a killing spree to reclaim what has been lost to other villains like Penguin, Riddler, and Two-face. While on the surface, it seems that Joker is simply a serial killer in this story, it's the interaction and dialogue he has with Jonny Frost that drives the story and reveals the depth of Joker's insanity.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Petertpc

    Please pardon the pun, but this book is a joke and a bad joke at that. Heath Ledger did something truly remarkable in his defining portrayal of the Crown Prince of Crime and this book is a tired knockoff trying to cash in on the performance. I found nothing to like about this. Well, the art was okay but that is really it. A huge disappointment.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Not sure this entirely worked but still an interesting take.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.