The Joker one-shot was probably the most high profile villain title out this week. Snyder just finished his huge Death of the Family arc and its tie-in title Batman is easily the biggest book that DC is putting out right now. I asked my LCS how many 3D covers of each book they received and this one had about twice as many as the second biggest title. It was the only 3D cover they had left on the shelves by the time I got there.
BATMAN #23.1: THE JOKER
Written by ANDY KUBERT
Art by ANDY CLARKE
3-D motion cover by JASON FABOK
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The Joker has FOREVER been the face of EVIL in the DC Universe…but what led him on this devious path of treachery? Andy Kubert pens this early adventure showcasing the maniacal exploits of the Crown Prince of Gotham—The JOKER!
This was the worst book DC put out this week. I’m not sure how they, and veteran writer Andy Kubert, misstepped so badly. They attempt to make The Joker a sympathetic villain by showing his abusive childhood but 1) it’s beyond cliche, and 2) The Joker should not be a sympathetic villain. He works so much better without a motivation or hard driving purpose. The fact that he’s fueled by pure psychosis is what makes him terrifying.
At best, the book is completely unnecessary. The main story revolves around Joker raising an ape as a surrogate baddie son, his version of a Robin. Beyond just being a pointless story, the characterization of Joker is just all wrong. He shows attachment and admiration for the ape, which would never happen. I think the only person/thing that Joker is able to “love” is Batman. And he would especially not show any kind of emotion towards an animal.
I think it disappointed me even more because this was the first of the Villains Month/Forever Evil titles that I read, luckily the rest ranged from pretty good to great. I would definitely recommend skipping this one though. It’s really only worth skimming through for the artwork, which is decent, and marveling at the pretty 3D cover if you were lucky enough to get it.
Late last night, it was revealed that the creators behind DC Comics’ Batwoman would be leaving the title. There was a lengthy post that detailed the reason, which was editorial interfering with storylines at the last minute. This has been par for the course with DC in recent history. However, creator JH Williams III listed specific instances of this, including the fact that Kate Kane (Batwoman) would not be allowed to actually marry her fiance who happens to be female. That of course started the outrage, and rightly so, but probably for the wrong reasons.
Today, the news is starting to trickle out to non comic book sites like Think Progress, who of course latched on to the same sex marriage part of it. The problem is that DC (like the other big comic company) does not like marriage for any of their characters, not just the gay ones. Introducing marriage makes it more difficult to tell effective stories. This is evidenced by there really only being one marriage that has worked in comics: Sue and Reed Richards. Marvel even reversed Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane. Although it was way too late, DC probably communicated this to the creators, but we don’t know because the information came to everyone second hand.
It is unfortunate that DC does not have the confidence in Williams to handle a character with a marriage, and even more so that it was done last minute. I think he has earned the right to take chances, being that Batwoman is one of the best critically reviewed comics out right now. But this issue is about editorial meddling, and not DC being anti gay marriage.
Our first look at Batfleck? I have to say that I’m slowly warming to the idea. I do appreciate the need for three exclamation points to specify that there be NO bat nipples haha.
DC’s newest digital comic Batman ‘66 is amazing. It captures the look and feel of the original show perfectly (including cheesy sound effect text). You should be reading this right now.
There are currently two issues out and you can read them both over at Comixology.
Batman: The Animated Series - Opening gif by kane52630 (2013)
Another high profile debut by DC Comics. Batman/Superman is the return of the co-starring book first made popular by the legendary Jeph Loeb. And just in time to continue their Superman renaissance. This go around, the creative duties are handled by writer Greg Pak and Jae Lee on pencils with fill-in pages by Ben Oliver.
While this wasn’t the explosive first issue that I wanted, there is enough here to keep me intrigued. Pak’s handling of the dueling inner monologues by Bruce and Clark was spot on, it felt great to be reading those again. The first meeting between their secret identities was perfect. It eloquently defined each man’s personality at that point in their lives without being too heavy on the exposition, communicating everything through the scene.
Character moments like these are what sold me on Pak’s writing, even though I’m still not sure about the actual plot and the twist ending to the issue, which is pretty hard to understand unless you have read interviews about the story.
I’m not sold on Jae Lee’s artwork for this book. It’s definitely not your standard super hero art, and that’s great. The main issue for me are the backgrounds. Gotham and Metropolis are iconic, and in some ways they are a character in these stories. In fact, this is one of the reason’s Scott Snyder’s Batman works so well; he gives Gotham a role to play in his stories. I feel as though the artwork for these cities needs to be detailed and specific, even though they are just background in most panels. Lee’s backgrounds mostly consist of fog/smoke/mist/not sure. I get that his pencils take a lot of time (hence the fill in artist), but the lack of even minor background detailing in most panels is distracting.
It’s hard to live up to the hype of a book promoted like this was, but Pak and Lee have a good starting block to build off of. I’m very excited to see where this goes.
Exhibit 1: Batman writer Scott Snyder’s interview with the NY Post about his upcoming Batman: Zero Year event.
“I was writing it as a singular story and some of other writers asked with the Bat-characters in particular, if they might be able to show where their characters were during this kind of seminal moment in the story, when Gotham is at a very dangerous moment,” Snyder told Parallel Worlds.
“And so I said, ‘Look, if you guys want to do it, you know, we’re all friends, I’m not gonna say no,’” he said. “So there will be some tie-ins with some of the books you would expect.
“I’m really, really happy that they wanted to do it just because we are really close, all of us working on the Batbooks and it’s fun when they say ‘We’d like to tie in and show where our characters are’ … I’ll never say no to that when they ask.
Exhibit 2 & 3: Batgirl writer Gail Simone’s Tumblr Asks.
So putting this together (and maybe I am reading too much in between the lines), it appears that DC editorial is now having its star creator, Scott Snyder, actively lying to the fans. They tried to sell us on the tie-ins, which everyone is always hesitant to buy, by saying that it was all the creators’ idea. Simone’s statements seem to completely contradict that. Either that, or they are just screwing with Simone again (which worked out so well last time).
Regardless of what the reason for Simone not writing the tie-in, one thing is still clear: DC editorial continues to show that they do not get it, do not care about creators, and are doing their very best to lose faithful readers.
I’m curious about something.
How many of you came to the DC or Marvel universes initially through either the films, or animated series?
Did you fall in love with superheroes through comics, or was your first real exposure to them from other media?
And finally, specifically, does your love for a…
This is easy. my current comic related nerdery can be attributed to X-Men on Fox Saturday mornings and Batman on weekday afternoons when I was a kid. And I still watch those cartoons regularly; they are timeless.
These are awesome.