DC Pick of the Week: Batman: Three Jokers #1 Reviewed

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics

The Criminal. The Comedian. The Clown. While all three of these descriptions describe arguably the most iconic villain of all time, The Joker, this new series from writer Geoff Johns and artist Jason Fabok argues that these characteristics might instead be three different Jokers. Throughout time The Joker has evolved as a character, from the goofy prankster that Batman fought in his early years, to the sinister and sadistic madman that is around today, this series aims to explore the depths of each of these representations of the character.

Starting, as most Batman stories do, on a dark and rainy night, Three Jokers begins with a clever mystery. Three different crimes all involving The Joker have occurred simultaneously throughout Gotham City. Batman teams up with Red Hood (Jason Todd) and Batgirl (Barbra Gordon) to investigate the cases. It is the initial belief that The Joker has used impersonators to pull this off, but as the story develops, it becomes apparent that something far more intriguing is occurring. 

Photo Courtesy of DC Comics

At its core, Three Jokers is a story about trauma, both emotional and physical. The opening of Three Jokers sees Batman returning to the Batcave after a run-in with The Penguin. As Alfred is providing Bruce with medical attention, we are given a stunning montage of Bruce’s scars that have been collected over the various fights with his many foes throughout his time as Batman. All three of the members of the Bat-Family have been left with mental and physical scars thanks to The Joker. Jason Todd beaten to death by a crowbar, Barbra Gordon shot and left paralyzed, and where to even begin with the many atrocities suffered by Batman himself. 

Three Jokers is published under DC’s Black Label imprint, and as such is a 17+ story. Red Hood really helps earn that rating with a shocking ending that really brings to question the cores and values of the Bat-Family. This also means that Three Jokers can take it’s story in new and interesting directions that many Batman stories have not gone. Fittingly, there are three issues in this mini-series, and even if you haven’t been keeping up with all the current Batman stories, Three Jokers is perfect for new readers. Three Jokers has all the makings of a great Batman comic: a mystery, detective-work to follow it up, action that is fairly brutal at times, and of course, The Joker, or rather, Jokers. 

- Neil Hazel