BATMAN: THREE JOKERS Review

Batman doesn't understand how or why, but the fact is certain: the man he has spent a lifetime chasing isn't one man at all. There are three Jokers. Now that he knows the unbelievable truth, Bruce needs real answers. Joined by Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd, two former victims of the Joker's brutality, the Dark Knight is finally on a path to defeat the madman once and for all. Every last one of him.

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Joker cover

BATMAN: THREE JOKERS

By Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok 

  • Collects Issues #1 – 3 
  • Publisher : DC 
  • Release : 5/17/2020
  • Hardcover : 160 pages
  • Dimensions : 7.0″ x 10.47″
  • Reading Age : 12+ years
  • MSRP : $29.99
8.5 CAP Rating

Quality Project with a Bizarre Premise

I was recommended this book by a friend at Heroes & Villains (Warner Robins, GA). The book had a good creative team but had both a bizarre and intriguing premise. The comic was well received on Amazon with a 4.8 but only garnered a 3.94 on Goodreads and an 8.5 Critic Rating on Comic Book Round Up. 

“Batman: Three Jokers” is another DC Black Label imprint project. At one time, the DC Black Label was the company’s imprint “dedicated to giving premier writers and artists the chance to expand on DC’s unrivaled characters with unique, standalone stories set outside DC continuity”; however, the company has since retroactively added classic collections, under the Black Label imprint. As a result, DC has created a book-by-book ambiguity has to if the story is part of regular continuity or canon. 

Based on some of the following comments by the creators, it is still a little ambiguous if the story is canon or not: 

“Three Jokers is an in-continuity story. It really focuses on Bruce, Barbara and Jason and the pain that the Joker’s inflicted on them as individuals. It’s a mystery about the three Jokers operating at the same time and what that means. It’s an exploration on healing and pain and healing right versus healing wrong…It’s going to change their relationship with the Joker and how you see the Joker forever.” -Geoff Johns (2018) 

“It’s in continuity like Killing Joke is. You can take it, or leave it. We are going to introduce some pretty gutsy stuff in Jokers that’s never been done before. So the fans can react to it and they can decide if they want it part of main continuity or not, like Killing Joke.” -Jason Fabok (2019) 

“That’s a complicated answer…and I think it’s up to the readers and the bigger universe if there’s things in this that play out elsewhere.” Geoff John’s (2020) 

Three Jokers was bizarre but enjoyable. I appreciate the homage and integration as a companion piece to both the Killing Joke and a Death in the Family storylines. However, I think the one thing that undermined the virmisiltude of the story for me was an exploration of the limitation of the medium (I covered a similar concept with the recent TMNT: The Last Ronin). As a reader, we can’t tell the difference between the jokers as they are drawn/depicted, but it’s bewildering as to why the actual characters would suffer from the same limitation. Arkham videos/interviews/recordings or their own first-hand experiences should have been enough for our crime fighting detectives (e.g. facial recognition) to suspect if they were multiple individuals or not. Sadly, Harley Quinn does not appear in the book (probably because that would be problematic and lend to my point). Additionally, writer Geoff Johns flatly discounted the possibility as alternate universe variants and was quoted “It is not a parallel Earth story”. The result is just a little bizarre, but hey, I can suspend disbelief as well as the next person, but I prefer my comics to tap into the strengths of the medium, not rely on hooks based on the limitations of the medium. 8.5/10

Check out the Official Comic Trailer from DC here:

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