"Criminal. Clown. Comedian."

Title: Batman: Three Jokers

Author/Artist: Geoff Johns & Jason Fabok

Publisher: DC Comics

Category: Heroes

Review by Brayden (they/them)

Other Favourite Titles Include:

Spider-Verse, Young Avengers,

Gender Queer, Ms Marvel

We’ll start this review at the beginning, since the opening scene of this book was perfect. In what is now referred to online as “Scars”, we are given all the details we need about where and when in the Batman history this story takes place. It shows and doesn’t tell. It’s depicted in a way that a new reader can easily pick up this book and have a great reading experience, but fans of the Bat-family’s deep history will get a nice nostalgia hit when treated to one-panel flashbacks that let you know that this is a Batman slowly reaching the end of his prime crime-fighting years.

Of course, as the title so aptly implies, there are Three (count ’em 1, 2, 3) Jokers in this one. Geoff Johns definitely could have gone without what feels like eight different characters all saying “oh wow looks like there are THREE JOKERS tonight”… we get it Geoff, we aren’t stupid, we read the title and you said it once we don’t need it seven more times. We are treated to tonal variations of the Joker that each come from different eras of DC Comics publishing, and the book does a good job of bringing the reader up to speed if they aren’t fluent in Golden Age, Silver Age or Modern comics.

With triple the villain power, Batman needs some assistance from the members of the Bat-family with the most Joker-related trauma. Bruce is then of course joined by Barbara Gordon as Batgirl (shot and crippled in 1988’s ‘The Killing Joke’) and Jason Todd as Red Hood (literally murdered in 1988’s ‘A Death In The Family’). 1988 was NOT a great year to be a sidekick of Batman. They do have some excellent scenes throughout the book, the ending of Chapter 1 in particular is a real mind-blower, but their moment late in the book? I’m personally not a fan but hey, whatever floats your boat… or should I say ‘ship’? 

The stand out of this book however is most certainly Jason Fabok’s perfectly tailored art. Not only does it stand out as an excellently done modern comic book, but it somehow manages to capture the essence and style of the previous eras of Batman in a way that doesn’t feel gimmicky or try-hard. Rather than simply copying how Bob Kane, Brian Bolland or countless other artists over the decades originally depicted notable moments, Fabok evokes the feeling of the iconic illustrators of the past while finding themselves now an integral look for the visual state of modern DC publishing.

The first chapter of ‘Batman: Three Jokers’ is incredibly strong in my opinion and really pushes you through to read on and find out the mystery of…

“Hey wait a minute, just why are there three of them now? Has there always been three of them? Are there MORE of them?? Who is the original??? Does it even matter who the original was????”.

The ending will give you just enough closure on these questions to leave you ruminating on just how truly iconic of a villain The Joker is.