Batman Three Jokers : My Thoughts
LIMPS TO A DETACHED ENDING.
Angry Spoilers Follow
The first issue got full marks from me. I was amazed how self-contained this was, for such a far-reaching story and how quickly it summarized years of Batman for new readers. The art was(and still is) consistently breath-taking and the dialogue was punchy and impactful. The mystery really seemed dark and impying huge consequences and I was just tremendously hyped. The whole aquarium scene was amazing and the ending, what a shocker and yet how true to the characters.
Then the second issue happened. Painfully melodramatic and having honestly for me, incomprehensible behavior by Batman and Batgirl, with Bruce spouting the stupidest reasons for his negligence of Jason. I actually think Jason is an amazing character but going about it with this rehash, especially when far better stuff has been done before on him, felt like just stretching the story and adding unnecessary subplots to it. I wouldn’t mind this plot-wise but just the way it was executed, with the same old “You belong to me” bs just turned me off. Also I think this issue is damn lazy. Batman kicking open Joe Chill’s cell after staring at it and talking to it and then realising no one is inside?! He’s supposed to be the smartest guy on the planet right? It’s actually damn funny how immediately after that Barbara comes running and is like “They moved him” Hahaha what bs is this man hahaha. Batman punching hordes of people with all his power, calling in the Batmobile and sending people flying. Like I get drama and how bullshit that clause is, but if you focus on him not killing Joker because of his morals, at least show him trying in these other portions too no? Please. Also with that Batgirl and cough cough ending. Really? This felt like the Killing Joke movie all over again. Please stop. She’s an amazing icon of strength, do we really need to get all the side-characters some love interest or soft spot? That’s just lazy replacement of character development.
Anyway, now the third is here and it makes me feel like a fool. I had such high hopes for this. The last issue becomes some bs about knowing Joker’s name and the whole “which one is real or are there three Jokers” is at first discussed for some pages and then kind of just thrown aside. It doesn’t matter haha. Joker is chaos. Really, we needed 3 issues to know that? You built it up for so many years and your answer to this whole riddle is some unknown Joker is manufacturing these Jokers but it doesn’t really matter. The whole thing becomes this “save the old repentant guy” dash and for what? That is Joker’s reasoning? He wants to heal Batman so he can become his only pain? WHAT?! I guess Joker could think this but this just comes off so cringey and as just the writers trying to make up bs to cover their lazy plot threads. The whole Barbara thing again, as I expected, just fizzles out of importance. I should have known better. The opening is really beautiful though, with this spread of all possible Joker origin variations and Jason Fabok’s art in this issue as well just astounded me with how pretty it was, nostalgic but also so clean and modern. He is the brightest light of this whole caper. Then, Geoff’s writing takes over and we get this wildly overreacting Batman. Is Geoff Johns lazy or I don’t know, what is his problem? He had years to write this. And we get Batman finding a couple of letters, taking them to the resident priest, having a discussion with him about them and then after telling him they’re addressed to Bruce Wayne, conveniently at the end of the discussion, finding the one letter which is addressed to Batman? Is there any sense to how the Greatest Living Detective acts here? Isn’t he in a hurry to save the old guy? I don’t know. I must iterate, Fabok’s art is brilliant through all of this. We get these 3x3 panels, divided column-wise into the three characters, we get match cuts, it is just glorious. Geoff tries to keep up, dialogue drifting and drifting and connected various threads in funny ways, but again, so much of it comes across so flashy and dumb that the effortless beauty is just lost here(unlike Watchmen and other giants). We get a big flashy fight in the end, fire in the background(why must Batman media fixate on this? I get the contrast, but it’s so stale by now). The epilogue after that, especially that Batman Joker conversation is even more frustrating. I would suggest staying off this series, it starts so high and just crushes you by the end.
Formulaic, melodramatic, it is just a mess. It’s a shame what years and years of hype has led to. Just shame.