Joker #1 – DC The New 52 – Villain Month (spoilers)

Joker #1 The New 52

Writer: Andy Kubert
Art: Andy Clarke
Colors: Blond
Letters: Jared K Fletcher

Cover: Jason Fabok & Nathan Fairbairn

Lenticular 3D Cover (click on the image to get an animated feel of how it looks)

I didn’t buy in to The New 52… and I lost interest in DC and their constant reboots a while ago. Don’t get me wrong I have really enjoyed DC comics n the past, I have quite a collection from Silver Age on.

I also didn’t buy in to Villain Month until my son & his fiance did…

It was the last week & I chanced upon this, newly put out on display after someone failed to pick it up…

The story starts in the Joker’s childhood and shows the cruelty he suffered at the hands of his Aunt. His favourite toy, a cuddly Ape Clown…

Skip forward and the Clown Prince is in Gotham City Zoo stealing himself a Gorilla baby, The Gorilla grows in to Jackanapes. This is an alternate origin of the character of the same name introduced in Batman 666 in 2007 by Grant Morrison. I didn’t know that version – I do know however that Jackanapes is 15th century slang for ‘monkey’ something Morrison would have known when naming the character in the first place.

The story is quite fun, the New 52 origin of the Joker is unknown to me so I don’t know if this fits in well or not. But without knowing I could enjoy the story as a free standing entity.

I really enjoyed the contrast between the Joker’s childhood and his warped attempts to raise his adopted son better than he had been raised. Some really good panels. But the artist lost me when he lost the correct Gorilla proportions, which was as soon as the baby Gorilla was away from its parents. A disappointing lapse. I know some will think I am being fussy but this is a normal ape raised by a Human, not some hybrid or mutant. I was similarly disappointed when Caesar spoke at the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (again not a mutant, just an ape with a boosted intellect, so he shouldn’t have been capable of Human speech).

It didn’t ruin the story… it just turned it from a triumph to an entertaining read. A bit of a shame.

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