SPOILERS: Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1

It just keeps getting worse! ...STILL!

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #974

Oh lord, it's Civil War time.

SPOILERS: Batman #40

Batman wasn't good... he wasn't bad... he was just ROMAN REIGNS! DUN-NU, NU-NU, NU-NU, NU. NUUUUUH. Sorry...

SPOILERS: Batman: White Knight #5

Show of hands, who pinned Harley Quinn as the most sane person going in to this? No one? That's what I thought.

SPOILERS: Nightwing #38

So the Judge is basically just the devil, right?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman #23.1

Hey look... Joker's childhood, with a crazy and abusive aunt... for some reason, during a Zoo related crime a few years back, Joker gets reminded of his aunt, and starts to think about family. He spies a young gorilla, looks at it longingly, and decides it's time to start his own family, starting with the gorilla who will eventually come to be known as Jackanapes.

Joker trains Jackanapes to be the evil Gorilla we've seen in the Batman #666 timeline, somewhat mirroring Joker's own twisted childhood. Eventually, a Gotham councilwoman aims to shut down the Gotham zoo, something Joker takes offense to, so he and Jack board their blimp during an air inspection. Joker plans to use some sort of radio wave thing to scramble their brain, and Jackanapes seems sad for some reason, but then the people they're attacking sort of mutate into monsters... The monsters tackle Joker and Jack out of the blimp, and Joker manages to pop the wings on his wing-suit, but Jack doesn't, falling into the water below. Joker is sad for a moment, but then laughs, as he finds it funny he's going to need refunds for all the swimming lessons.


The Good:

As you'd come to expect from the Detective Comics back-ups, Andy Clarke's art is amazing, Brian Bolland-esque, with bright, vibrant colors from Blond.

The Bad:

This was a weird issue, and not in a good way. First, I never, ever wanted to see anything from Joker's childhood. It wasn't even presented as ambiguous, just straight up: "here's Joker's messed up childhood." Joker works because he's a perpetual mystery and has no context to what he's ultimately become. Filling in the gaps is to do the character a disservice.

Then there was the main plot with Jackanapes... Did we really need to use this issue as an origin to an evil gorilla? Then the main conflict happens, and Jackanapes' moral conflict signified by the tear really isn't explained, nor is the reason why Joker's targets just turn into monsters. I thought it was due to the effect of whatever brain wave thing they were using, but he says their brains should just be scrambled... but instead they hulk out? It just didn't make any sense.

The Bottom Line:

This issue truly was a swing and a miss. Despite the gorgeous art from Andy Clarke and Blond, this really disappointed me in every other department. Didn't make a whole lot of sense, didn't justify the story being told, and violated a cardinal sin of the Joker, and thats to give who he is context. Seeing Joker's childhood just left me saying "no, I don't want this" and I'm not quite sure many others would want it either. This issue just felt unnecessary, to be honest.



  1. I think Jackanapes was sad that Joker seems to care more for Batman than for his "son."

    1. I can see that potentially being the reason, but it does little to sway my opinion, to be honest.

  2. How do you know it was the Joker's true childhood? Also, i wouldn't say this was just an origin of Jackanapes, but it was a simple story demonstrating a daily life of the Joker, told in the span of 20 pages. It did it's job, but what sucked dick was the last page promotions to other Batman titles, that was laaaaaame.

    1. It wasn't presented with any hint of ambiguity. When we've gotten glimpses into Joker's past before, it was always with an asterisk, as he would say "I don't know, maybe that's what happened, I can't keep track anymore" or something along those lines. Here he just straight up says he was thinking back to his childhood, and mentions his aunt and her actions.

      And yeah "To be continued? I don't know, read Batman I guess!" was dumb... Zero Year has barely started, it's not going to be continued in Batman.

  3. Totally agree with everything you said. It wasn`t anywhere near what I hoped it would be.

  4. I see your points, I guess I saw this as just a whack-o Joker story..kinda like when he had his own book back in the 70's. And the childhood thing, I've learned to just let those things go with the New 52 and just enjoy it for what it is, since things are just going to change again. Appreciate the work you do on this site, great job

  5. Here's your reason to doubt the childhood memories are real; Take a close look at the Aunt. It's Olive Oil from Popeye.

    1. Okay, so he puts a character in from Popeye to substitute as his aunt, what about children making fun of him? The point of those flashbacks were to mirror them against Joker raising a "child" of his own. They were meant to show us that Joker had a bad childhood, and I do. not. give. a. fuck. Any context to the Joker, anything that is meant to portray a sense of empathy in the reader is doing it wrong.

  6. I have not found a single villain's issue that I genuinely didnt like and thus one is exception