Wednesday, December 24, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman Annual #3

Joker would be that one friend who always shows up, but no one is quite sure who invited him in the first place while realizing no one really likes him to begin with, but won't say anything to him.

The Spoilers:

Meet Tommy, a reporter for the Gotham Gazette, who returns to the city after a good tour of being a foreign correspondent. He comes back to Gotham shortly after Zero Year, and finds everyone buying into this "Cult of Gotham" stuff, and is afraid of a clown, or something. PSHAW. 

But then he goes out to try and find/do a report on the Joker, gets caught, and does his own psych evaluation on the Clown Prince of Crime, saying that he doesn't like any of his "friends," Halrey included, and really has none... So, Joker decides to be HIS friend.

And that's when Tommy's life goes down the toilet.

Throughout the years, Joker torments Tommy with his acts of friendship, killing Tommy's old friends, introducing himself to his new wife, living in his basement and not paying rent, that sort of Scumbag Steve stuff. Each encounter with is BFF Joker leaves Tommy that much more insane than the last time, eventually landing himself in a cell at Arkham, which he lives in under his own freewill. 

By the time the events of Endgame hit, Warren, the Gazette's crime columnist, and Tommy's last friend asks the troubled man to come with him, get out of the city. Tommy declines, saying he has a new friend at the asylum, a doctor who even snuck in paper so he could start writing again... That doctor? Well, if you're reading Batman, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Doctor who befriends Tommy is one Eric Border.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the big joke.


The Review:

So, with the second issue of this annual volume revealing the Joker without any of us actually noticing it, I read this issue with a hawk-like precision looking for clues to anything deeper or potentially more meaningful to Endgame as a whole... and to be honest, I'm not quite sure anything is there, this just seems like a story where Joker really fucks with someone's  life... and that's great. What we get here (at least, what I think we get) is just a super twisted Joker story, that is very entertaining. As an Endgame "tie-in" it's not essential to that plot, but if you're a fan of a particularly twisted Joker (who is actually telling a joke) then this issue is very essential, because it's one of the better standalone stories told about him in recent memories.

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