Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.8
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Written by Scott Snyder
Backup Written by Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Backup Art by Jock
Cover by Greg Capullo
Variant Cover by Aaron Kuder & Greg Capullo

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

If the Joker really existed in our world he would be pretty damn terrifying. Here is a dude with chalk skin, green hair, and a fucking grin that will make anybody cry. But he isn’t scary just on looks alone mind you. With the right writer involved he can be downright mental to the point where it feels like not even the writer knows what he’s gonna do. We’ve seen many writers go into the depths of insanity with Joker and some have been better than others. With this first issue alone with Scott Snyder’s run I gotta say….this might be the most terrifying version of Joker to date.

I don’t know if it’s just because how the letterer does his word balloons, but just seeing his dialogue makes me terrified. Scott Snyder just writes him so scary I do worry his mindset at times. What’s funny is that we don’t see much of him at all in this issue. I mean we get a good amount, but a lot of this first issue is just setting up whatever big plan Joker has. Snyder writes both area very well in that he balances out the terrifying moments with the detective work. But it’s the Joker moments that stick with you. All I know is that even when he uses things like a giant hammer to fight Batman, there is no laughs or fun to be had here. This issue is just unsettling from start to finish and I can’t imagine anyone else writing this series but Snyder.

Of course Greg Capullo needs to get just as much love for this issue as anyone else (him AND his team of inkers and colorist as well). The opening pages alone with Joker invading the G.C.P.D. are masterfully drawn. The mood he sets for each moment involving Joker are unsettling to say the least. The lack of lighting at the GCPD, the use of the fake Joker in the broadcast, and the dank setting of ACE Chemical are all creepy thanks to his pencils. There’s also some pretty damn good layouts in this issue and people should bring up his layouts. He has a Jeff Lemire flare to them like using Batman’s cape to showcase all of his sidekicks. It’s issues like these that makes me happy that Capullo got a chance to work on this series in the first place.

Also, we should note how great the little short by Tynion IV and Jock was. It’s pretty short, compared to other back up issues, but man Tynion can make Joker unsettling with very little pages to work with. Jock is also pretty damn good at setting the tone for the issue. I got a Dave McKean feel to his pages and now I wanna read Arkham Asylum because that Joker reminds me a lot of what we’re reading here. Just further proof that Tynion IV is a great fit for the Batverse and it would be great to see Jock again in the near future.

Bottom line: You will have a hard time sleeping tonight when you read this. But if you can get past the creepiness then you’ll see the start of what I think will be an amazing arc by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Also, don’t miss out on more proof that James Tynion IV is evolving to an ‘A’-list writer and the masterful pages of Jock.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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