Batman Three Jokers #1 Review

Batman: Three Jokers #1 published by DC Comics/Black Label
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jason Fabok
Colors by Brad Anderson
Letters by Rob Leigh

Batman Three Jokers cover by Jason Fabok & Brad Anderson

30 years after Batman: The Killing Joke changed comics forever, Three Jokers reexamines the myth. Who, or what, the Joker is and what is at the heart of his eternal battle with Batman?

One night, 3 crimes occur and all of the evidence points to the Joker. Batman and the GCPD investigate how the Joker could commit them all at the same time. Meanwhile, Batman is not the only one hunting down the clown prince of crime, as the Joker has hurt many people along the way. 

Three Jokers offers a second look at a mystery set up during the events of Rebirth, in 2016. As the story begins, we’re reminded of the Cape Crusader’s trauma, physical and emotional. Batman is not the only one who has been hurt by the Joker which is the driving force of this story. Who will find the Joker first?

Beginning the issue with a slow recap of who Batman is, this book can stand alone for new readers, while rewarding long time readers with familiar moments, long time not seen characters and memories of some of the more celebrated Batman moments. None of this takes away anything from the current goal of finding out who or why the Joker appears to be in different places. The book then kicks into high gear about a third of the way in.  Johns not only partially answers the main question but shifts focus to the deeper mystery of why there are three Jokers, what are they planning and can they be stopped before it is too late. The story also addresses how different characters deal with the trauma the Joker has inflicted upon them and what happens when confronted with Joker once again. 

Fabok and Anderson, long time collaborators on art and colors respectively. Fabok’s art is very specific, deliberate and controls the pacing of the story as much as the writing. Slower beats full of details that need to be carefully reviewed, and in contrast bigger panels full of action. The use of smaller panels helps the story to be more dynamic. Anderson’s coloring transports the reader through some of the flashbacks with more muted and almost monochromatic panels. In contrast the current events are filled with a more vibrant palette still representative of more serious Batman stories. 

This first issue allows the reader to dive deep into the mythology. It is grittier and more violent in some places, which makes it very well suited for its place in the Black Label. This issue is successful in setting up what appears to be a book more focused on Batman being a detective and testing the Dark Knight mentally. There are big consequences as the issue comes to a close. Long time Batman readers rewarded with all sorts of references without alienating new readers. 

The Three Jokers #1 invites readers to try to solve this mystery along with the team. Fabok’s art makes this book worth the wait. This book is now available wherever DC Comics are sold. 

Rating 4/5

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page

Daniel’s 5 favorite Things (and 1 unfavorite) about DC Fandome

DC Fandome went live on August 22nd, 2020 as DC Comics, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Warner Bros Games launched the first and biggest DC Comics themed virtual convention experience. The show was composed of many panels and lasted about 8 hours. It celebrated the upcoming movies, TV shows, video games and some of the comics.

I will be listing my 5 favorite things about the DC Fandome Event, but first, one thing that was very disappointing but maybe it will be addressed as part of the events that will be taking place in September.

The big downer was the lack of comic book content in the event. The exception was a few of panels that will be addressed in the list below and with Jim Lee all over the place there was no mention of the comic books. No writers in ongoing books, no artist spotlights or any other mention of anyone currently working on the comics side of the business. We know SDCC just happened last month and there was a lot of focus on the comics, but also a big restructuring happened in DC Comics after the WB Media layoffs.

The top 5 things that happened at DC Fandome

5 – The Mini-Panels in between the Movie/Events.
An avid convention attendee knows how tough it can be to get into the big panels with the movie stars. A nice alternative is to visit the smaller, more intimate panels. At DC Fandome there were some very interesting and even unexpected panels. From Jim Lee, doing an artist portfolio review, to a visit with Batman voice actors from all over the world. The biggest surprise of them all, the Milestone Media panel hosted by Marc Bernadin. These were intimate conversations about topics that are very relevant to the work but not always in the spotlight.

Milestone Comics Panel

4 – The Suicide Squad directed by James Gunn. This panel garnered a lot of buzz because there was little to no information about this movie. James Gunn addressed some fan questions, then revealed the cast and the characters they’re playing. Even as an avid comic fan, I had to keep the Google search handy. Lastly, we got a very interesting Behind the Scenes teaser for the movie.

3 – Wonder Woman 1984 directed by Patty Jenkins. like in the Suicide Squad panel, the cast along with the director, addressed fan questions. Unlike the Suicide Squad panel, a lot of the cast was participating. We also got a look at the final trailer that revealed what Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) will look like in different stages of the film. WW84 is set to release next month and the excitement is palpable.

2 – Zack Snyder’s Justice League. This panel focused on explaining how the upcoming project will be released on the HBOMax platform as well as globally.
The cast joined in (pre recorded segments) where they asked questions from the fans. Snyder also has a chat with fans involved in creating the petition and movement to get the movie released as Snyder’s version. Lastly, we were treated to a trailer that was recut, with new or unseen footage. 2021 cannot get here soon enough.

1 – The Batman directed by Matt Reeves. I’ll keep this brief since it echoes a lot of the above. Robert Pattinson introduced the panel but was unable to give much information other than mentioning a “big surprise” at the end. Then Matt Reeves and host Aisha Tyler (shout out Tyler for a long day of had work) addressed questions and Reeves expanded on the feel and influences of the movie building up to the release of a teaser trailer. As a Batman fan, this is where I passed out.

Overall DC Fandome has set the standard for virtual conventions and was an outstanding success

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page