Batman #23.1 – The Joker

 I review Batman #23.1 – The Joker, written by Andy Kubert with art from Andy Clarke, published by DC Comics.

BATMAN #23.1 – THE JOKER

Batman #23.1 

Story: Andy Kubert | Art: Andy Clarke | Cover: Jason Fabok | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $2.99 (2D) $3.99 (3D)

The Joker has FOREVER been the face of EVIL in the DC Universe.

So, villains’ month begins (Look out for a review of Forever Evil #1 on The Founding Fields) and of course, one comic that I think every Batfan will be picking up is this one, Batman #23.1 – The Joker, written by Andy Kubert, with art from Andy Clarke. You’ll be pleased to know that this book is not simply another origin story for the Crown Prince of Crime, and neither does it explain how/if he survived the waterfall dive at the end of Batman #17. It’s a nice little one shot that whilst may not match the awesomeness of Death of the Family or The Killing Joke, Batman #23.1 certainly delivers with an interesting look into arguably DC’s greatest villain, the one-shot format suiting it well as opposed to allowing another epic-length Joker book.

First off, let’s get this out of the way – the lack of Batman will probably put off some people, but then they’re missing the point. Villain’s Month is focused on the villains and Andy Kubert does a great job of bringing The Joker to the page. He delivers a solid, Batman-lite issue and doesn’t rely on constant, edge of your seats action or just plain, crazy carnage to enthral and entertain.

Andy Kubert gets the Joker’s portrayal spot on. His monologue is great and his narrative is very entertaining. The book shows him training Jackanapes, a gorilla – and raising him in a way that only that the Joker could. This is the main focus of the book, and as a result it allows for a very solid one-shot, even  though the ending may be left open ended.

Andy Clarke’s art is pretty awesome as well, he delivers some great scenes and really enhances the script even if it isn’t quite top-notch all the way through. Batman #23.1 is a book that Joker fans will enjoy and find entertaining, and whether you’re against the whole concept of Villain’s Month or not, Batman #23.1 is worth your time. And can I say that that cover, impressively created by Jason Fabok, is actually pretty awesome, as well? The 3D Covers are certainly starting to win me over, looking much better in person then they are digitally.

VERDICT: 4/5

NEXT BATMAN VILLAIN’S MONTH ISSUE: Batman #23.2 – The Riddler (September 11)

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