Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Review

It Puts A Smile On Your Face

Written By: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Gary Whitta, Greg Miller, Denny O'Neil, Peter J. Tomasi, Paul Dini, Tom Taylor, Eduardo Medeiros, Rafael Albuquerque, Tony S. Daniel, Brian Azzarello
Art By: Jock, David Baron, Tom Napolitano, Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles, Dan Mora, Ivan Plascencia, Troy Peteri, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Joe Prado, Marcelo Maiolo, Clem Robins, Simone Bianchi, Rob Leigh, Riley Rossmo, Deron Bennett, Eduardo Risso, Rafael Albuquerque, Steve Wands, Tomeu Morey, Carlos M. Mangual, Lee Bermejo, Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Price: $9.99
Release Date: June 9, 2020

It's time for another Anniversary issue and boy is it a doozy, what with it being the Clown Prince of Crime's big Eight-Zero.  That's right boys and girls, the Joker has been not only been causing the Batman problems for the better part of a century, but he's been captivating us by being one of the most iconic villains to ever come out of the comic book medium.  Let's celebrate this icon of DC Comics the way we usually do with one of these Super Spectaculars, by checking out ten short stories by various creative teams that are paying tribute to the man of the hour.  Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

While each of these Anniversary issues does something a little different in either the characters who have been involved, like in the different identities of Robin over the years or even with some of the characters through the ages like we got with a bit of the Catwoman Anniversary, this special is pretty straight forward in that we get a bunch of different interpretations of the Clown Prince of Crime, but all of them insidious in how menacing they come off for each of these shorts.  Yeah, you'll get certain flavors of the Joker, depending on the writer, like Paul Dini has a more animated series feel, while James Tynion IV's inclusion into this is pure setup and a bit of backstory to his newly introduced hench-girl to the Joker, Punchline....... which while I've been a little wary of the character, I actually really enjoyed what we got of her here.  

Mostly though, if you've been picking up these 100-Page Super Spectaculars, you essentially know what you're getting in that some of the stories will be stronger than others, but for the most part, this might be one of the better ones because of the different flavors of Joker that you get here and how all of them while being slightly different, all feel like Joker because of the insanity of the character and how he's constantly evolving as the decades have progressed.  Whether it's the strongest, most iconic version of the character or even the weakest depiction from some movie, they're all recognizable as Batman's greatest foe and while maybe some more versions of the character throughout his tenor as a Gotham nightmare might have been nice, I think you'll get your money's worth out of this.

Did DC Comics Spoil the Designer's Identity?

All in all, we've got some heavy hitters in both writing and art when it comes to this issue and I'm sure there's something for everyone when it comes to whatever flavor of Joker you're into and my biggest regret after reading this book is that the one creative team's story that I was looking forward to the most going into this, was one of the weaker contributions in my mind.  Like always though and like I said previously, some stories will be stronger than others, but I think that the good totally outweighs the bad here and if you happen to be a fan of the Joker, you should totally be picking up this Anniversary issue.

Bits and Pieces:

If you've ever been a fan of the Clown Prince of Crime and happen to still be reading comics...... then there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't be getting this issue and checking out the many interpretations of one of the highest tier villains to ever come out of comic-dom.  Some of the biggest creative teams in DC Comics are here for the celebration and there's no reason you shouldn't join them.


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