Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Joker 2021 Annual #1 Review

The Joker 2021 Annual #1 Review

Good Cop/Dirty Cop

The Joker 2021 Annual #1 Review
Written By: Matthew Rosenberg, James Tynion IV
Art By: Francesco Francavilla, Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: November 30, 2021

The hunt for the Joker takes a pause for this Annual issue where we go back in time to Gotham, where we see Jim Gordon as Commissioner still and look at the early days of Joker, Batman, and Jim Gordon trying to clean up the streets from dirty cops. Let's jump into this issue and see how things work out for this tale.

For this issue of the Joker, we see a long and pretty drawn out look of the Joker trying to get to Jim Gordon for trying to clean up the GCPD from dirty cops, and while you get some early clues to the Joker messing with Jim Gordon and Jim knowing that Barbara was Batgirl without ever coming right out and saying it, this issue feels like a weird inclusion to this title because on top of not adding anything really new to the series, it just kind of takes an entire extended annual's issue to give us the same things that we've been told through long, drawn-out narration boxes about how Jim Gordon feels about the Joker....... and if you haven't read any of this series so far..... I'm pretty sure you can imagine how Jim Gordon feels about the Clown Prince of Crime.

The Joker 2021 Annual #1 Review

The thing I liked about this issue the most though was seeing Harvey Bullock and Jim Gordon interacting again. While yeah, we've seen them do stuff for decades at this point, it's been a while since we've seen them do things recently, especially showing us the early days of cleaning up the streets of the Crime Families of the city and how sloppy Harvey would get in his duties. The weird part about this era is a scene where we see the Gotham criminals who are left on the streets working together in a gangster style with Joker, Penguin, Killer Croc, and Black Mask. It's an odd team-up that ultimately doesn't really go anywhere or provide me with any new information.

The Joker 2021 Annual #1 Review

All in all, Francesco Francavilla's art is classic and works well for this trip back in time to Gotham's past and the early days of Jim Gordon's career in cleaning up Gotham, but even with the style working for this, I'm not the biggest fan overall because things came off kind of drab and ill-defined and that's a shame because the story isn't offering much either. We have a situation in this story that sadly never gets resolved and while the overall concept of Joker making a joke out of Jim Gordon's attempts to clean up the GCPD is something that's kind of cool, it just doesn't feel like it works with the presentation of the story.  

Bits and Pieces:

In this Annual you'll get a look back to the past where Jim Gordon is doing his damnedest to be the best Commissioner he can and while that's all fine and well, you won't really get any new information out of this issue and only give us another example why Jim Gordon doesn't like the Joker and that really doesn't seem needed at this point.  



  1. While this wasn't a bad story I'm getting tired of these flashback issues that interrupt the main narrative. That said I thought it was interesting the way they incorporated some of the older Joker history. Like how he was a killer when he first appeared then went to being a prankster then back to a murderer again though frankly I think they've gone too far in the latter direction in the last 20 years. Modern Joker stories are just depressing now. He once got into an argument with Carnage about not wanting to kill people just for the sake of killing them and needing it to be a big elaborate production and nowadays he does just that kills people just for the sake of killing them. And you just get this feeling of hopelessness when reading a Modern Joker story because you know he's just gonna get away and come back to do something even more horrible and his victims will never truly be avenged. Sorry. Went off on a tangent there. But I was surprised to see a Joker story with minimal loss of life being told today. Well, minimal loss of innocent life atleast. I assume all the people in the piñatas were gangsters.
    One more thing. Is Barbara his biological daughter again in current continuity or is she still his niece? Or both since "it all happened"? 😂

  2. It all happened! Lol! I think a lot of people are getting a bit tired with this book