Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Joker #13 Review

Vengeance Is The Lord Of The Harvest

Written By: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns
Art By: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Arif Prianto, Tom Napolitano, Belen Ortega, Luis Guerrero, Becca Carey
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: March 8, 2022

It's the penultimate issue of the Joker where it feels like we really have to start wrapping a lot of things up fast in not only the gigantic story going on in our main plot but the trial of Punchline in the backup. Previously we saw the Sampson Family kidnap the Joker so that they can take revenge on him for killing their family member during A-Day, but little do they know that Joker didn't cause A-Day, which leads us to our big cliffhanger of the previous issue where Jim Gordon was confronted by a living Bane, who's been in the shadows this whole time and not only did he not die in A-Day.... somehow, he was also the person behind the attack. Man, we've got Court of Owls stuff here, a Network that's cloning baddies and the Sampson Family plot that needs to be wrapped up, and probably things I'm forgetting but this will be the start to it. Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

For our main story of this book we see everyone converging on the Sampson Family property, but mostly this issue shows Vengeance, the Daughter of Bane making her way to Texas to stop the Sampson's from eating the Joker so that she can be the one to kill the Clown Prince of Crime and with that synopsis we see a classic looking horror movie that takes things from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even Friday the 13th as Vengeance goes on her path of destruction and boy is it satisfying. That being said though, we have some other players show up by the end which will hopefully lead to some major exposition in the next and final issue of this series because boy do I need it.

For our Punchline backup, I can never say that a courtroom drama is ever the most interesting thing but this part of our story wasn't all that bad in its presentation. It's the overall outcome of how it was portrayed and even how quickly it went that left me wanting. With that though, this backup issue does open up new possibilities for Punchline and even allows us to have further stories with Cullen and Harper Row and for that alone maybe this installment was enough but for all the build-up to the trial everything here just kind of felt rushed.

All in all, the art in both the main story and the backup are great. The stories, while quickly moving towards an ending have their merits, even with the Punchline trial starting and stopping quicker than anything I've ever seen but the main Joker story was so much fun to read, especially as a horror fan, but as a superhero comic fan who's been following this series the whole time, I was looking for a bit more in the reveal department but getting everyone to the Sampson Farm was a step that we needed, while also allowing Vengeance to cut loose and allowing us to see what this new character is really capable of, while also showing us the head of the Sampson Family shitting himself when he realizes that his family is about to be completely torn apart. There's some really good stuff here and while it feels like the Joker series wanted to keep its progression as small as possible as the series went on, I will be sad to see it go after the next issue.

Bits and Pieces:

We only have one more issue left of this series so what do we do here....... Well, we see Vengeance go all slasher movie on the Sampson Family. Yeah, maybe some more exposition would have been nice but we get all our key players where they need to be by the end of the issue and have a blood-soaked blast getting there. Yeah, action is the name of the game this issue and I had a fun time reading this and staring at the amazing art.


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