Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Joker #14 Review

Where's The Joker?

Written By: James Tynion IV, Alex Pahnadel
Art By: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Arif Prianto, Tom Napolitano, Vasco Georgiev, Rain Beredo, Becca Carey
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: April 26, 2022

It's the what would have been the final issue of The Joker, but here we are with the knowledge that there's another issue to this series to tie everything up...... which just leads to all kinds of questions about what happened behind the scenes at DC Comics because while we'll get some conclusions to our current story here, it's barely an ending. So let's jump into this issue and see what happened to Jim Gordon, Cressida, and Bane when they finally caught up with Vengeance, who had decimated the Sampson Family... and obviously, let's find out what happened to The Joker when Bane refused to let Vengeance kill him. Let's check it out.

After the massacre at the Sampson Family farm, we see that the world now knows about the horrors that the Sampsons have been inflicting on people with their cannibal ways. Beyond that aspect though, there's not much of an ending here so thankfully we do get that fifteenth issue out of nowhere because except for knowing that the Sampson Family, or what's left of them are going to see justice, the only other thing that we get in this book is some background on Cressida and how her father was the head of the Court of Owls during James Tynion's run of Talon way back at the beginning of the New 52. As for the Network, Bane, Vengeance, James Gordon Jr. being a Talon..... Hell, even Joker we don't really get much out of this issue.

As for our Punchline backup, it's weird that we have a new writer on this and it's even weirder that instead of continuing where we previously left off in the story with Punchline being acquitted of her crimes, we now have a flashback story during the Joker War where someone with PTSD wants to be jokerized so that she can find her laugh again. It's very odd and could be a good story if there was more context to it but as it is here and the fact that it just shows up out of nowhere and interrupts what we were previously given, it feels out of place and doesn't do enough overall.

All in all, you can say that I'm being overly harsh in explaining what we get in this issue and maybe I am because I'm still looking at this like it was supposed to be the finale and even though it's not, there's not a lot of bits to continue our story beyond what I've already told you. That being said though, I did enjoy the way that this book was told. There's a charm to Jim Gordon giving his testimony to Interpol about what he may or may not have seen and by the time our former Commissioner makes it back to Gotham, we have something that I can't wait to see play out in our actual final issue coming up. The issue looks great both in its main story and backup, I just wish that the story in both these sections felt like it did more or fit more with what we got previously. There's going to be a lot of heavy lifting to do in the next issue to try and make everything worthwhile that we got in this series and I hope that our creative team can do it and I hope that it feels more impressive than this issue here.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe!

Bits and Pieces:

For what would have been our original finale before DC announced another issue of this series out of nowhere, we get a strange continuation of where we left off with not really getting a lot of explanation..... about pretty much anything. Yeah, you learn some backstory on Cressida but there's so much left on the table here that I'm afraid that one more issue won't be able to handle the amount of story it needs to explain. That being said, this book looks great and there are some fun moments in its presentation but ultimately I just needed more out of this both in its Joker story and Punchline backup.



  1. I agree with your review.This would have been a very strange last issue. I know you guys stopped reading future state Gotham but I think that the vet in the punchline backup is supposed to be the next Joker from the book.