By Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, and Brad Anderson
The long awaited Batman: Three Jokers is finally here! It feels like a long time since DC first announced this series, creating a lot of buzz around the comic book world, and this first issue was certainly worth the wait. Our story begins with three crimes occurring simultaneously being perpetrated by three different Jokers. The three Jokers presented in this series are based on general traits the Joker has had over the years. These Jokers are made up of, the comedian, the criminal, and the clown (whom we spend much of the end of the issue with). Batman, Red Hood, and Batgirl now team up to try and stop the Jokers, who have stolen a vat of dangerous chemicals from ACE chemicals for a still unknown scheme.
The writing in Batman: Three Jokers #1, is done expertly by Geoff Johns. From the start, this issue sets a great tone of all the pain and abuse the Joker has inflicted over the years. We get a great opening of Batman returning from another adventure badly injured. As Alfred is stitching him up, we get flashbacks explaining many of Bruce’s scars from his various villains. As the flashbacks increase, more and more of them are shown to have been inflicted by the Joker and it masterfully shows how the Joker has caused Batman the most pain over the years. This becomes a recurring theme as Red Hood and Batgil are introduced into the issue as we see how the Joker has harmed them over the years. With all great Batman stories, this issue begins the series with multiple mysteries to keep the reader questioning. Have there really been three Jokers throughout Batman’s history? Are all of them real, or none of them? This issue will not give you any answers off the bat and does a great job on making you wonder more and more what is going to happen in the next page.
The art in this issue is done by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson. The art perfectly fits the tone of this issue and has the dark and moody feeling of a modern Killing Joke. The Joker’s jokerized victims look perfectly creepy, and all of his flashbacks from classic stories like Killing Joke and Death in the Family are beautifully recreated here. Batman and the other heroes are drawn muscular and powerful with a screen presence that makes each of these powerhouses feel like it is their book. There is also a great balance with the action, gore, and detective scenes in this issue. There are certainly very violent panels here, but that isn’t the whole issue. Some of the greatest parts of this comic are the establishing shots of the batmobile pulling up to Wayne manor and Batman investigating a crime scene.
Batman: Three Jokers #1 feels like it is building up to something great and readers would regret not getting into this series before it becomes a hard to get classic.