There’s something odd about getting to the end of Batman: Three Jokers #3 and asking yourself “what was the point”?! Batman: Three Jokers has weaved us through the possibly interesting concept that there are indeed multiple Jokers. There’s never been one. This explains the very different personalities on display. It also explains how their approaches have varied so much. The three issues has juxtaposed that with a trio of heroes, Batman, Batgirl, and Red Hood. Each have their own history with the character and their own trauma. There was something potentially there but writer Geoff Johns has missed the mark with each issue. Batman: Three Jokers #3 delivers the punchline that is neither funny nor makes you ponder anything.
Team Batman has figured out that the Joker is more than one individual and are trying to make more. We’re left to wonder why and why the Joker has taken Joe Chill. The answers are pretty obvious and Johns delivers nothing new from any of this. The Joker wants to be Batman’s number one source of trauma. He sees himself as the only thing that should be in Batman’s orbit. It’s the same schtick we also recently heard in the recent “Joker War.” Johns conclusion is nothing we haven’t seen before in other stories.
Johns’ ultimate Joker is one whose entire goal is for an eternal dance with Batman. One were they both suffer and both deliver pain to each other. That in the end, all the Joker wants is to be Batman’s top source of pain. The only source of chaos in Batman’s life.
And where Johns takes the series after is even flatter. We learn the truth of what Batman and Bruce Wayne knows about the Joker. It’s a definitive when a mystery would have been so much better. It attempts to give form to a force of nature and humanize pure chaos. It ends with the Joker being the exact opposite of what he’s recently become over the years and generally has been for much of his creation. Like so many other characters, adding backstory ruins the character. There’s just some things we don’t need to know. This is a prime example of that.
Jason Fabok‘s art is really nice to look at throughout. With Brad Anderson on color, there’s a stiffness about the page panels that works. Working off of nine panel page grids, those panels are broken only to emphasize compartmentalized scenes. The lack of splash pages or character breaking panels fits the controlling nature of all of the characters. Whether it’s Batman, Batgirl, or Red Hood, or the Joker controlling the chaos, there’s an order to it all. Small details on characters look nice and crisp but, like Johns’ storytelling, there’s a cold nature about it all. There’s a certain lack of emotion about it all beyond a small smile from Batman or Joker’s maniacal glee. There’s a loss of kinetic flow to the storytelling that is regularly seen in other Bat-titles.
Batman: Three Jokers #3 in the end was a boring let down. The idea and build up were intriguing but the conclusion felt like someone ranting for an hour with no point. It adds very little to Batman, Joker, Batgirl, and Red Hood. The characters are the exact same with little to no insight into them. If anything, it erases some of what makes the Joker interesting but attempting to give him backstory. Like a joke with no punchline, it misses its own point.
Story: Geoff Johns Art: Jason Fabok Color: Brad Anderson
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review