Since his first appearance in April 1940, The Joker has become one of the most iconic and compelling characters in comic books and all of popular culture. Time and time again, his drive to sow discord and chaos has made him more than a match for Batman and his mission to protect the citizens of Gotham City.
As The Joker enters his eighth decade of criminal madness, fans can celebrate with a one-of-a-kind collectible tribute comic book. The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a Prestige format one-shot homage to The Joker featuring an original lineup of tales by comics’ most celebrated storytellers, including Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Paul Dini, Denny O’Neil, Scott Snyder, Tom Taylor, Jock, José Luis García-López, Mikel Janín, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, and more. The stories run the gamut from terror to humor to outright anarchy, showing how The Joker has left his indelible mark on Gotham City, from the gates of Arkham Asylum to the Gotham City PD, from the local underworld to Batman and his allies.
Artists from across comic books are stepping up to pay their respects to The Joker through a series of variant covers depicting Batman’s arch-nemesis:
1940s variant cover by Arthur Adams
1950s variant cover by David Finch
1960s variant cover by Francesco Mattina
1970s variant cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
1980s variant cover by Bill Sienkiewicz
1990s variant cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto
2000s variant cover by Lee Bermejo
2010s variant cover by Jock
The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a 100-page, Prestige format one-shot comic book available at comic book retailers and participating digital retailers on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 for $9.99.
Dynamite has announced two special versions of Warren Ellis‘ iconic James Bond comics for release in February. Collecting all of Ellis’ espionage epic together in one oversized hardcover volume is the James Bond: The Complete Warren Ellis Omnibus. Included inside are the entire 12 issues that kicked off Bond’s epic return to comic books in 2015, by one of the greatest writers of the medium and instant star South African artist Jason Masters. In addition to the critically acclaimed VARGR and Eidolon story arcs, every single cover is included, from the likes of Jock, Francesco Francavilla, Dominic Reardon, Joe Jusko, Ben Oliver, Glenn Fabry, Dan Panosian, Robert Hack, and more.
For fans who have never picked up a James Bond comic and want a taste test, or veterans who’d like to revisit that joyful feeling of reading the authentic Fleming-inspired spy tales for the first time, Dynamite is also releasing a Dynamite Dollar Edition of the original first issue. Advertising within the issue will direct fans who can’t get enough to check out the omnibus volume and further Bond case files, such as the current series by writers Vita Ayala, Danny Lore, and artist Eric Gapstur.
This globetrotting adventure takes Bond from his native Britain to Helsinki, Berlin, Los Angeles and further. Ostensibly tasked with breaking up a drug-trafficking operation, the entire scheme unravels with unexpected variables galore. Can Bond break through the political mist and accomplish his mission, let alone survive?
The Batman Who Laughs is collected in this hardcover which includes the Grimm Knight one-shot. The evil Batman has a plan and it’s terrifying! This is a key chapter in the bigger story that began in Dark Knights: Metal!
Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV Art: Jock, Eduardo Risso Color: David Baron, Dave Stewart Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores on September 3! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.
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Image Comics have announced this year’s forthcoming Thought Bubble Anthology 2019, which will hit stores this October.
It will feature contributions from such creators as Becky Cloonan, Gerry Duggan, Abigail Jill Harding, Lee Garbett, Benji Goldsmith, Jock, Daniel Warren Johnson, Kim-joy (The Great British Bake Off finalist), Tula Lotay, Mildred Louis, Pernille Ørum & Luke Pearson (creator of the Netflix show Hilda), and cover artwork by Helen Mingjue Chen.
Thought Bubble Anthology 2019 is part of the United Kingdom’s Thought Bubble Festival, which takes place in Yorkshire, Northern England from November 4-10, 2019. All profits from this comic go to Barnardo’s, one of the largest children’s charities in the UK.
Thought Bubble Anthology 2019 (Diamond Code AUG190062) will hit stores on Wednesday, October 9.
The Batman Who Laughs #7 leads into the much anticipated Batman/Superman #1 and beyond that… is an extended giant fight scene. It’s the final showdown between Batman and the Batman Who Laughs. How do you defeat a foe who knows your every instinct and every move? Bruce Wayne will have to outsmart Bruce Wayne in this ultimate test of good versus evil.
Writer Scott Snyder wraps up the latest chapter in The Batman Who Laughs saga. Unfortunately, it’s in an issue that feels a bit stretched out. The Batman Who Laughs #7 features two main storylines. The first is Batman vs. The Batman Who Laughs and the second being the Gordons and their battle with the Grim Knight. Both are extended fight scenes. While they’re entertaining, they feel a bit dragged out. With a bit of editing, a tighter pace and shorter page count could have given us an extended sixth issue. That would have resulted in a better finale.
The issue is entertaining but there’s just something disappointing about it. The two Batman square off and a lot is said but unless you’re invested in the nature of Batman, it really is a fight scene. Gordon’s battle revolves around the relationship with his son and unless you’re invested in that, it too falls a little short and emotionless.
The issue is really a showcase for the art of Jock who easily moves between the nightmare of Batman’s vision and reality. The coloring by David Baron helps deliver that nightmare. But, it’s Sal Cipriano‘s lettering which really stands out. The voice and chill is all in the lettering in this issue.
While the issue wraps up the uneven miniseries, beyond the final page, it’s an issue that you can skip. There’s a lack of emotional punch to it and overall feels like a few extra pages stretched out to a full issue. It’s a clunker of an ending for a miniseries that went on a bit too long. But, as a piece of the whole, it’s fine. This is a series which will be much better read in one sitting as a trade. This issue is a prime example of why. The issue feels not like a chapter but a continuation after a commercial break wrapping up the last ten minutes of a show. It’s vital but doesn’t stand on its own.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Jock Color: David Baron Letterer: Sal Cipriano Story: 6.0 Art: 8.65 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Jock In Shops: Jul 31, 2019 SRP: $4.99
It’s the final showdown between Batman and the Batman Who Laughs… but how do you defeat a foe who knows your every instinct and every move? Bruce Wayne will have to outsmart Bruce Wayne in this ultimate test of good versus evil. You can’t miss this finale to the epic miniseries that will tear up the very foundations of Gotham City!
DC has revealed Jock’s final cover artwork for The Batman Who Laughs #7 (on sale July 31) and new “Year of the Villain” promo artwork ahead of Batman/Superman #1 (on sale August 28).
The first arc of Batman/Superman will follow the two titular heroes as they hunt down six infected heroes in the DCU—people revealed to be infected by the Batman Who Laughs with a deadly pathogen that violently transforms them into the evilest versions of themselves. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel must journey into the depths of Gotham City to learn which of their fellow heroes has been transformed into the horrifying horseman of their most dangerous and deranged foe ever.
But who are the Infected? Fans have already been shown a sneak preview of Batman/Superman #1, revealing that The Batman Who Laughs’ plot is bigger than either the Caped Crusader or the Man of Steel realized and showing the devious killer’s first sentinel: a jacked-up, Dark Multiverse-infected Shazam! Who else has been targeted for similar transformations?
Intense. That’s the word that best describes The Batman Who Laughs #6, the penultimate issue of this solid miniseries.
Writer Scott Snyder has been building to this moment in this series. The Batman Who Laughs #6 features the confrontation of Batman and The Batman Who Laughs for a hell of a cathartic battle.
There’s an intensity about the comic. It builds as you move along to those final moments which feature a bit of release. This is a perfect example of building the emotional moment and leaving the reader want more.
That emotional ride is helped by Jock whose art with colorist David Baron is amazing. There’s a horror aspect to the design and look of the issue. It goes back and forth between reality and the nightmare vision Bruce/Batman is experiencing as the toxin courses through his veins. As he devolves into his own version of the Batman Who Laughs, we see a distorted world whose horrors would break anyone.
The negative of the comic is the lettering. I’ll admit I read this digitally so have no idea if this is an issue in the print version of the comic. The narrative boxes with red lettering on gray are hard to read at times. I had to blow up the pdf to be able to full read the text and even then I struggled. But, at the same time, Sal Cipriano‘s lettering also captures the madness. It adds character to both Batman and the Batman Who Laughs.
The issue is a solid one leaving me excited to see where the finale takes us and wondering how Batman will win in the end. It’s a prime example of both Snyder and Jock being at the top of their game.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Jock Color: David Baron Letters: Sal Cipriano Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Jock RATED T+ In Shops: Jun 12, 2019 SRP: $4.99
True happiness begins in the heart. Our memories and emotions can play tricks on us, though, and divert one’s reality into something completely different. The Batman Who Laughs has based his entire worldview on this very concept, and it is in this moment that he must finally confront the one man who stands in his way, the one man who could complete or halt his plan…the last Bruce Wayne. It is here, on the home turf of Wayne Manor, that Bruce relives the happiest moment of his life-the moment he became the Batman Who Laughs. Will Batman be able to outthink the Dark Multiverse version of himself and stop his most sinister end? Or will the original Dark Knight succumb fully and let go of his morality? While good almost always wins, this issue is the start of something more…setting up a larger plan based in the ultimate betrayal of infection, loyalty and true happiness. This is not the end…it’s only the beginning.
Batman was in a bad position when we last left him as he was surrounded by Arkham guards firing at him as the Batman Who Laughs taunted his every move. This issue has Bruce further falling in to the deep of the toxin in his veins as Gordon must deal with his situation and a decision is made whether to activate the Last Laugh.
The Batman Who Laughs #5 is an interesting issue in that it makes little sense on its own and even as a slice of the bigger picture it still takes a few reads to totally get.
Writer Scott Snyder is clearly not just weaving a miniseries here but has a bigger picture in mind as well. This shouldn’t be too surprising as he has done this before leaving his mark on Batman and the DC Universe as a whole. Revelations here are interesting hinting at some things laid out long ago but where things go from here is the big question. The issue is the revelation one showing us, sort of, what the Batman Who Laughs wants. Whether our Batman will give it to him is another question as Snyder leaves it very nebulous as to what the correct direction to go is.
The art by Jock continues to be great with a mix of action and horror and flowing from one to another. The issue definitely falls more into the horror end of things with this issue as each panel seems to bring a bit more madness to the page. Jock is helped with that by David Baron but it’s Sal Cipriano‘s lettering that really stands out. Not only does he deliver a style that’s so befits the Batman Who Laughs, he also dips into that with our Batman showing the struggle within. The lettering in this case tells a a lot of the story beyond the written word.
The issue doesn’t quite stand on its own but has me intrigued as to where things are going next. As part of a miniseries this far in it’s the reveal to some extent and even with that it still leaves a lot out there. At this point it’ll be interesting to see where the team takes it especially wit the announcement this series would be leading into more to come in the next year.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Jock Color: David Baron Letterer: Sal Cipriano Story: 7.5 Art: 8.05 Overall: 7.55 Recommendation:Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review