Saturday, February 6, 2010

Joker HC

I'm trying to remember, but didn't Brian Azzarello re-design all the Gotham criminals during his run on Batman a few years ago? And the re-imaginings were fairly close, but not exactly what we get in this hardcover. Basically, the whole point of this is hardcore-up the Gotham scene. Killer Croc is a big banger with a skin condition. Harley Quinn is a mute killer-stripper. (Come to think of it, I'm not sure that there is a single line of dialogue from a woman in this whole thing.) The Riddler is an almost fast & the furious-style burglar. It's all just so... "adult." This is more like Kevin Smith's Widening Gyre than it is the monthly Batman comics. And as I've said before, I just don't care to see that in my comics. Brian Azzarello has a great entry character in Jonny Frost, and I did like seeing the balancing act that the Joker's henchmen have to deal with, but man. Just too dark and too "real." Call me a simpleton, but I prefer Batman by Jim Aparo or Norm Breyfogle.

This is clearly out-of-continuity too, lessening some of the impact. This could probably fit in as and Earth-One title eventually though.

Lee Bermejo's art is stunning. The reason this book works as well as it does is because we can see the street-grit and glimpse every reflection on the hood of Jonny's car. Batman looks like a leather-clad weightlifter and the Joker is sporting Ledger-ish scars. I wish this guy could keep up a monthly pace.


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