Ailsa Lillywhite's Reviews > Joker

Joker by Brian Azzarello
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Dec 06, 08

Read in November, 2008

This is great for someone (like me) who really enjoys seeing personalized artistic takes on older characters and premises. Bermejo and Azzarello's Joker is pure poker psychosis mixed with bloody breath and dirty fingernails tore-up with glass. Excellent madness. I know that the work on this has gone on for years now, long before The Dark Knight, but there is a Heath Ledger feel to the character. It isn't as heavy as you might expect, so people who want to read it purely for the similarities to the Ledger/Nolanverse Joker will probably be disappointed. Personally I like these interesting "logical conclusion" representations of The Joker in a world that's less supernatural and more real-life crime terror.

Aside from that, it's just straight up fun. I had to give it five stars. It's bloody and makes you kinda squeamish, but I feel like they could have gone a lot further with the violence and I appreciate that they reigned it in to what I consider to be just the right level of disgusting.

The unique take on the Riddler was the most surprising goody for me. I really liked it a lot after the initial shock of 'what... ?' Batman's part is subdued in this particular story, but he shows up when it's really important. Also, how cool did Croc come off? Pretty awesome.

I was worried when I read Bermejo's honestly quite chauvinistic comments about Harley's character, but you know what? He's pretty much right about her, and it works, so I find it hard to be an angry feminist about it. He totally gets away with this portrayal of her. She doesn't say a single word, she poses as a stripper for one scene and she's just generally a thug/slag, but it actually works. Didn't make me at all angry, and I was prepared to be angry. You can tell that Bermejo had a fun time drawing everyone and Azzarello's story is boss. Nothing significant happens to change the universe or Gotham, but it's like seeing the same old thing through fresh eyes. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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