Ronyell's Reviews > Joker

Joker by Brian Azzarello
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Introduction:

After reading the classic “Batman” tale, Batman: The Killing Joke I wanted to read more stories about one of Batman’s most infamous villains, the Joker! So, I went ahead and picked up Brian Azzarello’s take on the Joker “Joker” and while it has many slow scenes, it was a truly interesting take on the psychotic mind of the Joker in a more dark and gritty way that I would have never imagined possible!

What is this story about?

This story is being told from the viewpoint of one of the Joker’s newest henchmen, Jonny Frost and in this story; the Joker was just released from Arkham Asylum and he is NOT HAPPY! The Joker just realized that while he was gone, his fellow villains, the Penguin, Killer Croc, The Riddler and Two-Face had sold off his properties and the Joker is planning on getting them back! Be prepared for one violent and nightmare ride as we see how scary the Joker can be when he is really angry!

What I loved about this story:

Brian Azzarello’s writing: Since this is the first time I had read any of Brian Azzarello’s works, I was actually impressed with how dark and gritty this story is and the fact that it fits so perfectly with the Joker’s insane nature. I loved the fact that this story has a bit of crime noir in it as I am a huge fan of crime stories and it was interesting seeing the story being played out from a villain’s point of view. What was so intriguing about this story was the fact that Brian Azzarello really showed the dark side of the Joker as the Joker spends most of this story committing horrible crimes and torturing his fellow criminals and yet, gets away with everything until the very end of the story. I enjoyed the dark and gritty take on the Joker and he seems to remind me heavily of Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker in “The Dark Knight” movie as both characters were dark and were trying to prove a point to other people. It was also interesting that we actually get a good look at the Joker from the perspective of his henchman since it added more dimension on how the Joker’s own henchman feels about the Joker himself.

Lee Bermejo’s artwork: Lee Bermejo’s artwork may seem a bit scratchy in some panels, but in doing the close up images of the Joker looking so crazed and dramatic, it was truly beautiful! I loved the way that Lee Bermejo painted the images of the Joker’s face close up as it truly looks disturbing since it seems like the Joker had cut his mouth open to make it look like an actual smile and that was truly disturbing to see!

JokerJoker

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this comic a four star rating is that there were many slow scenes in this comic as most of the scenes basically dealt with the Joker just discussing with the other rogues gallery about how he wants to split the profits with them. Also, there is some language and gory violence in this book, where the violence includes people getting shot and blood spurting out of the wounds and there is one REALLY DISTURBING scene that I cannot really say, but let us just say that it involves some SKIN RIPPING!

Final Thoughts:

Now, even though I liked reading “Joker,” I still preferred “Batman: The Killing Joke” over this story since I felt that “The Killing Joke” was one of the best “Joker” stories I had ever read. “The Killing Joke” was trying to define the different ideologies between both Batman and the Joker while “Joker” was just showing the more violent and dark side of the Joker. However, I did enjoy both books for different reasons and if you want to read a “Joker” story that shows the Joker’s violent side, then “Joker” is a great book to read!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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Paul Great review, Ronyell
Makes me wanna re-read it again.
I prefered Killing Joke as well, it was more in-line with the "classic" take we have on the Joker and Bats... whereas this felt more like a Heath Ledger Joker


message 2: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Quixote This was book was definitely in the vein of Nolan's "The Dark Knight" in that Joker here is presented in a more realistic way than he normally is. This book is based around the concept of "what if this were all real?" hence Croc looking far more human than he usually gets drawn and Joker behaving slightly differently, eg. using copious amounts of drugs, the scene with him and Harley showing his fragility and/or pure insanity.


Ronyell Paul wrote: "Great review, Ronyell
Makes me wanna re-read it again.
I prefered Killing Joke as well, it was more in-line with the "classic" take we have on the Joker and Bats... whereas this felt more like a He..."


Yeah, I liked the way that this comic was trying to portray Heath Ledger's version of the Joker.


Ronyell Sam wrote: "This was book was definitely in the vein of Nolan's "The Dark Knight" in that Joker here is presented in a more realistic way than he normally is. This book is based around the concept of "what if ..."

I liked the way that they presented a different view of the Joker, especially the fact that he's much more menacing in this version than he was in other versions.


Paul I think he comes off as more menacing by the fact that he is presented in a "realistic" manner.
The look they gave him as well as that of the other characters sets him (and them) in more of a "real-world" setting.
Also, being as the classic Joker is seen as more of a foil to Batman, makes him seem as less of a danger to the general public... yes, he does kill left and right, but you're never truly invested in his victims. Even the victims you know (Gordon and Barbara and even Jason Todd) are set apart as being "comic-book characters". Whereas the Joker presented here is more grounded in reality and could conceivably exist. It also helps that they don't make Batman appear til the very end.


Ronyell Paul wrote: "I think he comes off as more menacing by the fact that he is presented in a "realistic" manner.
The look they gave him as well as that of the other characters sets him (and them) in more of a "real..."


I actually like the realistic portrayal of the Joker in this comic. What's so scary about all this is that any criminal in the real world can be living in your backyard, plotting how to make mayhem on everyone.


Paul I liked the story as well. It's just that, to me, that wasn't really THE Joker... and like you say it could be any criminal in the world living in your backyard (as to why you would let a criminal live in your backyard is entirely your business, of course ;-)


Ronyell Paul wrote: "I liked the story as well. It's just that, to me, that wasn't really THE Joker... and like you say it could be any criminal in the world living in your backyard (as to why you would let a criminal ..."

LOL!! I would never let a criminal in my backyard! :D


Paul ah, ok, heh, I was imagining a row of little tents filled with the worst society has to offer back there, and you going around offering coffee hot from the pot and finger-samwiches


Ronyell Paul wrote: "ah, ok, heh, I was imagining a row of little tents filled with the worst society has to offer back there, and you going around offering coffee hot from the pot and finger-samwiches"

LOL!! It would be an all criminal's picnic in my backyard!


message 11: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul well, I have heard about a teddy bear picnic, so what the hey, why couldn't criminals have a pic-nic all their own... in your backyard, mine's currently 4 feet deep in snow.


Ronyell Paul wrote: "well, I have heard about a teddy bear picnic, so what the hey, why couldn't criminals have a pic-nic all their own... in your backyard, mine's currently 4 feet deep in snow."

LOL!!


Blueturtles so you gave it 4 stars because he peeled that guy's skin off? it's the joker...i was expecting worse.


Ronyell Blueturtles wrote: "so you gave it 4 stars because he peeled that guy's skin off? it's the joker...i was expecting worse."

Actually, I gave it 4 stars because the story was kind of slow in some places. I actually enjoy gory stories. I just put the skin ripping scene as a little warning for anyone who doesn't like violence.


message 15: by Eric (new)

Eric the joker here isn't based on the heath ledger version... the movie stole it off lee bermejo, the artist of this book

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10082...


Ronyell Eric wrote: "the joker here isn't based on the heath ledger version... the movie stole it off lee bermejo, the artist of this book

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10082..."


The movie stole this version?! That's something I didn't hear about...


Kat Stark I agree with those final thoughts, lol


Ronyell Kat Stark wrote: "I agree with those final thoughts, lol"

Thanks! I personally prefer Batman: The Killing Joke over this story.


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