Comic Book Review: Batman: Three Jokers

Details: This is a three issue miniseries that has ended. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-three-jokers-2020/batman-three-jokers-1

Score: 7/10

Batman: Three Jokers is a story that fans looked forward to at some point, but was delayed by years. This story was pushed so far back that any hype and anticipation you may have had for this story died years ago. The story itself isn’t bad and seeks to replicate the tone from classic Joker stories like The Killing Joke. It somewhat succeeds, but largely fails in that regard due to how short this miniseries is and how little the plot develops.

Years ago in the Justice League comic book, Batman sat in Metron’s chair, a chair that provides one with the knowledge of everything. Sitting in the chair, he asked who the Joker’s real identity was. The chair responded by asking him which one. What fans walked away with was that there were in fact three Jokers over the years and DC teased a comic going into the explanation for that. That was years ago. Delay after delay pushed this story back until finally, this story was published.

What’s disappointing is that I was hoping to gain insight into the origins of the Joker or Jokers. This story offered the possibility of getting a definitive origin story to the character or characters. What I got instead was a retcon that deletes the possibilities offered by three Jokers and tells Batman fans there is in fact only one true Joker going forward. In some ways, Three Jokers is a lazy attempt to reconcile the wild idea of three Jokers with the reality that the story tellers at DC Comics simply have no idea what to do with that idea.

The story itself isn’t too bad. The tone is right. This is a pseudo horror story that uses the Joker for greater character development of the Batman family. Primarily, we get to see a lot of Batgirl and Jason Todd. I cringed a bit at how they talked the relationship between Todd and Batgirl though. It made me feel like I was watching a long running television show where the writers have run out of ideas and decide that all the characters should start romancing each other. Additionally, the ending directly contradicts the reveal of three Jokers in the Justice League comic (although I guess you could argue it doesn’t with some half assed argument that Batman always knows everything).

The art is great.

Overall, this was an okay story that under delivered on possibly insurmountable hype. The delays in publication also didn’t help. If you are a fan of Batman, Three Jokers (and likely the White Knight elseworlds story) is likely a story you need to read for the wrinkles it adds to the Batman mythos.

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