Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Joker: The Clown Prince of Crime TPB

 (DC, 2013) This 1975-76 series was something I loved as a kid and re-reading it now I can see why. The 1970s fandom-influenced writers like Denny O'Neil and Eliot S. Maggin were bringing new voices and sensibilities but also were working within the DC framework of continuity-adverse, decidedly dumb storytelling and conventions. With a project like this -- the Joker and his goofy gang teaming with/or opposing guest villains and heroes while perpetrating ridiculous, absurdist campy crimes (while still murdering people with his Joker gas) -- what you get is not a New Age of Comics, but the dumb old age of comics done just a little bit better in a way that makes the silliness more tantalizing. Why would Joker care about Willie the Weeper, the crying crime lord? Because it would be a fun story! Why would his sense of humor get brain swapped with Lex Luthor's stern cerebralism? Because this is comic book! Why would an actor who portrays Sherlock Holmes become Sherlock  Holmes to have a golf club sword fight with Joker and crack the case of the Hamburger King? I don't know, but I'm glad he did! This Joker's wild! Which is a joke made many times in this collection.

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