Written by Chuck Dixon and with a host of DC Comics artists comes Joker: The Last Laugh, a 2001 crossover story about what would happen if the Clown Prince of Crime had absolutely nothing to lose.
While serving time in the Slab, a supermax prison for powerful enemies, the Joker is informed that he has an inoperable brain tumor and that he will soon die. After going through the five stages of grief in five minutes, the Joker starts a prison riot and in the process, infects the entire prison population with Joker venom before having Black Mass sinking the Slab into a black hole and escaping with an army of “Jokerized” supervillains. Batman, Robin, Oracle, Nightwing, and Black Canary have to work together to stem the tide of horrifying events as the Joker wants to go out with a legacy that will destroy the world.
This story is incredibly extra, with an army of villains all with the Joker’s smile that are terrorizing the world via weather, kidnappings, or just mindless destruction. It was fun to see the superheroes, especially the nonpowered, battle “outside their weight class” in order to stop the villains.
Chuck Dixon, as usual, is at the top his game. He is one of the best writers to bring Batman to life and pit him against the Joker. I liked the overall story of the Clown Prince of Crime going international, but I found the story of the Slab staff trying to escape the black hole a little boring. Fortunately, those stories are shorter. Now, there two twists at the end and one is better than the other, but Dixon does a good job of tying it all together.
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This article has been updated from a previous version.