One of the masters of the mysterious world of the macabre John Carpenter takes a break from semi-retirement to venture into the world of DC Comics with ‘The Joker: Year of the Villain,‘ a one-shot comic about a solo adventure with the Clown Prince of Crime cow-written by Anthony Burch.
Set during the “City of Bane” arc, Arkham inmate Jeremy is recruited to be in the Joker’s gang as Six of Hearts. The Joker proceeds to wipe out his entire gang but spares Jeremy after finding his story of an abusive father funny. Jeremy, likewise, enjoys the Joker’s company, thinking he’s a kindred spirit. As the duo create chaos throughout Gotham, dressed as Batman and Robin, Jeremy soon begins to doubt the Joker’s sincerity and even his insanity.
John Carpenter and Anthony Burch do an excellent job with this story. They develop a unique and terrifying story of how the Joker and you can definitely feel the Carpenter-esque thrills and chills. Likewise, the artwork by Marc Deering and Philip Tan definitely hit a high note, perfectly capturing the terror that Gotham is feeling as the Joker runs amok.
Similar to “Case Study,” this one-shot looks at the Joker and poses the question, is the Joker actually insane or he is just pure evil. It is a concept that Batman fans have been debating since the character’s first appearance. Despite how much I enjoyed Joaquin Phoenix‘s performance, I tend to agree with the people who say the Joker is evil, not insane. He is a sadist, a terrorist, and a man who hides behind his scars so he can be sure to always come back to haunt Gotham City and the Batman.
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