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DC Weekly: Is Batman: Three Jokers A Little Too Late?

DC Weekly

DC Weekly 8/27/2020

What a weekend for DC, am I right? In an eight-hour period, we learned about all of the DC films that DC and Warner Bros. are currently working on. Then this week in DC comics we have finally received the first issue of the long-anticipated Batman: Three Jokers mini-series by Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, and Brad Anderson. With so much attention on these two DC events. I think it’s only fair that we talk about them today! No, I am not going to do a play by play on all of the announcements. Rather just overall thoughts. Also, as excited as I was to get Three Jokers, did it arrive too late?

Thoughts on DC FanDome

First off, let’s take care of the elephant in the room, DC FanDome. Unlike Comic-Con@Home, this DC event gave evoked emotions out of me that can usually only be summoned by attending live conventions. They did a fairly good job of keeping the momentum rolling throughout the day. Starting with the film we’ve seen the most of, Wonder Woman 1984. Then ending with what is arguably the most anticipated film from DC, Matt Reeves’ The Batman.

I think they did a great job of making each of their presentations unique. For example, the dark and gritty feel of The Batman presentation, the comradery and chemistry of The Suicide Squad presentation, and the intensity of the Black Adam presentation. Nothing felt like we were watching just another Zoom meeting. I felt like even the shorts were great, especially the one that featured Batman Beyond and Bruce Wayne watching the old school Adam West Batman. That needs to be made into a series immediately!

Overall what made it really great besides the presentations was their schedule adjustment. At the last second, they decided to turn it into a two-day event instead of one. The second day takes place on September 12th, 2020. I am a fan of DC’s films, series, and Comics. I was not looking forward to having to pick and choose which presentations I watched early and which ones I would have to watch late at night. Thankful they realized it was just too much. DC FanDome can serve as a great example of how others like Marvel and even Star Wars can throw a virtual convention. Especially because we don’t know for how long we will have to do things like this.

Batman: Three Jokers… Better Late Than Never?

Let’s roll back the clocks for a bit to Mid-July, 2015. Johns’ and Fabok’s Justice League title. We find ourselves in issue #42 at a very significant moment. Batman has sat down in the Mobius Chair. After asking who killed his parents, he asks the identity of the Joker. After the chair responds to him he says, “No. That’s not possible”.

Fast forward to May of 2016. We find ourselves at the end of  Darkseid War with Justice League #50, from the same creative team. Here Batman reveals to Hal that the chair told him there were three Jokers. Then that he was going to further investigate what that meant. Something that was also referenced in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, also out on the same day.

Now we must fast forward another 4 years. At this point, most of what DC Rebirth had beautifully built is either gone or ending. Brian Michael Bendis took over Superman and in my opinion, wrecked what Dan Jurgens and Peter J. Tomasi had done. The Justice League was restructured into three books Justice League, Justice League: Dark, and Justice League: Odessy. We are currently on our second Metal event from Synder and Capullo. Oh, and Dan DiDio and the rumored 5G initiative at DC are no more. My point in all that is that it’s a whole different DC Comics than when they teased that story.

August 25th, 2020. Batman: Three Jokers by Johns and Fabok finally hits the comic bookshelves! I was very excited to pick up my copy along with some of the variant covers, specifically the one with the fish. I do agree that this is a must-read story and that it had a very strong first issue. Especially when it comes to the artwork by Fabok, it’s just incredible. The level of detail that he puts into each panel is some of the best in comic books. It’s complemented by amazing colors by Brad Anderson. But here is my problem, the book feels very late and out of place.

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Like Doomsday Clock, I feel like this book really lacks momentum because of how long it took to get it. I’m not talking about sales, as I’ve heard that shops have been selling out very quickly. I’m talking about the story momentum. This book and I may be wrong was supposed to drop during a time where we didn’t a current Joker story. Also, it was probably supposed to drop sometime during the Rebirth line, maybe right around the time, Doomsday Clock was supposed to wrap up? But we know what happened there. I feel releasing it this late will maybe water down what was supposed to be an epic finale to something that was started pre-Rebirth.

That takes me to my next point. As a Batman fan, I know how much some of the traumatic events to the Batfamily have affected and molded their career. But at what point does it get repetitive? In the first issue of Batman: Three Jokers we are once again taken to the theater where the Waynes were watching The Mask of Zorro. Something that James Tynion IV is also featuring in his Joker War story. How many times do we have to see Bruce’s parents die?

Batgirl is once again revisiting her encounter with the Joker when she got shot. Something she had to do in the Joker War tie-in issue as well as in Heroes in Crisis. I hate that she often is defined by that one moment despite the fact that she is such a great character. Red Hood’s Joker War tie-in issue also is touching on his same encounter with the Clown Prince of Crime that they are focusing on in Batman: Three Jokers. You know the one where Joker beats him with a crowbar? This is not too bad as Scott Lobdell has done a fantastic job in his long run of Red Hood Outlaw to add so much more to Red Hood’s character. In the end, what I am trying to say is that I get it Joker has messed up the Batfamily. You guys have made that very clear.

ALSO SEE: NEW COMIC WEDNESDAY AUGUST 26, 2020: THE COMIC SOURCE PODCAST

The issue started off very strong and as it progressed I felt like it started losing me along the way. First was the already mentioned reasons above. Then was the very nonchalant way that we were present all three Jokers working together. I made me feel like I had missed something earlier or if I was supposed to already know this. This then made the final few panels that much more confusing (I won’t mention what here even though Twitter made sure it was spoiled).

Now I am left hoping that the next issue is going to sort all of this out. But my biggest concern going forward is that I have more questions than answers and only two issues left. But I will say that this is still my book of the week because of the POTENTIAL to become the epic Joker story that we had been promised. For now, at least it didn’t feel like something that I needed to wait five years for.

Let me know what you guys thought of Batman: Three Jokers down below! Next week we’ll either do a spotlight on Stargirl or Doom Patrol. If you have a preference also let me know! Let’s not forget my top three Dc comic books for the week. I wonder what my already mentioned number one is.

My Top 3 DC COMIC BOOKS RELEASED 8/12/20

DC Weekly

3. Red Hood Outlaw #48
Written by Scott Lobdell. Artwork by Brett Booth, Inks by Danny Miki, and colors by Arif Prianto.

2. Wonder Woman #761
Written by Mariko Tamaki. Artwork by Carlo Barberi, inks by Matt Santorelli, and colors by Alejandro Sanchez.

1. Batman: Three Jokers #1
Written by Jeff Johns. Artwork by Jason Fabok with colors by Brad Anderson

Also in case you missed last week’s DC Weekly, you can check it out here!

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