There’s a good reason they titled this issue, Joker Jitters. It’s spooky.
This one-shot, tie-in issue wonderfully complements the spirit of the Gotham Academy series by intertwining the mysterious back-stories of both the academy and the Joker.
The story opens with three girls: Olive, Maps and Pomeline, sitting cross-legged beneath a tent canopy talking shop. It’s dark, except for the soft glow of a single lantern highlighting their innocent faces. Before long the conversation turns to everyone’s favorite nighttime subject — the Joker, which sparks interest in sharing creepy stories. With the mood set, and armed with nothing more than flashlights and their wits, the girls banter scary tales back and forth centered on popular Joker yarns. Amid the colorful tales and squeals from Maps, Professor MacPherson pokes her head inside the tent door to check on things and, upon hearing the subject matter, offers to join in the fun with her own take of the Joker’s narrative based on the version from her hometown of Ullapool, in Northern Scotland. Olive finishes up the evening by sharing her mom’s twisted, Arkham Asylum version, which focuses on the Jokers rumored childhood beginnings.
Without giving too much away, it’s sufficient to say that these Joker stories are intended to give you the jitters, not to make you laugh. Ha.
My score: 7/10