“Why Tho Theriouth?”
Writers: Scott Lobdell and Joey Cavalieri
Pencillers: Brett Booth and Luciano Vecchio
Things get looney this week in the DCU, as writer Scott Lobdell and artist Brett Booth arrange an unfortunate encounter between the Joker and Daffy Duck.
The Joker/Daffy Duck #1 is the latest issue in DC’s Looney Tunes crossovers, where popular creative teams tackle a story featuring iconic characters from each franchise. Sometimes these mash-ups work. Sometimes they don’t. The Joker/Daffy Duck #1, for me, unfortunately, falls into the latter category.
The issue has a simple premise: Daffy Duck becomes one of Joker’s henchmen. In a bizarre turn of events, Daffy travels to Gotham in search of Acme Headquarters. He stumbles into an abandoned warehouse and discovers the Joker’s secret hideout. Once captured Daffy lies, convincing the Joker that he’s from “Acme Hench”. Elated by this news, the Joker places Daffy in charge of organizing his goons.
Too Clever For Its Own Good
The Joker/Daffy Duck #1 has some decent moments. There’s a fun montage highlighting Daffy’s skillful management of the Joker’s henchmen. Also, the story ends with a humorous scene where Daffy encounters the Dark Knight.
While this issue’s story is mildly amusing, Lobdell’s script is a frustrating read. Specifically, when Lobdell writes Daffy’s dialogue, he replaces every “s” with a “th”. This “clever” attempt to replicate Daffy’s notorious lisp renders the script incomprehensible at a first glance. Frankly, it’s more obnoxious than it is endearing.
Sufferin’ Succotash, That’s Some Bad Art!
With regards to this issue’s pencils, Booth’s work is not great. For The Joker/Daffy Duck #1, Booth’s art is mediocre at times and awful at others.
Paneling has always been one of Booth’s strengths, and that is definitely the case for this book. The Joker/Daffy Duck #1 paneling is well paced and dynamic, especially in the aforementioned montage. Nevertheless, The Joker/Daffy Duck #1 panels are far from innovative. Booth fails to deviate from layouts used in previous titles.
The pencils are seriously lacking when it comes to character design and style. For starters, his character’s heads look elongated and deformed. Also, he renders Daffy in a “lifelike”, wanna-be-Jim-Lee fashion that leaves the character unrecognizable.
Finally, there are moments in the issue where it’s obvious that Booth wasn’t paying attention to the actual proportions of human anatomy. There’s a panel towards the end of the issue where Batman’s body looks deformed, as he swoops into a window to kick the Joker in the face.
A Back-up Beyond Belief
One of the brighter perks of The Joker/Daffy Duck #1 is the eight-page backup story, “Silence of the Lame”, written by Joey Cavalieri and Luciano Vecchio. Cavalieri’s script is brilliant, packed full of meta jokes and slapstick comedy, as Daffy Duck plays a shrink who’s been hired to psychoanalyze the Joker at Arkham Asylum.
Vecchio’s art is wonderfully cartoony and iconic, a perfect blend of Bruce Tim’s Batman: The Animated Series and Tex Avery’s Looney Tunes. The story is fun, fresh and funny, playing on 90’s nostalgia in the best way possible.
Overall, The Joker/Daffy Duck #1 is a bit of a bust. Lobdell and Booth produce a sub-par issue that lacks the flare of DC’s previous Looney Tunes crossovers. While its backup story is brilliant, paying $4.99 for only eight pages of good storytelling is a big ask, as I found wading through the first twenty-six pages of The Joker/Daffy Duck #1 a real slog.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment