“The Final Joke” – Part Three
The current storyline in this series is incredibly strong. The openness of the setting that future Gotham brings allows creators like Dan Jurgens to completely, yet faithfully, re-imagine certain characters. The quality of the artwork keeps the scope grand and futuristic, but also homely and sincere. This is particularly evident in the quiet scenes between Terry and Melanie.
I deeply love this title. It’s able to keep a lot of intricate story beats across the clear characters and delivers intense action. It’s one of the strongest series going, and this issue doesn’t slouch.
Joker’s shocking return in issue 25 created the most destructive ripples imaginable, though we’d expect nothing less. The past two issues have been led by his characteristically wanton destruction. In this issue, to all our horrors, he’s really here to stay. We’ve seen glimmers of his attitude to the street gang that idolized him: “The Jokerz”, and now we find out just how big of a joke he finds them. The adaptability of the character, existing as a stranger in a strange land, is really on show. He has his reasons to hate the future he’s found himself in, but witnessing how he takes it on shows the character’s true versatility, both today and in the future.
A conversation between Terry and Matt really sums up the Joker. Terry questions why he would destroy a particular building, rightly calling him a “Criminal mastermind” but Matt asks whether a “Whack job” like him would even need a reason to do anything. Both statements are true about the Joker.
It takes a unique creative team to take a character everybody knows, completely re-frame him, yet keep him sincere. Great work.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment