Article by Eric Lee
The hotly-anticipated Batman: Three Jokers will be released on June 17.
In an interview with EW.com, writer Geoff Johns discussed the premise of the mini-series. It has been over four years since Johns teased in Justice League that there are three different Jokers running around. Now, he and artist Jason Fabok will finally answer questions with Three Jokers.
On Instagram, Fabok showcased the series’ three different covers. The covers features-what else- the three different Jokers.
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I’ve been working on Batman: Three Jokers for nearly 2 years now (and it’s been in the planning since 2016), and finally I’m happy to announce that Book 1 will release on June 17, 2020. This is a project that Geoff Johns and I have poured our heart and soul into. This book will be my lasting mark on DC Comics and on Batman. It’s everything I’ve dreamed of doing with the character since I was 8 years old watching Batman take on the Joker in Tim Burton’s “Batman”. I feel like this is the story Geoff and I were meant to tell. Everything has come together in it’s time, and we have forged a story that takes major chances with the characters involved, pushing ideas that have never been done before in the 80 years of Batman’s history. And yet it feels like it could fit into the history of Batman at any period. I’m so proud of this work and it’s all going to come together in our dark and emotional story about the scars we suffer through tragedy and how they can heal right…or heal wrong. Here is an exclusive interview Geoff and I did with entertainment weekly showing off the covers and some interior art. More to come the coming months. You can pre-order the book now at your local comic book shop. “…and here we go…” https://ew.com/books/geoff-johns-jason-fabok-tease-dcs-three-jokers-comic/?fbclid=IwAR2pwMeISqcb620rXx7zCIv6cDLGs9qKvqs9zxGx8YqShZAq0Rg2yVUswAI&utm_campaign=entertainmentweekly_ew&utm_content=link&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_term=458C7B7C-621F-11EA-8552-CEA14744363C
Bat-fans will recognize the different Jokers are from the original 1940 Batman #1, A Death in the Family, and The Killing Joke.
Also check out how the covers also form a subtle homage to the “Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” monkeys.
‘Three Jokers’ Plot and Theme
Three Jokers will, of course, feature Batman and Joker. However, the storyline will also spotlight Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd. Fans knows that they are the two members of the Bat-Family that have been impacted by the Joker the most. Barbara was shot and paralyzed from the waist down in The Killing Joke. Jason was bludgeoned and blown up in Death In the Family. Both have recovered from being paralyzed/killed, but Johns reiterates that does not mean that they have healed from their emotional wounds.
It goes back to the beginning when Batman first encountered the Joker, but it’s also The Killing Joke and A Death in the Family that speak to the book and that we’re building off emotionally. Barbara and Jason have gone through so much, as has Bruce, and it’s really focused on healing, on scars and wounds and what that does to somebody. If you suffer some trauma, you don’t just get over with it and move on with your life, it changes who you are. Sometimes it changes you for the better, sometimes it changes you for the worse. You can heal right, and you can heal wrong. That’s really what the book’s about: Healing right, healing wrong, and surviving.
The Art of ‘Three Jokers’
Artist Fabok also talks about how he intentionally homaged Killing Joke artist Brian Bolland’s work. In fact, he even went on to say that Three Jokers is a spiritual sequel to the acclaimed 1988 graphic novel.
We made a choice right from the beginning that we would base the look of our book around what Brian did in The Killing Joke. Just like how Gary in Doomsday Clock took a lot of his beats from Dave Gibbons, I’m kind of doing the same with Brian Bolland. Fans who have read The Killing Joke, you’re gonna see some familiar panels, you’re gonna see some familiar-looking things, like the Batcave. My thinking was almost, ‘Okay, years have passed so Batman has upgraded his Batcave from what he had originally in The Killing Joke, but the same bones are there.’ Even the Batmobile that I designed is loosely based around the Batmobile from The Killing Joke, where it’s got one big fin and a face built into the front, with big wheels and everything. I consciously infused a lot of that Brian Bolland, even the way he would tell stories through his panels. The Killing Joke has sat next to my desk for the last two years. I’ve been constantly referencing it, and even following a lot of the rules of how he laid out his panels in that book. I really want it to feel like it could be a spiritual sequel, at least artistically.
Why the Long Wait?
The reason why Three Jokers took so long to produce was simple: Fabok needed time to draw the series. Fortunately for fans, Fabok completed the entire series, so there should be no delays in publishing.
I see fans on Twitter and I know they’re getting impatient, they want this book to come out. Geoff and I have come to realize that everything will happen within its time. Because it’s taken so long, we’ve actually made this story better. Everything’s come together so naturally, we’re so pumped up and so confident in this story.