Review: Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #7

“It’s Not Funny Anymore” – Part Seven, and “Joker For President”
Writers: Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Cady
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico and Will Robson
Color Artists: Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Hi-Fi
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Kendra Hale

Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #7 is out and the story continues the harrowing journey of the L.A. “real” Joker, as he attempts to escape the city of Angels in one piece. We met the new challenger to his chaos as Kate Spencer, a.k.a Manhunter, stepped up to tackle the interloper in her city.

As always, the latest issue comes with some stunning cover options.  This month Lee Bermejo, Christian Ward, and Francesco Mattina are among the talents bringing us delightfully, wicked and twisted detailed covers. Some almost optical illusions of the madness of the mind of Joker, and other images that are just plain fun.

My Worst Nightmare Is Being Boring 

The story opens with an AA-style meeting in which Kate talks about her own addiction and battles with the darkness that addiction brought into her life. These poignant moments of self-awareness are cut short by the BOOM of a bomb going off and Kate giving in to addiction once more. She dons the Manhunter persona and enters in a violent and arduous battle with Joker that traverses the city. Hopefully, the fight will end with the city still in one piece.

Meanwhile, Jason is being informed that rather than staying to face trial, someone has let it slide that he might be a flight risk. So he’s transferred to Blackgate. A new face, “Mr. Sprang”, is 22,000 feet above L.A. and free-falling down to L.A. after his flight’s diverted, thanks to Joker’s chaos. We admire his dedication. Also, we get an update on the Joker in Gotham as well. Having been patched and cared for by Solomon Grundy, he has no idea what’s coming from L.A. for him.

Bonus Content

Readers are treated to another tale from the mind of Ryan Cady and Matthew Rosenberg. In this short story, we have Joker running for president. It seems his ambitions lie down the political road. In a zany gamble, he has to survive his bid for candidacy.

There are so many fun moments and the end features a feature cameo from a familiar face from the Knight and Squire series. Will Robson provides wonderful art with Hi-Fi delivering delightful and bright colors. Tom Napolitano’s also there, for lettering, and I must give a special shout-out to Dave Wielgosz for the editing because his footnotes always make me smile.

All Hail King Joker

There may be some nay-sayers who may complain that Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #7 only inches the plot forward. While there is some merit in the radical switch from high-speed action to more of a slow pace, there’s still so much content left to unleash.

Matthew Rosenberg has written a mystery for the ages. His ability to write a duality in which it is impossible to decipher which of the Jokers is the real one, is daunting, to say the least. Seven issues into the series, you would think a flaw of a clue, or some glitch in the Matrix would’ve shown itself. No, this is a dive beneath the surface in a way we haven’t seen done before. I, for one, am down for the ride.

The artwork’s astounding, whether we look at the covers, the main story, or even the bonus content. There’s a scene in the main story where Manhunter catches up to the trio of Joker, Waffles, and Mr. Pancakes on the highway and sets in motion crashing their car with her staff. It’s a full-page splash of glorious artwork. From the background fade to the crisp lines of detail. You really couldn’t ask for more from a panel.

Conclusion

This journey’s still chugging forward with the ending closing in. Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #7 gives us a great introduction to Manhunter for new fans, as a character that shows many facets of the many sides of just who the Joker is. This one’s certainly worth the pick-up.

I look forward to seeing more, fingers crossed, of Jarvis Poker in the future of DC.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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