Review: Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #9

“It’s Not Funny Anymore”- Part Nine and “A Clown Is Born”
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg 
Artists: Carmine Di Giandomenico and Francesco Francavilla
Color Artist: Romulo Fajardo Jr. 
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Kendra Smart

The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #9 is here! We’ve watched the twists and turns, the slight of hand masterfully hiding who’s real and who’s fake.

The covers that we are presented with this week are utterly fantastic. Carmine Di Giandomenico, Francesco Mattina, Ivan Tao, Clay Mann, and Tomeu Morey provide readers with such variety to choose from.

The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #9

The “Gotham or Bust” cover is presented with such a beautiful color palette, a simple concept of hitchhiking delivered with brilliance and attention to detail. The Joker buried in chibi versions of heroes, villains, and anti-heroes is delightfully fun. Maybe the locked up Joker is more visually appealing to you as a reader, the gritty cover is definitely haunting enough. Or if by chance bold artwork is your thing, maybe the striking, color blocked graffiti style Joker would be more up your alley? Any choice you make will be spectacular, but let’s get to the meat that awaits inside.

Making My Way Back To You Babe

Starting back under Gotham Cities sewers, Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #9 sets us in the middle of a standoff between Waylon Jones and the Gotham Joker. Before they determine just who walks away alive, Joker has a few inquiries that go deep. While shocking revelations happen below the city, explosive ones are happening just a few miles away.  A gas station run leads to a cop chase for the L.A. Joker, as he and the gang make their way back into the city for the final score.

While both Jokers make their rounds and get ready for a final brawl, Jason Todd’s facing his own battle. His convoy to prison has been hijacked, but an old friend reaches out to pull him from the wreckage. There’s a full war brewing and many key players are picking their sides, either by choice or by force. The time has come for the shenanigans to begin… and, boy will it be a show for the ages!

It’s All About Perspective

I know I’ve said this a lot throughout the series, but I genuinely am blown away by the writing and artwork at play. The pacing has been slow but that’s only because of the wait time in between chapters. Matthew Rosenberg’s given readers a twisting and turning, ever present maze of information with each book in this series so far. With Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #9 there are several instances that are genius.

On one hand you have Waylon explaining the lore of The Joker from another villain’s points of view, not in terror or fear but plain simple fact. The entire page from dialogue to art is perfection. Another great moment is from the final page where we have a dual comparison that’s a visual feast.

Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #9’s bonus story, “A Clown Is Born” is also terrific. Francesco Francavilla joins Matthew and Tom in giving us art for a harrowing descent into insanity. Jim Gordon’s at the center of a story in which The Joker dies… but is it for real this time?

Conclusion

If you haven’t been keeping up with, or at least dabbling in this series then you are doing yourself a disservice, as this comic offers such priceless moments of clarity to ease the clinical insanity of the story. I look forward to the war coming our way, fellow readers. See you next time!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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