“Joker Incorporated” – Part two
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: John Timms
Color Artist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by James Attias
Batman Incorporated #9 is here, and with it comes a Joker gas cloud of chaos for Ghost-Maker and the team!
Let’s dive in.
For those of you who read the previous issue, you know that the clown prince of crime himself has formed a team of Clown-themed psychos from around the world. I was quite worried that having The Joker in a book that didn’t have Batman as the lead, would be a mistake, or at least a disservice to either the bat or the clown respectively.
This issue revs us into overdrive. Joker almost immediately shows that he has the upper hand over almost all of the members of Batman Inc., even going so far as to murder one of his own, just to show off.
With the team spread thin, they’ve been left vulnerable to the traps that have been set by the killer clowns, all across the globe. I was reading some comics the other day, as all nerds do, and I thought to myself; when was the last time I felt worried for a character in a comic? When was the last time I was genuinely worried that a villain would finally kill one of our beloved heroes? The answer is years. Without having a huge event or a mini-series “The Death of [INSERT HERO]” who then comes back within the same year as if nothing happened has happened so many times.
So, books like Batman Incorporated have actually lit a small spark of hope. Of course, these are not A-list characters (or possibly even B-list) though, after reading this title for the last 9 issues and growing attached to some of them, seeing them grow, and fight and become the heroes we know they can be… I actually care. Now, fighting against the deadliest supervillain in the history of comics? I genuinely don’t know if everyone will be walking away from this story, and I have to tell you it feels good to read that!
Leave this one, Bob, I kinda like it
The writing in this series has been up and down and sometimes a little formulaic. The villain kills the victim, the team tracks the villain down, and one team member goes rogue only to rejoin the team in their moment of need. Heroes prevail. Rinse, repeat. This time around, however, it feels like The Empire Strikes Back (this is the highest praise, indeed). Our heroes are scattered, their leader, Ghost-Maker, is face to face with the pale hand of death The Joker himself and the villain has issued his challenge. The stage is set and I can’t wait to read and experience how this one plays out.
The art in this issue was just ok. After being treated to great Joker art over the last decade with very few missing the mark, I have to say the only thing that I would improve about this book would be that here he looks very two-dimensional. All the other characters are fine, but Joker just isn’t giving me the fear and stench of death he so often exudes. If he did actually scare me on these pages, then this story would be complete. We all know how much the Joker values art, of course (queue Prince song “Partyman”).
Batman Incorporated #9 is a great issue that actually has very little to complain about, I just need that extra teaspoon of special next issue, in order to be truly wowed.