“Joker Incorporated” – Part three
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artists: John Timms, Michele Bandini and David Lafuente
Color Artist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Review by James Attias
Batman Incorporated #10 features a race against The Joker’s sadistic clock. It’s kill or be killed, so who will break Batman’s one rule? Who will die?
I made no attempt to hide my concern that if any group that doesn’t include Batman should ever defeat The Joker, I would not be pleased. So after reading this issue… I am very confident Batman Inc. hasn’t got a chance! The Clown Prince of Crime’s Joker Incorporated is just toying with the heroic team, which honestly makes me feel a lot better.
The Joker is not a villain of the week, he’s the most sinister, evil, homicidal maniac that the comic book world has ever seen. People call Batman overpowered and “Prep time” is often thrown around the internet like an insult. Well, let me tell you, The Joker is of equal power. Two sides of the coin, forever locked in battle. How can Batman prep for the most unpredictable killer in comic book history? MAN, I love these characters.
The villain has started his game; kill a member of Joker Inc. or die with all the people within a kilometer dying too. High stakes, indeed. The Joker’s playing with these different versions of Batman and Ghost-Maker would happily kill the Monarch of Mayhem and every single one of his clowns, but he would then break his word to Batman. Drat! Just when he was starting to have something of a redemption arc.
There’s also another thread going on… find The Alpaca. I’m sorry I feel like I must have passed out from all the Joker toxin. Where did this come from? Who is Alpaca? I review and read these titles religiously. So if I’m having trouble following the thread then I don’t know how the casual reader is going to follow. I just hope it’s a “Why do we need to find this guy again?” “Let me explain from the beginning” type of situation.
A wonderful element of this story comes from all the different names of the regional Jokers, like Dai Laffyn, and Charles de Ghoul. It’s like dad jokes on steroids, but I’m here for it. Ed Brisson, who’s been writing this series has made some brave choices so far.
This is by far the riskiest storyline in this run to date and I really really hope that it pays off. It has to. If it ends with an average ending, we will be disappointed. If it ends badly, the nerds will be in uproar! Either way, Mr. Brisson, I’m wishing you all the best.
The art in this issue, which added two more artists to the team, seemed a little off. The drawings seemed a little kiddy, if you know what I mean. Imagine a whole bunch of sadistic clowns, drawn by a gritty horror artist. Or, and I’m really dreaming now… an Alex Ross or a Lee Bermejo? Imagine! At the moment it all feels a bit too child friendly. I’m hoping that we’ll see a splash of menace added to this recipe in issues to come.
Batman Incorporated #10 is a fairly decent issue. The Joker has raised the stakes, and I just hope that the writing can keep up.