JOKER: ENDGAME

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

Following his extended absence between the birth of the New 52 and his re-emergence in Death of the Family, this time it doesn't feel like The Joker has been gone that long at all. It seems like only yesterday we watched him tumble over the edge of a cliff at the hands of The Batman, and even more recently that we saw his Red Hood plop into a vat of poison acid in the prequel Zero Year.

Nevertheless, the proverbial bad penny Joker is back again, and this is his endgame. It's the title and everything. Joker: Endgame (see) collects every bit of relevant material, from Scott Snyder's main Batman story to the surrounding tie-in books and one-shots. The main story is collected by itself in the Batman: Endgame graphic novel, but if you want to be completist about it, this bigger tome compiles the entire (end)game, for better and worse.

Better: this is a stronger lot of tie-ins than the enormous but awful (and incomplete!) Joker: Death of the Family collection, with overarching, standalone stories and vastly superior art and writing. It opens strong with its first tale – a journalist accidentally becoming best friends with The Clown Prince of Crime – feeling like an old Animated Series tale in the very best way. That sense of playfulness is retained throughout, the Arkham Manor, Gotham Academy and Batgirl stories providing a nice counterpoint to the awful sadism which so characterised Death of the Family's tie-ins and so much of the character's activity thereabouts.

Worse: being scattered among Snyder's main story does these punctuations no favours, and there's a danger many will skip the fluff just to get back to Endgame's bombastic blockbuster action. It's a breathless story, and being broken up in such a manner tends to slow it down and dull its effect. And that's well before we get onto the big problems with Endgame itself, which become even more laboured as the tie-ins progress. Will any of its ideas stick? One suspects continuity will forget the main conceit (and Snyder certainly gives subsequent writers wiggle room to do so) but this sense of ambition and inventiveness is welcome.

He'll be back, of course, but credit where it's due: Joker: Endgame is one of the most lively Joker stories in years. It frequently ends up on the wrong side of its own hit-to-miss ratio, but it's a good laugh nevertheless.

JOKER: END GAME / WRITER: JAMES TYNION IV / ARTIST: DUSTIN NGUYEN, BRENDAN FLETVHER / PUBLISHER: DC COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 6TH

 

Foll

Following his
extended absence between the birth of the New 52 and his re-emergence in Death of the Family, this time it doesn't feel like The Joker has been gone that long at all. It seems like only yesterday we watched him tumble over the edge of a cliff at the hands of The Batman, and even more recently that we saw his Red Hood plop into a vat of poison acid in the prequel Zero Year.

 

Nevertheless, the proverbial bad penny Joker is back again, and this is his endgame. It's the title and everything. Joker: Endgame (see) collects every bit of relevant material, from Scott Snyder's main Batman story to the surrounding tie-in books and one-shots. The main story is collected by itself in the Batman: Endgame graphic novel, but if you want to be completist about it, this bigger tome compiles the entire (end)game, for better and worse.

 

Better: this is a stronger lot of tie-ins than the enormous but awful (and incomplete!) Joker: Death of the Family collection, with overarching, stand-alone stories and vastly superior art and writing. It opens strong with its first tale – a journalist accidentally becoming best friends with The Clown Prince of Crime – feeling like an old Animated Series tale in the very best way. That sense of playfulness is retained throughout, the Arkham Manor, Gotham Academy and Batgirl stories providing a nice counterpoint to the awful sadism which so characterised Death of the Family's tie-ins and so much of the character's activity thereabouts.

 

Worse: being scattered among Snyder's main story does these punctuations no favours, and there's a danger many will skip the fluff just to get back to Endgame's bombastic blockbuster action. It's a breathless story, and being broken up in such a manner tends to slow it down and dull its effect. And that's well before we get onto the big problems with Endgame itself, which become even more laboured as the tie-ins progress. Will any of its ideas stick? One suspects continuity will forget the main conceit (and Snyder certainly gives subsequent writers wiggle room to do so) but this sense of ambition and inventiveness is welcome.

 

He'll be back, of course, but credit where it's due: Joker: Endgame is one of the most lively Joker stories in years. It frequently ends up on the wrong side of its own hit-to-miss ratio, but it's a good laugh nevertheless.

JOKER: END GAME / WRITER: JAMES TYNION IV / ARTIST: DUSTIN NGUYEN, BRENDAN FLETVHER / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 6THowing his extended absence between the birth of the New 52 and his re-emergence in Death of the Family, this time it doesn't feel like The Joker has been gone that long at all. It seems like only yesterday we watched him tumble over the edge of a cliff at the hands of The Batman, and even more recently that we saw his Red Hood plop into a vat of poison acid in the prequel Zero Year.

 

Nevertheless, the proverbial bad penny Joker is back again, and this is his endgame. It's the title and everything. Joker: Endgame (see) collects every bit of relevant material, from Scott Snyder's main Batman story to the surrounding tie-in books and one-shots. The main story is collected by itself in the Batman: Endgame graphic novel, but if you want to be completist about it, this bigger tome compiles the entire (end)game, for better and worse.

 

Better: this is a stronger lot of tie-ins than the enormous but awful (and incomplete!) Joker: Death of the Family collection, with overarching, stand-alone stories and vastly superior art and writing. It opens strong with its first tale – a journalist accidentally becoming best friends with The Clown Prince of Crime – feeling like an old Animated Series tale in the very best way. That sense of playfulness is retained throughout, the Arkham Manor, Gotham Academy and Batgirl stories providing a nice counterpoint to the awful sadism which so characterised Death of the Family's tie-ins and so much of the character's activity thereabouts.

 

Worse: being scattered among Snyder's main story does these punctuations no favours, and there's a danger many will skip the fluff just to get back to Endgame's bombastic blockbuster action. It's a breathless story, and being broken up in such a manner tends to slow it down and dull its effect. And that's well before we get onto the big problems with Endgame itself, which become even more laboured as the tie-ins progress. Will any of its ideas stick? One suspects continuity will forget the main conceit (and Snyder certainly gives subsequent writers wiggle room to do so) but this sense of ambition and inventiveness is welcome.

 

He'll be back, of course, but credit where it's due: Joker: Endgame is one of the most lively Joker stories in years. It frequently ends up on the wrong side of its own hit-to-miss ratio, but it's a good laugh nevertheless.

JOKER: END GAME / WRITER: JAMES TYNION IV / ARTIST: DUSTIN NGUYEN, BRENDAN FLETVHER / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 6TH


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