Batman Three Jokers #1 review

by Wes Greer on August 25, 2020

Writer – Geoff Johns
Art – Jason Fabok
Colors – Brad Anderson
Letters – Rob Leigh

Well, Three Jokers #1 is finally here. After years of rumors and talks of if the story would ever come to print, we finally got confirmation last year from Jason Fabok that we would indeed be getting this story at the beginning of  and fans across the world lost their minds in celebration. Well, enter  and the world as we knew it changed overnight and comics from all publishers came to a halt due to the shutdown of Diamond Comic Distributors which forced a lot of publishers to stop printing books and many became delayed. One of the titles DC had to delay of course ended up being Three Jokers so fans were forced to sit and wait again for a book we had already been waiting on but I have some pretty great news, this book was worth the wait! Not only did the delay give the creators time to go back and make sure the series was to perfection but they were able to give fans a few added bonuses such as the exclusive playing cards and multiple premium variants of the Joker throughout his 80 year history.

Three Jokers #1 takes its time and really sets up the world it exists in. The way Geoff Johns introduces readers to the main characters in this one was really fantastic and this story is set around three members of the bat family. We have Batman of course, Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, and Jason Todd as Red Hood. All three members who have the longest and most disturbed history with the Joker, so it makes perfect sense to include these three. The beginning of the issue is used to introduce these characters one by one but to also give a detailed history of how the Joker has played a part in their lives to get them where they are now. Its no spoiler here that obviously Batman has had numerous run ins with the Clown Prince of Crime, Barbara was brutally shot by him and crippled from the shooting in the Killing Joke, and Jason Todd of course was brutally murdered by Joker after DC let fans ultimately choose his fate and later returned in Under The Hood where he dawned the mantle of the Jokers alter ego. The Red Hood. So, to say the least these characters all have a dark and twisted connection overall. As Johns gives us a history of these characters, he also introduces us to the idea that all three characters have had a history with a different Joker. Batman’s Joker is introduced as The Criminal, Batgirls Joker as the Comedian, and Red Hood’s as the Clown. After introducing readers to the stories main characters and giving us a deep dark history, the story takes off into the night of Gotham as multiple crimes are happening at once each with eye witnesses claiming it was the Joker but all three crimes happened at the same time so this leads to the speculation that the Joker may be working with imposters. The story goes on to unite our three bat family members as they all work together to try and unfold this mystery and it is just pure fun and chaos along the way. Johns gives us a bit more of a detective style story with this first issue which I really was able to appreciate and enjoy and since it is a Black Label story we are given a bit more of an adult theme which Johns takes full advantage of and really gives us an overall dark and edgy story as well as character dialect. I was left with quite a few questions unanswered though with this issue. One, I was not able to tell if this story was in continuity as there are multiple characters in it who have since passed on in the main DC Universe stories and two, it does not seem like a follow up to Johns run of Justice League where we first learned of the fact that there were three jokers. While these questions puzzled me, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the story and I am sure we will get some more answers as the story goes on.

For the art of this issue we get the incredible talents of Jason Fabok who has really become one of the greatest in the trade as of recent years. The last story I reviewed that had fabok on pencils was the Batman and Flash crossover The Button and I was just blown away by all the detail and incredible character designs in that story. Jump forward to now and I can honestly say that Fabok has just upped his game and delivers some of the most incredible character designs in this issue that we have seen to date in a Batman story. The amount of detail in his Bruce and Batman just blows the reader away as your eyes scan over every little line and expression and detail in his suit. For the Bat suit, Fabok goes with a more classic feel blended up with a lot of modern designs. I got the feeling of Jim Lee’s Batman from Hush meets Michael Keaton’s Batman from 1989 which creates just such an incredible look and aesthetic. The anatomy alone on the characters in this story are stunning and then fabok just out does himself giving so much detail to little things like accents on the bat symbols on the characters chests or small blemishes on cowls and hoods. You can really tell he took advantage of the extra time they were given and really gave this story 110% effort. He also gives the same amount of detailed work to each individual Joker we meet in this issue making them feel new while at the same time making them feel right out of the original stories each joker is based on. Usually most artists give the Jokers a more familiar look where if their were multiple it would feel like they were clones of themselves but Fabok really nails it in this issue keeping them familiar enough to where we know they are the real Joker but giving each one their own characteristics so we can tell them apart from each other and which tale they have come from. This issue deals with a lot of nine panel pages like Doomsday Clock and Fabok fills each one with as much detail as possible making it feel as if it was a full splash which just looks incredible. The colors of this issue are just as incredible as the artwork and Brad Anderson really adds to the magic of the visuals with what might also be his best work yet. Anderson recently has been working on Detective Comics along with Brad Walker where his name really started to stick out to me because of the incredible and just beautiful work he was doing on that series. Just like the details of the art work, Anderson really gives us just so much incredible detail from delivering overall tones down to the little highlights and blemishes and these two together have really just set the bar high and delivered such an incredible visual that tells a story of its own at times and leaves very little to the readers imagination.

Overall, the writing of this issue may have a few bumps but overall delivers an incredible and thrilling ride for readers giving us a detailed history of the characters as well as setting us up and taking us along for what is sure to be an incredible and dark journey as we explore the story more and leaves readers intrigued as well as shocked and hits on several emotions that leave us wanting more. The art not only gives the reader so much to scan over and enjoy but ultimately tells a part of the story on its own without needing any dialogue and may be some of the most incredible artwork to come out of a Batman story so far leaving very little to the readers imagination and delivering the overall tone and aesthetic of the stories tone. Even though its been quite a wait for this series, the creative team has really delivered something worth the wait and I know I personally can not wait to see what else they have in store for us and they have really given us a true dark Joker story that could be one we wont soon forget!

Three Jokers is available today so make sure you are one of the first at your Local Shop because this is for sure one that will not be on the shelf long. If you live in an area that is still impacted by the current covid19 pandemic, you can also purchase this issue via digital download from your preferred digital retailer. Make sure you guys let me know what you thought about this issue by leaving a comment down below.

-Wes Greer

Our Score:


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