Everyone has an opinion on ‘Joker’ – especially those who haven’t seen it. But it’s not the dangerous incel fantasy that some have hailed it as – though it will surely still find an audience with that crowd.
‘Joker’ is gorgeous in it’s own disgusting sort of way. And, going into it, if you consider it as an alternate universe spinoff, or Elseworlds retelling, you’ll have a great time – even if you’ll need a shower afterwards.
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In 2008, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo released Joker – which went on to be a massive hit. Now, and as part of the newly created ‘DC Black Label’ (an imprint for more mature readers), they’ve released Batman: Damned. This is a pseudo-sequel to Joker and continues the tone and world-building the pair had established – through Bermejo’s luscious art and Azzarello’s (potentially Marmite) edgy writing. I adored every page.
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After ‘The Dark Knight’ was released, the Joker became a pop culture icon. People worshipped him, slapping pictures of the character onto clothes and merchandise. You couldn’t escape people doing impressions and asking you “why so serious?”
Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo use the story of lowlife Jonny Frost to give us an alternative look at the Joker, and make you think twice before buying that t-shirt with his picture on.
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Batman: White Knight is an Elseworlds-esque thriller which sees the Joker become a good guy and try to save Gotham City from the unregulated, violent Batman. It is superb and original.
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