Written by: Brian Azzarello
Art by: Lee Bermejo
DC Comics, 130 Pages
When this came out in 2008, I thought it was pretty badass. It hasn’t aged well though.
But I guess my changed feelings on it now is because I’ve aged as a comic book reader and the character of the Joker just doesn’t feel right in this. Also, the plot is very thin and this mostly just follows a regular guy who finds himself pulled into the Joker’s orbit on the day that the criminal madman is released from Arkham Asylum.
I know that this came out at the same time as 2008’s The Dark Knight and that it was made to capitalize off of that highly anticipated movie. In fact, the actual look of the Joker here, is much more in tune with Heath Ledger’s Joker than the regular comic book Joker.
The story does not tie to the movies though and it exists within Brian Azzarello’s own version of the Batman universe. But in an era where comic book franchise constantly get rebooted, what the hell is canon anymore?
I do like the art style and the character design is good for most of the key characters. Although, the look of the Riddler is more cringe than the current Tom King Riddler, who I absolutely hate.
Reading this now, this just feels like some edgy boy shit that’s trying too hard to be hardcore and extreme but never actually has the balls to cross the line like DC Comics did at the height of its classic Vertigo titles.
I think that this story ties into Azzarello’s current Batman: Damned series but I’m not 100 percent sure on that, as I’m waiting to read that series once all the issues come out.
Pairs well with: other Brian Azzarello comics, especially the recent Batman: Damned series.