Written by John Carpenter & Anthony Burch
Pencils by Philip Tan
Inks by Marc Deering, Danny Miki, Jonathan Glapion, & Tan
Colors by Jay David Ramos
Cover by Ramos & Tan
Letters by Gabriela Downie
Ahh yes, Halloween. Spooky Christmas. A time for people who enjoy things that go bump in the night. Pumpkins, hot cocoa, and hoodies punctuate the season. If you’re like me, you’re most definitely excited for the frights and haunts. This year, DC has decided to bless our Spooky Christmas with the Year of the Villain.
Honestly, for me, this is an early Spooky Christmas indeed. DC has blessed those of gothic affinities with a Joker book, from none other than John Carpenter. The mind that brought us The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, They Live, The Fog, Halloween, Escape From New York and Vampires is giving us a one-shot issue on what exactly his vision of the Joker is.
The story is from the perspective of one of Joker’s henchmen, Six of Hearts. Starting their blunderful misadventure from within Gotham. In a city of Bane, Joker can’t truly play. Chaos without order is just a bore. So when he dumps fear toxin into Gotham’s water supply with not a single consequence, he becomes rather annoyed. In his annoyance, he does what he does best, tries to entertain himself.
For the Joker, that can mean a multitude of things. From crippling someone’s child and torturing their father, to holding a carnival hostage. This time, it was challenging Six to say something funny with a gun to his head. Six spills out his life story, his struggle with mental illness and how he came into meeting the Joker. Six’s story was so woefully sad, Joker could do nothing but laugh at his henchman. In their brief moment of deranged bonding, Joker has a moment of clarity. This relationship is about to come with a whole lot more involuntary commitment.
John Carpenter definitely doesn’t disappoint at all. He has this wonderful way of making things that are so far out of the realm of normal seem like nothing extraordinary. With that, he really deconstructs Joker in a manner that leaves you more horrified about him even more so than when his psyche was less laid bare. Through the eyes of Six, we learn that Joker is just a twisted creature, far removed from the humanity he once allegedly had. Tan’s artwork really helps you feel the disgusting grit that just oozes from Joker’s grin. The look on his face is the easiest reminder of how evil the dude really is. Definitely bother your LCS for an issue of this, its worth the addition to the mysterious Joker ethos.