16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir, Gotham City and a madman
Abandoning the usual clown-like gimmicks and superhero storytelling, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo take us on a nightmarish journey into the Joker's life outside Arkham Asylum.
The Joker isn't a supervillain who toys with Batman here, he is a very violent and disturbed man who lives on sex, drugs and murder. He is really just a coked up gangster but his...
Published on 31 July 2011 by Sean Wilson-blake
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark and gritty but lacking the full punch
I'm a big fan of barman and the joker, it's a fantastic and complex dynamic that I simply can't get enough of. So naturally The Joker found its way on to my reading list. However I can't help but feel let down after finishing the read, it never quite goes the whole hog with its dark and gritty storyline. Half measures of realism lead to a disappointment.
Published 11 months ago by Panch
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir, Gotham City and a madman,
This review is from: Jokerı (Hardcover)Abandoning the usual clown-like gimmicks and superhero storytelling, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo take us on a nightmarish journey into the Joker's life outside Arkham Asylum.
The Joker isn't a supervillain who toys with Batman here, he is a very violent and disturbed man who lives on sex, drugs and murder. He is really just a coked up gangster but his unpredictable actions and unreliability are still classic Joker, but just a lot darker.
About 130 pages long, it is a reasonably quick read as the story flows well and the artwork is just outstanding. My only qualm is that it could of been longer. But I'm not too bothered with that as the novel is gripping from start to finish.
Another great thing is the addition of noir blended in with these "super" villains. We have a dirty private eye, a realistic looking Gotham City, troubled characters, detailed violence and an overall very dark atmosphere. It's like James Ellroy mixed with superhero fiction.
It's one of the greatest graphic novels I've ever read but its' strictly an adults only comic. Containing disturbing bloody violence, plenty of bad language, sex, drug use and just darkness, this certainly isn't a kids read. This is the way the Joker is meant to be. A disgusting human being with his morbid look on life. Life is about death to him, and darkness all over.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life is a joke, Death is the punchline.,
This review is from: Jokerı (Hardcover)I ordered this having read and liked Luthor and 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello, always been a fan of Batman so I thought I'd give this a try.
The first thing to really strike you is the amazing artwork by Lee Bermejo (the reason this has 4* rather than just 3). He has created a Gotham that is darker and more sinister than anything I have seen before. I was a bit aprehensive at first as I was aware that Batman does not feature much in this tale, and I had only really read "the Killing Joke" before that solely focuses on a Batman Villan, but this is a good read.
As another reviewer has mentioned, the Joker in this story is not your criminal genius who outwits the forces of the law with all his tricks and pranks that we are used to. This Joker is a violient gangster that makes Heath Ledger's brilliant portrayal look like the Cesar Romero Joker from the 1960s tv series.
The Story starts well, told from the perspective of an impressionable henchman, with the Joker being released from Arkham and immediatley looking to take revenge on those who have divided up his city and reaped the profits for themselves.
His revenge is quick and brutal, but the story lacks any real plan or ploy for the Joker to get back to the top, rather we are shown that he is just a maniac whose crimes get more and more vile.
Cameo's by the Riddler and the Pengiun have been put in for seemingly no other reason than to say that they are in there.
Other appearances by Two face and Harley Quinn add a welcome element to the story, Quinn in particular is brutal.
Batman is always lurking in the shadows and it is good to see how the villans react to his constant menace, when he does come for them, the speed of his justice does take you by surprise.
I am pleased I got this, the story is a bit dissapointing, but the Character of the Joker is superbly dark and violent, and it is worth buying for the artwork alone, which is beautiful and submersive.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter in the dark,
This review is from: Jokerı (Hardcover)In this one-off non-canon book, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, both extraordinary artists, imagine a more realistic take on Joker partly in the style of Chris Nolan's "Dark Knight" film. The story is told through the eyes of Jonny Frost, a low-level thug sent to pick up a newly-released Joker from Arkham Asylum. Joker sets about reclaiming his criminal empire against Two-Face with the help of Killer Croc.
Re-reading this 4 years after I first picked it up, the book still retains its power and brilliance. Azzarello creates a Joker with newly revealed sides to his character than just the insane murderer he's usually portrayed as. In a brilliant one panel aside, Joker is seen in private on his knees, arms wrapped around Harley Quinn, sobbing, as we really see his relationship with her - she is the only one he can truly be himself with. Azzarello's Joker is a pill-popping junkie, snorting lines and chugging brown liquor, fuelling his rampages to explain his extreme behaviour than simply writing off his actions as those of a crazy man.
Azzarello and Bermejo utilise comics' unique format of the spaces between the panels to intimate some truly heinous actions by Joker. In one scene Joker randomly wanders into an apartment and murders an elderly couple in their beds with a razor blade, but the reader sees only the break-in and a murky aftermath as Joker lies on the bed atop contorted and bloodied human forms, the blade glinting off to the side. Later, Jonny's wife is saved from Two-Face and it's hinted that Joker then raped her before setting her free. Azzarello's vision of Joker in this book is far more human and far more scary in moments like this than has been seen before in other comics. This makes Joker even scarier as he seems almost charming and likeable in moments of (seemingly) sober contemplation, as both the narrator and the reader find themselves warming to him despite his horrible deeds.
Lee Bermejo draws the book beautifully. His Joker takes his cue from Heath Ledger's visual portrayal with the cut-open mouth making up a grotesque clown's smile but otherwise it's the familiar Joker of old minus the stark white face and a more cut figure. I thought his depiction of Croc as less a mutant-lookalike and more a thug with a real-life skin disease was an inspired choice though his depiction of Batman's outfit (he appears briefly at the end) was a bit too S&M, there were too many straps. You won't find a more brilliant artist drawing Batman comics today - I highly recommend checking out his own Batman scripted and drawn book "Batman: Noel" for another example of his fantastic art as well as an excellent Batman book.
"Joker" is an incredible book, maybe the best one about Joker ever written - yes I'm including "Killing Joke". Azzarello captures Joker's voice and character perfectly, making all the right artistic choices with the other characters. While the book's plot doesn't really resolve itself, hinging on a "Pulp Fiction"-type literary device, the book is less about plot and story and more about giving the reader a fully realised character study of the Joker. In that, the book succeeds completely, complimented perfectly with Bermejo's gorgeous art. "Joker" is a powerful vision of one of the best literary villains ever created and a must-read for all Batman fans. If you enjoyed this, definitely look up Azzarello and Bermejo's previous book on another DC villain, "Lex Luthor".
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars deranged,
This review is from: Jokerı (Hardcover)Yeah, kind of a grim, deranged book this one. There's no doubting the quality of the writing, I think the Joker is fairly well pegged. The biggest problem is that he comes across as just a psychotic thug. In the Dark Knight, Nolan had the sense to write the Joker as making a point about humanity's relative worth (or lack of). Here he is just a nutter...Nice art though.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Comic,
This review is from: Joker HC: Dark Knight (The Joker) (Hardcover)This was the first ever comic I read and had to buy it for my brother for xmas! I no he will love it! The artwork is fantastic and I am now hooked and want to read more!
5.0 out of 5 stars A must,
5.0 out of 5 stars Joker,
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing,
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously dark yet short....,
5.0 out of 5 stars F# cking brilliant!,
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Joker¹ by Lee Bermejo (Hardcover - 19 Dec 2008)
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