DC Delivers ‘Year of the Villain: The Joker’

DC has been releasing one-shot issues of various villains throughout 2019, each a single tale dedicated to one baddie. All going under the heading Year of the Villain, we have thus far been graced with issues covering the Riddler, Black Adam, Sinestro, Black Mask and Lex Luthor. The latest addition to this doom-dealing lineup is none other than the most popular DC villain, the Joker. Hot on the heels of the successful motion picture of everyone’s favorite clown (sorry, Pennywise), we go back to the ink and paper roots for Batman’s arch nemesis.

It seems as if the older I get, the more of a luxury time is, so I have to be selective in what I watch and what I read.  Lex Luthor is someone that offers little intrigue to me, and as a result, that will be an issue I pass by.  The Joker, however, well, there was no missing out on this psychotic beast who continually provides more than just a middle finger to society.  He is a one-man chaos factory, churning out one sinister act after another, all the while tormenting Gotham’s Dark Knight.

DC released Year of the Villain: The Joker on October 9, 2019 which was co-written by Anthony Burch who wrote for the Tales from the Borderlands video game series. Burch’s comrade on this book was none other than Hollywood legend John Carpenter.  Carpenter is of course associated with popular films such as the writer of the original Halloween (1978), director of The Thing (1983) and director of Big Trouble in Little China (1986).  While Carpenter’s directorial accolades certainly take him well beyond that short list, he is also quite capable of revisiting horror and suspense with pen in hand.

Year of the Villain: The Joker follows the crime spree psycho returning to some old stomping grounds amidst his gang of face-painted hoodlums.  One in particular is soon elevated to the rank of Joker’s sidekick, but soon questions what he has gotten himself into.  Let me just say that his book is definitely not one for the kids.  It can be pretty disturbing and graphic at times (just like the film), nevertheless, it is an art form and one that was executed (no pun intended) quite well.  For that, I appreciate it in its entirety.

The artwork was completed by Philip Tan (The Curse of Brimstone) with the coloring done by Jay David Ramos (Superior Carnage).  Between the writing duo and the pencil/color tandem, Year of the Villain: The Joker provides for a vibrant and visceral read.  Honestly, this book is a definite buy and is easily one of the better one-shots of the year.  It loses some ground for a slow start, then gains it back for a strong finish.



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