Batman #23.1




Comic series


Release date

September 4, 2013
I enjoyed this issue for every reason I disliked DARKSEID. I want my villains to be evil for a reason, not just because. Also, Kubert reveled in the madness of raising a gorilla and making him the Joker's Robin. And the biggest joke of all is that when all was said and done, this was just another laugh for The Joker to have at the expense of his own humanity.
6 out of 10
I doubt there’s a better drawn Villains Month comic out today, but the story here is not only pointless but there are many who will view this as Andy Kubert breaking the Cardinal rule of Joker stories– you don’t give him an origin. I think if you can assume that the memory is fabricated then what you get is a really insane tale about a homicidal maniac raising a Gorilla to be a henchman, which is just as strange as it sounds. Andy Clarke gets some spectacular visuals out of that but the story being told is not a memorable one you’ll find yourself revisiting in the future.
The interior artwork as well is great, composed well, and definitely fills every panel from foreground to background. The big gaping hole in this book unfortunately for Andy Kubert is the story. Maybe I’m biased or my expectations were too high for this particular issue, but for me it just falls flat. It’s a one off story that didn’t really need to be told, and even though it was told, it wasn’t told very well.
As many problems as I had with this issue, it was kind of nice to read a more classic feeling Joker story.
1 out of 5
I am saddened that there is so little here to enjoy. I was hoping DC would prove me wrong. Whoops, there I go again.
2 out of 5 stars
With Villains Month now upon us, DC has graced us with the Clown Prince of Crime right out of the gate. Unfortunately, the final product leaves us feeling angry and a little jilted. Hopefully, one of these other 900 3D cover books will take this bad taste out of my mouth.
2 out of 5
Unfortunately, this issue falls a tad bit flat.
1.5 out of 5 stars
Short of some compelling, albeit horribly disturbing, visuals by Clarke, there's nothing of interest in "Batman" #23.1. In fact, it's odd that it even exists as a comic book. It's an idea (and execution) that should have been left on the cutting room floor.
3 out of 5 stars
It's possible the wacky and...odd nature of the story was intentional because we're talking about the Joker. Maybe I'm missing the point. With so many Villains Month titles fighting for our dollars this month, this was a little disappointing.
Grade: C
This is a must read if you are someone who had to read everything with the word Batman on the cover. For the rest of us, it isn’t a poor comic, but it is extremely skippable. This is precisely the type of comics I wish Marvel and DC would stop shoveling at us.
Andy Kubert clearly “gets” the Joker. The story he writes is definitely one worthy of the Joker’s antics, and even at its craziest it’s still believable in the context of the character. It’s also too good to give away, so I’ll just encourage you to go out and read it because it will make your head spin.
4 out of 10
This book seemed to be poised as a flagship title in Villains Month, featuring one of the most recognizable bad guys in pop culture, and in the end “Joker” feels like a misfire. The ideas in the main part of the story – Joker grooming a sidekick, mimicking Batman and Robin – are interesting, but suffer from a lack of real development and an odd semi-conclusion.
Kubert attempts a stand out story here that just feels like it’s out of place, especially after the recent Snyder epic “ Death of the Family.” While this story might be good for a one time read through, it will not hold the test of time. It doesn’t read as a classic, just a stop gap during a company event.
The art by Andy Clarke is beyond gorgeous as he draws the mishmash of violence with a gritty style that is suited to the character. He would be the perfect Joker artist for a book that actually understood the character and showed a modicum of restraint.
It has its flaws and may have things you’ll disagree with, but Joker #1 succeeds in not only giving us a side of him that we haven’t seen much of before, but also in presenting us with a tale that may linger in your head long after you’ve finished reading it.
Grade: C+
It's vile and disturbing - not my cuppa tea at all.
9 out of 10
The main storyline is vivid and impeccably detailed, while the vignettes into the childhood of the Joker (where he really shines) are sketchy and dark. Taken at face value, this comic is highly entertaining and well worth the read.