Friday, February 4, 2011


Title: Joker
Writter: Brian Azzarello
Art Work: Lee Bermejo and Mick Gray
Publisher: DC Comics
A while back I went to my local toy store to check out what they had.  While I was there I started talking with the guy that worked in the store.  He told me he was a huge fan of the Joker, and even showed me a tattoo he had of him.  I was surprised to meet someone that loved the Joker that much.  I also have to agree, the Joker is a pretty awesome character.  In the Batman movies he is always the character that most people like as well because he stands out from the rest of the evil villains.  Later that week I went to my local library to check out what they had in stock.  To my surprise they had a graphic novel of the Joker, simply called Joker.  I just had to get it and once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop.  This graphic novel blew my mind away.  The artwork is so amazing; it mixes between regular comic book drawings and paintings.  The Joker is drawn similar to the version Heath Ledger created in the movie The Dark Knight, with a Glasgow smile and his iconic green hair.  You can almost feel the emotions of characters from how they are drawn.
What complements these drawings is the darkly written story line.  It simply brings the Joker character to a whole darker and scarier level.  The story is written from the perspective of an up-and-coming criminal named, Jonny Frost.  Jonny is so ambitious to make his name be known that he is willing to join the Joker and follow him where ever he goes.  At first the Joker is shown to be the regular villain that everyone knows, creating the type of havoc that everyone loves.  As the story progresses and Jonny starts to get to know more about the man he idolizes, he soon starts to regret this decision.  The Joker goes from sinister to psychopathic to a beast that no one would envy, and would actually fear.
However for Jonny it is too late by the time he realizes what he has gotten himself into and this is what I found brilliant about the book.  Everyone always finds the good guy, be it Superman or Batman boring and instead like to follow the bad guy.  But in Joker, you come to realize that the bad guy is someone you don’t ever want to meet, and that when you do feel helpless the only person you can call is the good guy, Batman.  When the Dark Knight finally does appear, you really start to appreciate what he does; he fights evil.  As simplistic as that may sound, one will only understand how great this is until you have been through hell and see someone at the end of the tunnel willing to help.  I have to say this is by far my favorite graphic novel of all time.

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