REVIEW: ‘The Joker,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Joker #2

The Joker #2 is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV and Sam Johns, with art by Guillem March and Mirka Andolfo, colors by Arif Prianto and Romulo Fajardo Jr., with letters by Ariana Maher and Tom Napolitano. As Gordon comes to a decision about Cressida’s offer to hunt down The Joker, he decides he’ll need help to do it. Luckily, he happens to know some people who know his target better than anyone else in the world. However, it’ll be tricky to deal with these allies while also concealing certain details from them. Meanwhile, Bluebird continues to search for information concerning Punchline’s past, as the Royal Flush gang looks to educate Punchline in how things work within the walls of Blackgate. 

If you ever want to see an excellent example of how to take what could’ve been a fairly run-of-the-mill setup story and give it a bunch of pop, one need look no further than The Joker #2. With Gordon preparing to set out to hunt down the Clown Prince of Crime, he first reaches out to Batman in the hopes of securing some help with information and logistics. Though he does decide to keep certain details pertaining to his mission from his old comrade. And when the questions from Batman and Oracle start getting uncomfortable for the former Police Commissioner, he delivers a surprising curveball to derail their line of thought. 

No more can be said about this discussion without walking dead into major spoilers, but I will say that I absolutely love the way Tynion delivers Gordon’s character in this scene. Well, throughout the whole book. As the story flows around Gordon, his mood shifts perfectly with the changing circumstances. It looks like Tynion may be climbing up another notch in my list of favorite character writers again. 

The other big element of The Joker #2’s main story is the revelation of other powers unhappy with the recent A-Day attack and wish to see The Joker removed from this world. Again, no spoilers, but this is gonna be EPIC. 

As the pieces are brought into place against The Joker, Bluebird’s continued investigation leads her back to Punchline’s old stomping grounds in the hopes of learning something new that might help keep Punchline behind bars. While behind those bars, machinations of a different kind begin to turn as The Royal Flush Gang set up one of their own to come and put Punchline in her place. 

The art in both parts of The Joker #2 delivers their stories’ respective tones nicely. This is particularly true on the part of March’s work in the main story. March’s ability to put the emotions of some of these scenes front and center is fantastic. 

The colors further enhance the visual tones of their narratives. As Prianto keeps the heaviness of the main narrative strong with the dark overall colors and harsh lighting designs, Fajardo’s brighter colors keep the secondary story well contrasted from its predecessor, as well as leaning into the overlying unhinged feeling that the story continues to exist in.

Rounding out the book is the lettering work of Napolitano and Maher, respectively. Both letterers deliver the stories in clear and easy-to-follow ways, allowing the reader to consume the story with ease. 

When all is said and done, The Joker #2 delivers a fantastic second issue. It perfectly sets up the story to come while delivering powerful character moments and ratcheting up the stakes. I don’t know where it is all going to end up from here, but I’m confident Tynion and the team have set us up for one memorable ride.

The Joker #2 is available now wherever comics are sold. 

 

The Joker #2
5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, The Joker #2 delivers a fantastic second issue. It perfectly sets up the story to come while delivering powerful character moments and ratcheting up the stakes. I don’t know where it is all going to end up from here, but I’m confident Tynion and the team have set us up for one memorable ride.