REVIEW: ‘The Joker,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Joker #6

The Joker #6 is published by DC Comics, written by James Tynion IV and Sam Johns, with art by Guillem March and Sweeney Boo, colors by Arif Prianto and Sweeney Boo, and letters by Tom Napolitano and Ariana Maher. After revisiting Gordon and the Joker’s earliest interactions last issue, this story sees Gordon continuing his investigation in The City of Lights, Paris. Though it turns out being in Paris may not be quite as romantic as the brochures claim, at least when you are asking around about one of the world’s foremost mass murderers.

The Joker #6 opens with a look into the history of the mysterious Sampson family and how they became tangled up in the hunt for the Joker. It’s a grisly story that feels right at home in the Clown Prince of Crime’s story. From here, the tale returns to Gordon, who followed his leads to Paris but is coming up empty. Even with Oracle on the trail, the clues lead to dead ends as Gordon tries to find some path forward in his investigation. Gordon’s part of this issue ends with him being approached by some unexpected individuals that would like to have words with the former Police Commissioner, further complicating his already delicate situation.

Through much of Gordon’s time in this issue, Tynion explores the many regrets and failures Gordon has. These moments make Gordon feel like his life has been filled with nothing but pain, misery, and failure born from his career-obsessed lifestyle. Though at least The Joker #6’s choice of failures doesn’t grow the title character’s mansion-sized living space in Gordon’s head even more than Tynion has already established.

The art in The Joker #6 does a great job of delivering the somber mood of Gordon’s story. Guillem’s lines capture the story’s struggles well, and even when the scenes are well lit, colorist Prianto manages to keep the warmth of the scene from quite reaching Gordon.

This issue’s secondary story sees Bluebird being processed into Blackgate Penitentiary so she can attempt to learn what Punchline is planning for the only lead Bluebird can find to keep the clown behind bars.

While this story brings some emotional weight to the narrative, it treads some ground that feels a bit too worn to be entertaining. The hows and whys of the story quickly fade away as the recycled plot point lands in the middle of the story with a resounding thud. The fact that this moment in The Joker #6 feels ill-suited for what has been revealed of Punchline’s personality only makes the moment feel even less viable.

While the story’s shortcomings left me wanting, Boo’s art continues to deliver the story with a solid amount of energy and a vibrant color scheme that makes the art more memorable than the story it is paired with.

Wrapping up the book’s presentation is the lettering. Napolitano and Maher do fine jobs on their respective stories. The lettering is kept well-placed throughout the stories, and both creatives choose fonts and styles that mesh well with the book’s art.

When all is said and done, The Joker #6 brings a mixed bag of elements with it. While some pieces of the book land well, others never manage to deliver on the stories they are trying to tell.

The Joker #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.

The Joker #6
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TL;DR

The Joker #6 brings a mixed bag of elements with it. While some pieces of the book land well, others never manage to deliver on the stories they are trying to tell.