Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo

The clown prince of crime, hands down the most deranged, and unpredictable villains of all time.  Insanely clever, with his manipulation of Gotham’s underground.  The image of evil in Batman’s twisted little world.  Madness.  He has become such a powerful character, that he has taken on a very real life of his own.  Whenever he arrives you never know what to expect, but you know it wont be logical or good.  Despite the dark, disturbing tones, you cant help but want more, and he draws you back in.  He is the Joker, and you can already hear that laughter in your head.

Joker is a 2008, graphic novel releasedby the creative team of Brian Azzarello and artist, Lee Bermejo.  Follow up to similar work Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, Joker focuses primarily on the villain.  With the eye catching, familiar images of the title character I found it necessary to do a little research on who influenced who, in this comic or 2008 The Dark Knight film.  Surprisingly, there is little to no connection between the two, although the illustrations of Mr. Bermejo’s Joker did in fact appear first, showing that the Heath Ledger’s iconic image was probably inspired by his work.

From the perspective of low level thug Jonny Frost, Joker is a glimpse at the workings of Joker’s underground workings.  Working under the famous villain, the crew is filled out by Killer Croc and Harley Quinn.  Joker, freshly released from Arkham Asylum, is trying to regain his control of the criminal empire of Gotham City.  Dealings with Penguin and Riddler, seem to go Jokers way, as he has a manner of controlling other villains with fear of his unpredictable violence.  It is Two Face who is much more reluctant to relinquish his power over the city, causing a gang war amongst the underground.  Though proven once again in this version, there is only one thing that The Joker fears, and only one man who can stop him, the Batman.

Dark, and eerie, this graphic novel encapsulates everything that is disturbing about one of the worlds most popular bad guys.  Joker is witty and clever, but in no manner is he fun.  Panel by panel you can feel a tenseness as the villain is always ready for violence.  Other cameos of iconic bad guys are also handled, in a resonant but fresh, and realistic manner.  Harley Quinn is much of the dangerous, insane woman we come to expect, punctuated by her complete lack of dialogue through the entire book.  Penguin and Riddler are both illustrated as having disabilities, which goes to show how dangerous they are that they would have such power in Gotham.  Most of all, Jonny Frost is an interesting player, bringing in a low level nobody, to show how Joker’s influence effects the street thugs.  Jonny is proud to be included in Joker’s gang, but quickly realizes he is in to deep with the wrong type of company.
The art!  Oh, Lee Bermejo has created a masterpiece with this one.  The illustrations of Joker are down right creepy.  Giving you a true feel of what a real world Joker would look like.  And, somehow invoking a disturbing emotion through vivid and detailed perspectives of the craziest villain in comics.  The world and images Mr. Bermejo has created are spectacular, drawing you deep into this dark story, and dangerous city.

This is a great graphic novel from the plot, to the characters, to the art work.  One of the most chilling tales of the popular villain, despite him doing nothing overly dramatic.  The real world feel adds to the chills that this book causes, genuinely powerful use of the media.  5/5, one of the best adaptations of the Joker available.  A must read for fans of The Dark Knight and his outstanding supporting cast of enemies.  One of the best books you can read that looks at things from the villains perspective, and worth the chills and suspense.  This is one graphic novel that you will not want to miss.

Thanks booknerds, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. rashthedoctor says:

    Sadly haven’t read it yet , but maybe i will soon … On a side not Brian Azzarello really does well when he writes character focussing Comics

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Green Onion says:

      Absolutely he does, and he handles villains even stronger.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rashthedoctor says:


        Liked by 1 person

  2. I find the Joker incredibly interesting, and this graphic novel looks fascinating. The illustrations are really detailed and complex. I do have some qualms about Harley Quinn having no dialogue, but other than that, the comic definitely seems worth checking out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Green Onion says:

      Harley Quinn does not disappoint, I dont think its that she cant talk, she just plays a minor role.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have really fallen out of sync with GNs, which is too bad. I love them. I may have to look for this one next time I am out. The art looks amazing 🙂


  4. TeacherofYA says:

    The Joker has always creeped me out!


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