Batman: Three Jokers Has a Curious Thing to Say About The Killing Joke

Stop me if you ’ ve heard this one. A valet goes to the sophisticate because he ’ randomness been hit with Joker gas and can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate stop consonant laugh. The doctor says, “ Don ’ metric ton concern, it ’ second nothing serious ! ”
All right, all justly, you can put down your tomatoes. I ’ megabyte done with my joke telling for this column. That screen of thing is best left for the professionals. You know, clowns, comedians…and criminals. The classify of joke tellers who actually know how to knock them absolutely. Or sometimes permanently incapacitated. We ’ rhenium talking guys who will leave an audience in stitches…if they don ’ t bleed out before they can get medical aid .
Yes, I ’ megabyte referring to the Jokers—and no, that ’ s not a misprint. There are three of them. At least, there are in Batman : Three Jokers, Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok ’ s thrilling new DC Black Label serial which is now complete and collected in one single graphic novel .
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first teased at the end of Johns and Fabok ’ south Justice League : Darkseid War and late in DC Universe : Rebirth # 1, Batman : Three Jokers is a taut Gotham-set fib focusing on Batman, Batgirl and Red Hood as they investigate three coincident Joker attacks. That the attacks were the make of three disjoined Jokers isn ’ triiodothyronine very a surprise—it ’ sulfur right field there in the entitle after all—but how there is suddenly more than one Clown Prince of Crime creating mayhem in Gotham is a mystery that unfolds as the history goes on. however, what I found even more surprise than the ledger ’ second central mystery is how much batman : Three Jokers ties into Batman : The Killing Joke .
While Three Jokers may not be officially labeled a sequel—and I personally wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate predict it that—it ’ s clearly set within the Alan Moore and Brian Bolland comic ’ sulfur continuity. Events from The Killing Joke are referenced and even appear in flashback moments late on in the narrative. Fabok ’ s ocular storytelling is openly influenced by Bolland ’ s work on The Killing Joke, down to his dense use of nine-panel grids. In other words, if you ’ re a Killing Joke fan, Three Jokers is likely to be right up your alley .
so far, interestingly, the two books are very different in what they ultimately have to say about the Joker and Batman. In The Killing Joke, the Joker ’ s argue for torturing and tormenting Commissioner Gordon with the dart of his daughter was to show how little it takes for person to snap and give into the darkness. As he famously says, “ All it takes is one regretful day. That ’ s how far the world is from where I am. Just one regretful day. ”
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however, it ’ s what the Joker says immediately afterwards that Batman : Three Jokers runs with : “ You had a bad day once. Am I correct ? I know I am. You had a bad day and everything changed ! Why else would you dress up as a flying rat ? ”
The Clown Prince is not wrong. Batman did have a rightfully bad day, as all fans know. When he was a child, both his parents were shot to death in presence of him by a street condemnable named Joe Chill. The grief, wrath and huge gloominess he felt over the passing inspired him to become Batman to ensure that no early child will ever have to go through the same thing.

however, it would appear that while the Joker may have been correct about Batman in that earlier confrontation, he isn ’ t precisely happy about it. ( SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn ’ triiodothyronine read Batman : Three Jokers so far. I ’ m about to discuss part of the ending. ) In the final chapter of Three Jokers, we learn that the Jokers have kidnapped Joe Chill, apparently to make so far another joker out of him. however, near the conclusion of the book, it ’ south revealed that the one Joker left standing actually orchestrated it so that Batman would learn the accuracy about Joe Chill—that the man who murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne deeply, deeply regrets what he did and it ’ sulfur haunted him his entire animation. It ’ s a grievous confession that happens to arrive at the very end of Chill ’ s life, but it ’ s a sincere one, as made apparent by the dozens of unsent letters he ’ randomness written to Bruce attempting to explain and apologize .
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Why would the Joker want Batman to hear it ? To, as he puts it, mend Batman ’ s greatest scent indeed that he could be his greatest annoyance. The Joker recognizes that vitamin a long as Bruce is, at least in part, driven by the pain he feels at losing his parents, everything he could possibly do to Bruce ( or Babs or Jason ) would always be secondary. And after seeing the final examination Joker directly or indirectly kill the two others, it ’ mho clear up that he doesn ’ thymine want to parcel the foreground with anybody .
What this says about the Joker international relations and security network ’ thymine new—he ’ second always seen himself as Batman ’ s dark counterpart, their destinies constantly linked. That theme weighs heavy on three Jokers as it did on The Killing Joke before it. Where the two books differ is in what they have to say about the estimate of insurmountable annoyance. The Killing Joke introduced the theme of “ all it takes is one bad day, ” while Three Jokers seems to suggest it ’ s not quite that simple. Batman ’ mho never been entirely motivated by the death of his parents. It ’ s a part of it, indisputable, but there ’ s an even bigger thing that motivates him and it ’ s besides very present in Batman : Three Jokers—compassion. Bruce does what he can to protect the people of Gotham because, like his parents before him, he cares about them .
There may be no helping the Joker, but the fact that Batman has that compassion, even extending it to the man who killed his parents, suggests that while one bad day may set you off on a new path, it ’ mho love and forgiveness that can keep you on the right side of it.

Batman : Three Jokers is now available in bookstores, comic shops, libraries and as a digital graphic fresh .
Tim Beedle covers movies, television and comics for DCComics.com, writes our monthly Superman column, “ Super hera For … ”, and is a even contributor to the Couch Club, our weekly television column .

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