BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #10
Author: Bill Ramey
Thursday, October 11, 2007
FROM DC COMICS: "This is where it happens: the birth of The Joker! Discover exactly what Batman's involvement was in the creation of unfettered evil!"
WARNING: This review of BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #10 contains info that some may consider a spoiler.
Personally, I prefer The Joker’s origin to be ambiguous. I don’t need an explanation for why he looks the way he does or why he’s crazy as hell. I prefer the idea that The Joker just “Is.”
With that said, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t enjoyed stories that have depicted how The Joker came to be. I remember as a kid reading a reprint of the “Red Hood” story from DETECTIVE COMICS #168 (February 1951). Hell, up until then, I always believed that The Joker painted his face to look the way it did!
I’m also a huge fan of the classic story THE KILLING JOKE which provided an updated, modern take on The Joker’s origin in the late 1980s. However even The Joker himself claims his “birth” in that story was just one of many possibilities. "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another,” says The Clown Prince of Crime about his origin. “…if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!”
So when you get right down to it, one can assume that any story that depicts the origin of The Joker, should be -- or at least can be -- considered just one of several potential ways The Joker became “The Joker.”
Case in point, the current storyline in BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL which claims to be the “definitive” origin of the character.
Definitive? Yeah right!
Nonetheless, this story -- written by Michael Green -- has been pretty darn good so far. And in my opinion, issue # is the best yet released.
In this particular installment, we actually witness the actual creation of The Joker. And true to form, the basic cause for The Joker’s pigmentation disfigurement stays consistent with the Batman mythos. In other words, dude falls into a vat of chemicals. Despite the fact that there’s no Red Hood involved this time around, The Batman is involved in the creation of his arch-enemy -- which actually began in the previous issue and involved a Batarang.
The best stuff in this issue for me was The Joker’s inner dialogue as written by Green which is found throughout the story. It was simply spot on “Joker,” if you will.
I’ve read some complaints about Denys Cowens’ artwork, but I like it a lot. I’ve used the term “sketchy” to describe it before, and I’ll stick by that term. I will say that there was something about the colors used on Batman this time around. For some reason, he had sort of a royal purple-ish tint to him for some reason. And no, I don’t think it had anything to do with The Joker liking purple!
Of course, issue #10 ends with a “cliffhanger” with The Batman and The Joker coming face to face right after the, ahem, “accident.” So what will happen when Gotham’s Hero and Nemesis meet for the first time? (And no, I’m not counting the previous issues -- he was “The Joker” yet!)
I have no idea, but I’m certainly anxious to see where this goes!
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