broo1232's Batman #23.1 - Time to Monkey Shine review

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Even Joker wouldn't find this funny.

It’s the Joker need I say anything else? Yes probably the Joker is not my favourite DC villain, but I still think he’s a fantastic villain, and he’s a classic, and a chance to see a past adventure of his grabbed my interest immediately, although I was still sceptical about this considering Andy Kubert was writing it, and although I love his art, I don’t think he’s ever written anything before.

Plot

In the past you see Joker as a child being treated badly by his aunt, and his aunt tries to clean him with bleach. In the present Joker is at the Gotham zoo with some of his minions watching a man being eaten whole by a snake, but he spots a Gorilla child that reminds him of him, and takes it in as his own gassing the gorilla’s mother.

Review

I did not like this issue at all, and this is one of the worst comics I’ve read in a while, and I had quite high hopes for a comic about Joker’s early days, before he had his face cut off. Yet this is probably the worst villain’s month issue of the week, and possibly one of the worst of all the villains one shots. This isn’t however a downright, should be burnt, abomination of an issue though there are a few redeeming points however, but the bad definitely outweighs the good.

The Good

  • · This is one of the few covers I got in 3D, and works pretty well, and the background detail is impressive, as well as the moving mouth which was a nice touch.
  • · The origin sequences set in Joker’s child hood are told in an interesting way even if the fact that it even happened is a disservice to the character, but the art looking very jagged, and rough which worked very well to give a different feeling to the book, and this flashback.
  • · The Joker is written very well, and you see at the end that he really doesn’t care.
  • · The action is good for the most part, and the bit with the Gorilla and his training is done in an interesting way.
  • · An interesting point to this issue is how Joker bringing up Jacknapes is very nice, and then in an adjacent panel you see Joker’s childhood, and the fact that in some panels the composition is similar works well, but this is only in a few places.
  • · Redeeming ending showing how Joker is truly mad.
  • · Andy Clarke is undoubtedly the best part of this issue drawing some spectacular Joker images, and the layouts for some of the pages and scenes are amazingly done, with one double page spread of the training of Jacknapes looking particularly impressive. The action even though there isn’t much is pretty good as well, and Clarke handled it very well. The scene near the start in the zoo with the Snake is pretty well drawn as well. Clarke can draw some good Gorillas, and of course the aforementioned flashbacks are good as well.

The Bad

  • · I will try to keep this simple, as I could say a lot on this subject, Joker should not have an origin he works very well as a mystery character, and giving him an origin ruins him because then there is less of a sense of the unknown with him, but what’s even worse is how this is about as generic an origin as you could get he had a horrible childhood, heard it before, most villains have had bad childhoods I mean come on for Joker something more creative should have been used. Also Kubert could have explored one of the most interesting aspects of the Joker that he sometimes tells multiple Origins, and that was caused by him being so insane, but instead it goes to a tale on a gorilla.
  • · Plot with Gorilla is enjoyable but it is rather silly, and I’d rather this was an issue more focusing on Joker rather than what appears to be a villain for Kubert’s upcoming Damian series, it’s campy, and stupid, and takes away from what this issue was meant to be focused on.
  • · The parallels between Joker, and Jacknapes was one of the more interesting parts of this issue, but that point is just lost later on, and it just looks like Joker’s childhood against Jacknapes childhood, it worked better when the panel composition was the same, but clearly things were different.
  • · There is one moment towards the end (this is the spoiler point) where Joker, and Jacknapes go after someone on a blimp, and they supposedly let something off that somehow managed to turn people into monsters with the due to vibrations in the ear? How does that work? What would changing something in the ear do other than make them deaf? It would not change their whole biology, this point just annoyed me so much, and I just groaned when I read it.

Verdict

I do not like hating on comics, but I did not like this issue at all, and while some points of it were good those points were often countered by a bad point so something would literally be half good. Don’t pick this issue up, it’s a waste of money, and for the joker I was hoping for something a little more than this, and such good artwork.

2 stars

7 Comments
Edited by Baberaham_Lincoln

Andy Clarke's an amazing artist. Yeah i agree with you, this issue was kinda unnecessary.

Edited by broo1232
Posted by johnkmccubbin91

Great review. I don't understand why everyone seems to think that Joker is better without an origin. I myself find the fact that there are many theories to be very interesting, but at the same time love how it's questionable what's right, if any. Nothing against your review though, which as I said was great.

Posted by broo1232

@johnkmccubbin91: Can I just confess something? I re-wrote that paragraph on his origin about half a dozen times, as I was in two minds about it, as I was going to say I'd want him to have an origin, but it had better been something very spectacular on the level of the Killing Joke I didn't mention that as I felt that was straying off the point. Also I meant to say I like him having fragments of memories like in the Killing joke, and sort of jumbled up memories of his origin, so that you see parts, but not all my main problem was how generic it was I mean the horrible childhood thing has been used on most heroes, and villains.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: Fair enough, and I agree with what you said here.

Posted by broo1232
Posted by johnkmccubbin91

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