Reading the news about Joker returning to Snyders Batman, I was wondering if I had to read Detective comics to understand what is going on?
Do I HAVE to read Detective Comics?
No you don't; you don't HAVE to, as you have your own free will of choice, but if you WANT to. Personally, I just go with Joker in Detective issue 1 (although I really do not like his further mutilation of self with his own face in the end) and some Penguin issues, as I really cannot care any less about Dollmaker, and completely skipped "Night of the Owls", because despite I know Owls are the "Thing" at the moment, I choose not to read them, as I don't have to, as I don't give a fig about Owls.
How did he lose his face
This is reaching waaaay back for me, but I think I remember it being implied that the Joker did it to himself while in holding or isolation or whatever. When he then escaped from Arkham Asylum, he left his face plastered on a wall. I don't think it was implied someone did it to him, but rather he was hatching some bizarre, psychotic scheme.
At the end of Detective comics issue #1 Dollmaker comes in and removes his face. It's a bit of a weird situation as Joker killed his son in the beginning of the comic and then he comes in at the end to do the job of removing him face. It seems Dollmaker is a fan of Jokers. Other than that, nothing is really said throughout the rest of issues.
Nope. It's an event that you can read and understand without having to buy all the tie ins as well (cough every Marvel event for the past 5 years). The Night of the Owls Crossover can be just read in Batman and the other Bat family titles merely expand and flesh out the backstories of various Talons as well as show how the Bat family is involved in Night of the Owls. Snyder said it would be the same with the Joker storyline.
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