Possibly the creepiest Joker image ever
One comic book story can renew your faith that the storytelling today is just as good as it ever was, and remind us all why we love them in the first place. Sometimes all it takes is one panel.
DC Nation #0 (July 2018) came out a few weeks ago, and it was a special issue featuring three stories for 25-cents. This is where the old man in me is shouting “ALL comics used to have multiple stories for 25-cents when I was a kid,” but I often ignore that old man. He can get pretty salty.
Anyway, one of the stories was an eight-page Joker tale entitled “Your Big Day” written by Tom King, with art by Clay Mann and colors from Jordie Bellaire. I was floored by a single image from that story, but I waited to write this piece to be certain that it would inspire the same emotion in me on a different day.
Well, it certainly did.
The issue opens with this full-page image of the Joker looking at the reader through a mail slot, and sets up the story’s premise: Joker is waiting at a stranger’s house expecting an invitation to Batman and Catwoman’s wedding to be delivered. To him. At a stranger’s house.
It is a gorgeous splash page, but it is not the panel I am referring to.
Of course, the idea of waiting at a random location for something to be delivered to you is insane, but the Joker simply says that Batman “has to send it somewhere. And sometime. And…this is somewhere. This is sometime.” Makes perfect sense to Joker, and gives us a glimpse into his convoluted logic.
During the story, Joker and the resident – Roger Martello – just sit and wait for the mail to arrive. While they do, Joker engages Roger in some small talk and smatters in some jokes to pass the time. That includes this little off-handed quip:
The very next panel is the one that hit me, as Joker turns to Roger and almost silently begs for some sign of the genius behind that little one-liner.
Just look at what Mann did with that one image. You can see so much: the desperation; the intensity; the depravity; the need to be acknowledged and praised. Look at the eyes, the teeth, the hair escaping the top of his head to cascade down the side of his face. Heck, you can almost smell him. You get all that impact without a single word balloon.
It is a reminder that, used properly, comic books can be just as powerful of an art form as anything you will see hanging in a gallery.
Oh, and also a reminder that The Joker is absolutely &#@% nuts.
by Rob Otto