Booknote: Joker

Joker - Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo

I picked this up when I saw it was written by Brian Azarello since I am a fan of his 100 Bullets series. He provides here a solid noir tale of the Joker. Joker manages to be released from Arkham Asylum, and he wants to get back to business. The only problem is that his retainers and goons took his interests, split them up, and basically squandered things. So now he has to put his empire back together. So, with a new goon, Jonny Frost, Killer Croc, and Harley Quinn, he sets about his mad work. Along the way we meet Two Face, the Riddler, the Penguin, and others. However, Azarello, with Lee Bermejo's art, gives us a different, more gritty take on these characters. These are not the bright costume-wearing characters, but rather more street, gritty, characters. The result is a very dark, deep, story in an urban setting. Joker will meet Batman, but this is first and foremost Joker's story. And the interesting and neat thing is that it is told from Jonny Frost's point of view, as he rises to earn Joker's trust (as much as that is possible), and he is there to see and experience all the madness. Overall, this is highly recommended.