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Old 10-28-2020, 03:54 AM   #1
Ωmega Man
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Question Three Jokers: Hit or Miss?

SPOILERS







Either GJ set himself up for a sequel... this was supposed to end differently... or people can't seem to pick up on context clues. Devil is in the details people are looking right past...
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:47 AM   #2
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It's Johns. Of course it's some kind of giant cliffhanger.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:12 AM   #3
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I thought it was better than The Silmarillion.
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:38 AM   #4
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well going off all the copies my LCS still had/has after xx number of days (ie i don't think they sold out of any of them at any point in time) i'd say it was a miss
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Old 11-05-2020, 04:12 AM   #5
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I don't like the main retcon of there being multiple Jokers, but the story was good.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:19 PM   #6
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I enjoyed the story, and the art was obviously excellent.

It mainly highlights how Red Hood and Batgirl dealt differently with their Joker Trauma, and had a nice twist that does answer a lingering question a lot of readers probably had.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:26 PM   #7
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...It mainly highlights how Red Hood and Batgirl dealt differently with their Joker Trauma, and had a nice twist that does answer a lingering question a lot of readers probably had.
Agreed. That might be why I ended up liking it more than I expected to.
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:53 AM   #8
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This is definitely an essential Batman story. It builds on the most traumatic past events for Bruce, Jason, and Barbara. It was very well done.
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:57 AM   #9
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This is definitely an essential Batman story. It builds on the most traumatic past events for Bruce, Jason, and Barbara. It was very well done.
But is it canon that there were three? That really leads you to redefine whatever they're still calling continuity.
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Old 01-04-2021, 05:05 AM   #10
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But is it canon that there were three? That really leads you to redefine whatever they're still calling continuity.

Yes and no. It seems that the Joker
identified as "The Comedian" was the original, and he created the other 2.
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:05 AM   #11
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Don't you mean the Criminal, not the Comedian?
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Old 01-05-2021, 05:34 AM   #12
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Don't you mean the Criminal, not the Comedian?
The one who was alive at the end, the one whom Batman escorted to Arkham, was the Comedian. He was identified as the real Joker.
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Old 01-06-2021, 02:17 AM   #13
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I was under the impression that the Comedian became the "real" Joker because he was the only one left, not that he was the original. The original was the Criminal, and he made the others because he wanted to perfect the Joker identity.
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:56 AM   #14
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I was under the impression that the Comedian became the "real" Joker because he was the only one left, not that he was the original. The original was the Criminal, and he made the others because he wanted to perfect the Joker identity.
I don't think there is ever direct confirmation using the word "original", but I don't see how the ending makes sense without the Comedian being the original. The focus of the end is that Bruce is taking care of the wife and child that we saw in the Killing Joke. Bruce said that he knew Joker's real name a week after their first encounter, but it must be kept secret because if Joker knew that his wife and child survived, he'd kill them. If the Criminal was the original, why then was so much emphasis placed on cementing the Killing Joker origins as reality, not a false narrative of the Joker's mind?
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:23 AM   #15
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Honestly, I have not read Killing Joke and probably never will, and I don't remember all the details of the final conversation between Comedian Joker and Batman. I just had the memory that Joker when he first appeared was basically a clown-themed gangster and Criminal Joker to my reading was older and more tired than the other two Jokers, and he seemed to want to himself make a newer and more perfect Joker to be Batman's ultimate nemesis.

If Comedian Joker is the original and only remaining Joker, and if enough details fit that the story works out without horridly contradicting itself, then I'm fine. I did enjoy it and it did ultimately do what I never expected DC to ever do, reveal who the Joker really is, but did so while making sure it never really matters, both to Joker himself and to the readers. The story isn't perfect, I'll admit, but it does accomplish what it set out to do.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:01 AM   #16
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Honestly, I have not read Killing Joke and probably never will...
Because of what you've heard about the darker bits or it's not your style? Because I'd highly recommend it. I read it as a kid before I knew it was going to be THE thing and have re-read it. Loved it each time. The most controversial bit is only one possibility. It's not clear that he definitely did that.
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:30 PM   #17
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I didn't read The Killing Joke until some time when they were filming The Dark Knight. It was in an Alan Moore collection with a bunch of his other stories.

It really is quite good, and I don't read a whole lot of Batman. I would certainly check it out. None of the adaptations quite capture it.
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:58 PM   #18
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Because of what you've heard about the darker bits or it's not your style?
More style than word-of-mouth. I like the Joker well enough, but it's hard for me to get into him at times, so often when I see him pop up I feel like we already just saw him and should be taking a break from him; he has this effect of wearing out his welcome fast for me and I honestly have difficulty understanding why I feel like that when I don't dislike the character.

I don't fully expect that I will never read it, but I have genuine trouble seeing myself reading it in the near future in most cases. I know I should try it but every time it enters my mind I just brush it aside.

When I hit up the store this weekend I will see what price they have on offer and maybe I'll make a spot for it on this year's timeline.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:28 PM   #19
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I was under the impression that the Comedian became the "real" Joker because he was the only one left, not that he was the original. The original was the Criminal, and he made the others because he wanted to perfect the Joker identity.
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I don't think there is ever direct confirmation using the word "original", but I don't see how the ending makes sense without the Comedian being the original. The focus of the end is that Bruce is taking care of the wife and child that we saw in the Killing Joke. Bruce said that he knew Joker's real name a week after their first encounter, but it must be kept secret because if Joker knew that his wife and child survived, he'd kill them. If the Criminal was the original, why then was so much emphasis placed on cementing the Killing Joker origins as reality, not a false narrative of the Joker's mind?
I'm not gonna bother with spoiler tags cause the books been out for awhile now. There are several clues that indicate that the Criminal is in fact the original Joker. I reread the series and took notes just to be sure, however there are some bits of dialog here and there that confuse the reader on purpose, mostly involving the other two Jokers. Anyway...

1.) Issue #1 goes into how the Joker was always at war with organized crime. A direct quote reads “A war the Joker began when he first appeared in Gotham DECADES AGO…” The Comedian's son doesn't look older than a teen, and the boy would've been born around the time of that Joker's origin.

2.) Issue #2 the Criminal comes out and says it. "I was the FIRST. Before BATMAN... I RAN Gotham." And that statement makes complete sense, as the original Joker was already operating by the time Batman showed up in Gotham. No Ace Chemicals bath or convoluted BS, however in his first appearance in Batman #1 back in 1940 he was shown to already be using his Joker toxin in different ways. From the beginning, the Joker was making more Jokers and perfecting his formula. In the same story, the golden age Joker targeted a 'Judge Drake' who had sentenced him to prison so to me that would imply he was a career criminal before Bruce returned to Gotham around a year or so prior. In his first appearance he's already shown to be something of a chemist, a master of disguise, and an expert in stealth.

3.) Batman says it himself over a file of dozens of pictures of Jokers, with Babs and Jason in the room. When talking about the Criminal, Batman states "He reminds me of our earliest confrontations." The image in Batman's memory is LITERALLY a panel redone from Batman #1.



Geoff knew what he was doing making this out of regular continuity and tied it to everything he could from as far back as he could. At the end when Bruce is talking shit with Alfred and says he knew Joker's name one week after they met he was looking at an image of the Comedian. He knew that version's name a week after they met, not the Criminal's. Geoff going back and forth with who did what with the other two Joker's was his way of making the 'last' Joker responsible for both Babs and Jason's trauma. I'm also not convinced the Criminal is dead either since we don't see what happened to his body. His 'Pull' cord was replaced with 'Boom' after he fell. And there was mister 'Funtime Cleaning' sweeping the floors of Babs apartment building.
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:03 AM   #20
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Didn't the end imply that the family was still in danger because their father/husband was the one still alive?
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:35 AM   #21
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I'm not gonna bother with spoiler tags cause the books been out for awhile now. There are several clues that indicate that the Criminal is in fact the original Joker. I reread the series and took notes just to be sure, however there are some bits of dialog here and there that confuse the reader on purpose, mostly involving the other two Jokers. Anyway...
That's a pretty good explanation. One day I'd like to read reprints of the first run of adventures. My LCS didn't have Killing Joke when I was there yesterday, so I had the manager order new copies for both myself and the store (I presume the latter since it's a keystone story and all, and she said it wasn't expensive since it wasn't some master edition or anything).

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Didn't the end imply that the family was still in danger because their father/husband was the one still alive?
I got the sense that Comedian just didn't care anymore. He only cares about fucking with Batman, and his completely abandoned ties to his past.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:01 AM   #22
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...I got the sense that Comedian just didn't care anymore. He only cares about fucking with Batman, and his completely abandoned ties to his past.
Maybe, but Bruce seemed convinced that keeping them secret was crucial.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:35 AM   #23
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Well I would argue that's because he cares about others. Despite what a lot of publications insist, Batman isn't a heartless asshole.

Also, I just remembered, the Comedian's wife and unborn child dying in an explosion ties into what Riddler saw when he was first making the scene in Gotham: a cop named Oliver Hammet murdering a pregnant woman and the Joker attending her funeral. This was in the Blowback storyline in The Dark Knight, I believe, way back shortly after Hush entered via Loeb/Lee's year-long story.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:02 PM   #24
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That's a pretty good explanation. One day I'd like to read reprints of the first run of adventures. My LCS didn't have Killing Joke when I was there yesterday, so I had the manager order new copies for both myself and the store (I presume the latter since it's a keystone story and all, and she said it wasn't expensive since it wasn't some master edition or anything).
I researched the older material a bit before coming up with my conclusion because I know how in depth Geoff can be when rewriting a character's history. The table full of Jokers pics in the final issue had me thinking Geoff looked at dozens of appearances and used the better ones to make it sound like multiple Jokers rather than the same guy. I remember some of those earlier stories where Joker acted like a game show host, or a snobby artist, etc. and tried to connect the dots to actual appearances but the wife mentioned how much time I was putting into this theory so I left it at that LOL.

Another theory I had, since golden age Joker was already using toxin in his first appearance.... Since he appeared in 9 of the first 12 issues of Batman... maybe the Comedian was created much sooner than retrofitted continuity would suggest and THAT is how Batman "knew the Joker's identity one week after they met." He figured out the identity of some schmuck the Criminal Joker turned into another Joker. The Joker being active for decades though, and the Comedian's son only being a teen at best made me drop that theory altogether. I think that in the same way Doomsday Clock was meant to push the Rebirth DC era [setting up returns for the Legion and JSA] Three Jokers was meant to push the Future State era and cement that Batman was getting older much like the Joker War presented him towards the end.

I also believe the film theory that insisted Jared Leto's Joker was a brainwashed Robin in 2016's Suicide Squad had some impact on how Geoff developed his Three Jokers with wanting Jason Todd to become a new Joker.

I often wonder if Geoff was low key jealous of other creators' ideas and concepts and wanted to change things he had no hand in creating. Like Jason returning from the grave and Kyle Rayner becoming Ion. With using so much of Alan Moore's work for inspiration I'm surprised he hasn't tried to do anything with Swamp Thing or the Charlton characters Watchmen were based on.

-Ω

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Old 01-24-2021, 09:42 PM   #25
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I also believe the film theory that insisted Jared Leto's Joker was a brainwashed Robin in 2016's Suicide Squad had some impact on how Geoff developed his Three Jokers with wanting Jason Todd to become a new Joker.
Should also be noted Frank Miller did that in Dark Knight Strikes Again, pretty much.
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