Joker Killer Smile #1

DC Black Label

Written by Jeff Lemire

Art by Andrea Sorrentino

Colors by Jordie Bellaire

Letters by Steve Wands

The Rundown: Dr. Ben Arnell thinks he will be the one man who can actually cure the Joker. Unfortunately, he is going to find that the Clown Prince of Crime’s particular psychosis might be contagious.


Sitting on the opposite side of the glass, Dr. Ben Arnell is trying to understand the motivations behind the Joker’s public mass murders. He’s not interested in learning about the reasons behind what the Joker does. He honestly thinks that he can cure the villain and by extension, cure other kinds of psychosis.

Unfortunately, he is not going to have that long to prove his theories.

With the clock ticking, Ben finds himself dealing with things outside of his psychological wheelhouse as he unwittingly starts to bring home work with him. Work that will put everyone, including himself at risk.

The Story: Attempts to understand the Joker always make for interesting reading and Lemire makes this first issue interesting because it doesn’t focus on Joker so much as it takes the time to get the reader interested in not only the story of Ben Arnell, but also his motivation to cure Joker and ultimately, the tragedy that will bring on him and his family going forward. As much as I enjoyed this first issue, it is my hope that the story takes some bold leaps and unexpected narrative chances going forward. This seems like an ambitious story. I really want to be surprised by the directions it goes.

The Art: Andrea Sorrentino’s art style is perfect for both the tone and style of this story. There is a gritty realism to the visuals and I hope they give Sorrentino some interesting things to visualize going forward.

Joker Killer Smile #1




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