The Joker #9

DC Comics

Written by James Tynion IV and Sam Johns

Art by Stefano Raffaele and Rosi Kämpe

Colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and Marissa Louise

Letters by Tom Napolitano and Ariana Maher

The Rundown: James Gordon and Vengeance catch up to the Joker. Kelly reveals her connection to Punchline.

The Joker
James Gordon narrates his current circumstance. He then reflects on his past dealings with the Joker. Soon he and Vengeance meet arrive at a fortress. There they meet Joker and a member of The Network. Then, James learns something horrifying. Afterwards, the group is met by someone unexpected, and a deadly altercation occurs. Elsewhere, Oracle and Julia uncover a high-level plot involving the clown prince of crime.

Punchline
Kelly and Harper hide out at the home of an ally. Then, it is revealed that Harper’s identity is compromised and Punchline’s ultimate plans become known. Afterwards, Kelly tells of her history with the villain. Elsewhere, Punchline deals with Orca.

The Story: Tynion and Johns craft a compelling narrative filled with interesting twists. As the overall plot involving The Joker’s adversaries becomes clear, a disturbing underground network is uncovered. I am impressed by the storytelling here. I was captivated by the narration as the reader is given a glimpse into Gordon’s psyche. It makes the final reveals feel even more terrifying and adds an extra layer of hopelessness to the former Commissioner’s situation. I am excited to see what happens next for the characters.

In the B story, the focus turns to Kelly’s story as we learn more about Punchline and her earliest criminal activity. I enjoyed this tale and the opportunity to delve further into this villain’s backstory. I like how Punchline stays ahead of the game in terms of planning. I look forward to seeing how this plotline progresses.

The Art: This issue features artwork in two very different styles. In terms of similarities, they both featuring bold coloring and detailed drawings that place emphasis on character expression and form. However, the A story features a traditional technique and dark, brooding tones. The B story, in comparison, uses a modern design that feels youthful and exciting.

The Joker #9

9.3

9.3/10

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