Year of the Villain The Joker #1

DC Comics

Written by John Carpenter and Anthony Burch

Art by Philip Tan

Inks by Marc Deering, Danny Miki, Jonathan Glapion and Philip Tan

Colors by Jay David Ramos

Letters by Gabriela Downie

The Rundown: Joker’s latest escape from Arkham will include a new sidekick who will question everything about his own sanity.


Joker has escaped from Arkham and finds that life in the City of Bane is not as fun as he would like. Joker decides to find a new kind of fun in the city and he will use his new sidekick to have it. After taking out his old crew for failing to bust him out, Joker and his new friend will take to the streets with the Clown Prince of Crime deciding that the city of Bane needs a new Batman and Robin.

After donning some gas station Batman and Robin costumes, Joker and friend proceed to dispense their brand of justice throughout the city. Unfortunately, the new “boy wonder” is starting to question whether following the Joker was a good idea and his own sanity slowly starts to return as he witnesses Joker’s idea of justice.

The Story: John Carpenter and Anthony Burch craft a disturbing and engaging portrait of a man fighting both for and against his own sanity as he’s dragged deeper into the world of his own mental illness by the worst person imaginable. The story is interesting and thought provoking. The dialogue is great and the story takes some unexpected twists and turns that draw in the reader. Also, the character of Jeremy is interesting as well. Telling the story from his perspective is a bold move that pays off with the tragic and bittersweet ending.

The Art: Philip Tan’s art is amazing. Tan manages to visually convey the agent of chaos and terror the Joker is. Joker is scary to witness in this issue and his menace is palpable throughout the story.

Year of the Villain The Joker #1





  • Timbo

    October 10, 2019 - 6:10 pm

    No mentions of the continuity errors in this issue???

    • Deron Generally

      October 10, 2019 - 6:33 pm

      They weren’t egregious enough to ruin the overall story, but I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

  • Timbo

    October 10, 2019 - 7:36 pm

    The City of Bane began with the Joker and Riddler as part of Bane’s GCPD. Where is Thomas Wayne and Gotham Girl when Joker is running around, but especially when the Suicide Squad shows up? There is no Suicide Squad right now and hasn’t been one since City of Bane began and at the moment, Enchantress is dead.

    • Deron Generally

      October 10, 2019 - 10:05 pm

      I thought about that, especially considering this is part of the Year of the Villain arc, but I let it go because I believe the focus was more on the story than where it fit in continuity. One shots I give a wider berth because they’re not meant to affect the overall story. This one was more of John Carpenter dipping his feet in the DC universe so it was easy to take in the story and it’s themes.

  • Timbo

    October 11, 2019 - 5:26 pm

    I can go with that! Though, there is talk that Jon Carpenter had 0% to do with this really

    • Deron Generally

      October 12, 2019 - 4:08 pm

      Quick BTW. Just read Batman 81 ahead of release and it answers your continuity question about Joker. You should pick it up this Wednesday.

  • Allen Francis

    March 18, 2024 - 10:48 am

    I have this issue and I loved it. Carpenter and Burch really nailed the street level criminal character of the Joker, and his insanity issues and I found it creepy and hilarious at the same time. There was a scene where he deleted some guy and tried to frame his dog for it. (In that context I guess it sounds grotesque) The point is that the writer nailed the anarchist mindset of the Joker, especially int he way he treated his young henchman. Great comic…

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