Mystery of the Three Jokers: When Will We See This Important Batman Story?

Mystery of the Three Jokers: When Will We See This Important Batman Story?

Cover of Batman: Three Jokers, by Jason Fabok
Cover of Batman: Three Jokers, by Jason Fabok

Artist Jason Fabok is teasing Batman and Joker fans with some of the art he is preparing for the upcoming Batman: Three Jokers mini-series comic book.  This tale promises to finally explain the whole “Three Jokers" mystery that arose soon after the DC REBIRTH event.

Writer Geoff Johns and artist Jason Fabok’s new Batman mini-series will run for three issues, each clocking in at a sizeable 46 pages each.  This story promises some action, as it is not for kids, being published under DC’s Black Label imprint, which is meant for more mature (does that mean old?).

Supposedly, there are three separate Jokers existing simultaneously in the main DC Comics continuity, as revealed when Batman used the Mobius Chair, and then later revealed to Green Lantern in Justice League Vol. 2 #50 (2016) that when he asked the Chair for Joker’s real name, it did not reveal it to him, but instead told him that there were Three Jokers.

Panel from Justice League #50; Batman and Green Lantern Discuss the Three Jokers.
Panel from Justice League #50; Batman and Green Lantern Discuss the Three Jokers.

So, to quote Green Lantern, “What the Hell does that mean?"  Let’s try to figure it out, shall we?

Since Joker first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940, Joker has has had several origin stories. As often as DC has rebooted itself, that should not be a surprise, but each of the “Ages" of comicdom seems to have a Joker origin all its own. One origin, from Detective Comics #168 (February 1951), has Joker as a lab worker who becomes the criminal Red Hood, who, when he fell into a vat of chemicals, is transformed into the Joker.  A variation of this story was used to introduce the Jack Nicholson movie version of Joker in 1989’s Batman movie. Other comic book Joker origins show him as a failed comedian (ala Joaqin Phoenix’s movie Joker), a failed gangster, a failed husband and father, and, even as a perfectly sane criminal who acts insane to escape traditional legal justice (as in, the government will not impose the death penalty on the criminally insane, hence, the existence of Arkham Aslylum for Joker and his fellow nut-cases).

While there is at this time no release date announced yet, perhaps the Three Jokers mini-series will show us that each Joker has an origin in keeping with the various versions we have seen in the comics.  One thing is for sure, Fabok and Johns are saying this will be a real treat for fans of the Batman and the Joker.

Jason Fabok art from Batman: Three Jokers, as posted by Fabok on Twitter.
Jason Fabok art from Batman: Three Jokers, as posted by Fabok on Twitter.

DC Comics Courts Controversy by Giving in to Authoritarian Chinese Complaint About Batman Poster

DC Comics Courts Controversy by Giving in to Authoritarian Chinese Complaint About Batman Poster

In a story that originated with Variety,  DC Comics has pulled a social media post meant to advertise a new Batman comic book title.  Titled “Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child," this comic hits stores on December 11, and is written by the legendary Frank Miller.  

The hot pink words “The Future is Young," dominate the poster, as we see in the foreground, a black-clad Batman holding a Molotov Cocktail. A Molotov Cocktail is usually a bottle filled with a flammable liquid, such as gasoline, with a lit fuse, commonly a rag or other fabric. It is used by throwing it at the target. When the bottle shatters, the gasoline is exposed to the flame, thereby causing combustion. This improvised firebomb has historically served as a weapon of the oppressed and guerrilla-type forces facing more powerful foes.

The recent Hong Kong protests pit pro-democracy protesters against the harsh authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party.  DC Comics is owned by Warner Brothers, which sees China as a major market for films. Not long after these complaints appeared, then the Future is Young poster disappeared from official DC and Warner social media accounts.

Semi-official Chinese outlets believe the imagery of Batman with a Molotov Cocktail, and dressed in a black-appearing costume, indicate sympathy for the protesters in Hong Kong.  DC Comics and Warner Bros, have declined comment on this issue. Many American fans of Batman see this as a cowardly act on the part of DC, citing the fact that Batman is supposed to stand for integrity and justice, and is not seen as one bending the knee to a dictatorial government or power.  Considering that Batman is a founding member of the JUSTICE League in particular lends this whole affair the aroma of hypocrisy on DC’s part.

It will be interesting to see what sort of imagery is in the actual “Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child" comic book when it comes out on December 11.

The since-deleted DC Comics social media post is seen below.

Comic Book And Superhero News March 10, 2019

Curating news from the world of comic books and superheroes for you…

Batman News

Batman Damned #1
Batman Damned #1

How that Batman full-frontal nudity thing affected DC Comics…https://www.bleedingcool.com/…/batman-damned-forced-dc-to-…/

Captain Marvel Movie Review (at least the ones we found interesting!)

“Captain Marvel is a great superhero film for many reasons, but one of them is that it sees Marvel Studios tell its best origin story yet—not just of that one character getting some powers, but of that character discovering her destiny, her reason to get back up when the world tries to shove her down. ” https://arstechnica.com/…/captain-marvel-review-the-hero-w…/

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)
Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)

The Captain Marvel movie Rocks! Here is a good review…https://www.wired.com/…/captain-marvel-is-about-female-pow…/

Yes, Captain Marvel was very good. And yes, it connects to the greater MCU…https://bgr.com/…/captain-marvel-review-spoilers-for-aveng…/