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The Joker #12

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 9 critic ratings.

There are dark, sinister secrets in the world, and then there are the secrets held by the infamous Sampson family on their compound down in Texas! Jim Gordon is about to enter a hell he never imagined to save…The Joker? Punchline Backup: The Trial of Punchline grows volatile as the Royal Flush Gang makes their biggest and most wicked move in Gotham Ever. Punchline’s endgame is here!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
33 pages
Amazon ASIN

9 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 95

    Geek Dad

    It's a perfect setup for a packed final two issues, and probably the best Joker story in a long time"even though the killer clown appears in all of one panel this issue.
  • 93

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Tynion crafts a well written narrative that provides both intrigue and action. I find it fascinating that the Joker is a secondary character in his title series. This chapter clearly carves out the villains of this plotline and sets up a future battle that will be both exciting and potentially game changing. I am excited to find out what will happen next. In the B story, Punchline’s relationship with the public is explored. It is interesting to see how much influence she has over people, and I am curious how the justice system will treat her past activities. The Art: The illustration in each story perfectly fits the tone of their respective tales. Both use detailed artwork and place emphasis on character expression and form. Though both styles are modern, the A story uses a realistic color palate and traditional design, while the B story uses bold color work to create a youthful atmosphere.
  • 92

    Comic Watch

    Im really going to miss this series in a few months when it has reached its conclusion. That said, I appreciate a book that knows its scope and steps offstage before it overstays its welcome. And while this is really only nominally a Joker book, it may well be the best Jim Gordon story in years.
  • 90

    Lyles Movie Files

    There’s a number of DC titles coming to a merciful end under less than inspiring creative teams. The Joker is not one of them. In the penultimate chapter of season one of the title, Jim Gordon has finally pieced all the puzzle together and knows who sent him on The Joker’s trail. It’s a big reveal and writer James Tynion IV has a payoff that largely was worth the wait. The only problem with the reveal is how it impacts another strong Batman family title. Tynion has earned enough goodwill to assume he’s got that accounted for and next issue will tie up loose continuity threads. The supporting cast of Harvey Bullock, Orphan and Barbara Gordon shine. Tynion crafts some strong interactions with Gordon and Bullock. Giuseppe Camuncoli’s artwork is so smooth with a nice flair for dramatic action scenes and wonderfully capturing the twists. Colorists Arif Prianto and Romulo Fajardo Jr. do commendable work with a lighter color scheme to show the veil being lifted from Gordon’s eyes. All roads end with next issue’s big season finale. Tynion has set the stage beautifully and there’s no reason to suspect he won’t nail the landing.
  • 89

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    THE JOKER #12 lets everyone know how bad$&& Jim Gordon truly is without ever lifting a finger. Fans will witness a true detective at work while reminding BATMAN fans just how important Gordon is to Gotham and this lore. Moreover, readers will finally discover who’s responsible for A-Day while also getting glimpses as to why JOKER is intertwined in all of this. Sure, the title of this book may be a bit misleading with its focus being primarily on Jim Gordon. However, the name JOKER sells. And if I’m being honest, I’d probably never have looked into this title if it was called “Jim Gordon”. Yet, as much as the title is misleading, THE JOKER is the crux behind everything involved in this story. And ultimately, without his involvement, the allure and speculation would just fade away. Look, THE JOKER is an exciting thrill ride that gets to the real heart, as well as the nasty grime, of humanity. Jim’s in way too deep… but that won’t stop him, nor should it stop you from jumping into this series. I highly recommend picking up the back issues and trades, as well as snagging THE JOKER #12. It really is one of the best titles coming from DC COMICS right now.
  • 80

    The Clown Prince of Crime's ongoing series is one that is able to really give readers an insight into the mind of Jim Gordon, taking the opportunity to unravel the mystery of who has been hunting the Joker. Though Joker and the faux-Texas Chainsaw Massacre family don't appear much in this latest issue, the story is made better for it. While the reveal in the final pages might be a bit predictable, Tynion and his art team are able to carve out another interesting story for those characters that are wrapped in the life of the Harlequin of Hate, promising some major developments thanks to the hand grenade thrown into the proceedings.
  • 70

    Weird Science DC Comics

    While things are coming to a head in the Joker hunt, the revelations in this issue left me wanting more because they seem out of nowhere and don't feel like they fit with anything we've seen from other books in the main DC continuity. The art is great and the backup feels like it's finally getting somewhere interesting but the swerve in this issue and the constant meandering leaves me wanting more.
  • 70

    The Batman Universe

    Writer James Tynion and his creative team clear the board as The Joker reaches its final few issues. There's a cool action piece that opens The Joker #12, but the rest of the issue is devoted to making sure all of the pieces are in place.
  • 50


    I'm torn between wanting to know the answers and being frustrated by this rush to the end and that's not a great place to leave readers in my mind.

More From The Joker (2021)

About the Author: James Tynion IV

James Tynion IV (born December 14, 1987) is an American comic book writer. He is best known for his work on the Batman franchise at DC Comics.

Early life

James Tynion IV was born December 14, 1987, and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended Marquette University High School. While studying creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Tynion met and began studying under Scott Snyder, in the nascent years of his comic book writing career. Following school, he became an intern for the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics, working under Editor Shelly Bond, among others.


After a few years working in advertising, Scott Snyder asked Tynion to co-write the back-up features for the New 52 relaunch of Batman, in the midst of the acclaimed “Night of the Owls” comic book storyline, starting with Batman #8. In this comic, he tied the Court of Owls mythology to Alfred Pennyworth’s father, Jarvis Pennyworth, working with noted American Vampire artist, Rafael Albuquerque. Tynion went on to co-write Batman Annual #1 with Snyder, for artist Jason Fabok, which reintroduced classic Batman villain Mr. Freeze into the present day continuity. Continuing on the back-up stories in the main Batman title, Tynion launched a spin-off of the Night of the Owls storyline with the ongoing comic series, Talon, which ran for 18 issues. Tynion followed up Talon with a brief stint on the title Red Hood and the Outlaws in which he re-introduced a number of members of The League of Assassins back into Batman continuity.

In 2013, Tynion paired with artist Jeremy Rock to co-create his first original comic series, The Eighth Seal, for Mark Waid‘s digital comic publisher Thrillbent. The series, an apocalyptic blend of political intrigue and body horror, was nominated for the 2013 Ghastly Award for Best Web Comic. Tynion followed up the series with an additional digital horror comic for Thrillbent, The House In The Wall, co-written by Noah J. Yuenkel and drawn by Eryk Donovan.

In 2014, Tynion launched his two biggest series to date. He was named as one of the head writers of Batman Eternal, a weekly Batman comic series designed to explore the full scope and cast of Gotham City. The series would bring classic Batman characters like Carmine Falcone, Hush, Vicki Vale, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and the original Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, into the New 52 DC continuity. He also launched the original series The Woods, for BOOM! Studios, with artist Michael Dialynas, which proved to be the highest selling original series at that publisher since Mark Waid’s Irredeemable, with the first issue selling out on a distributor level. The series was given an unprecedented full series order, guaranteeing that it will run to its planned conclusion at issue #36. He followed up The Woods with a three-issue apocalyptic horror miniseries for BOOM! Studios, titled Memetic, which paired him with artist Eryk Donovan once again.

In 2015, Tynion was announced as one of the co-writers of the new Constantine: The Hellblazer series alongside Ming Doyle and artist Riley Rossmo, as a part of the DCYou publishing initiative at DC Comics. Tynion also was announced as the writer of the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover with DC and IDW Publishing, the first meeting between the two franchises. The series launched in December 2015 as DC Comics’ sixth best selling title for the entire year. He also launched two new creator owned series through Boom! Studios, UFOlogy, co-written by Noah J. Yuenkel with art by Matt Fox, and Cognetic, the spiritual sequel to Memetic with artist Eryk Donovan.

At Wondercon in 2016, James Tynion IV was announced as the writer of the biweekly Detective Comics for DC’s Rebirth initiative. The new series launched in June of that year with the classic numbering restored starting with issue #934, and featured Batman and Batwoman as co-leads alongside an initial team of Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan and Clayface.

Tynion has worked on a number of additional titles for DC Comics, BOOM! Studios, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, and Thrillbent. Tynion became the new writer for Batman as of (vol. 3) #86.

In September 2020, DC Comics announced that Tynion would be among the creators of a revived Batman: Black and White anthology series to debut on December 8, 2020.

Personal life

James Tynion IV is openly bisexual.

[Latest Update: May 28, 2022]