Vengeance has spent her short existence waiting for the moment she could kill The Joker, but she knows that if she fulfills her programming, she’ll be dragged back into the servitude of the terrifying Knightfallen of Santa Prisca. Jim Gordon may be her only way out, but a revelation close to his heart has the potential to send him down a darker path. One he may never turn back from. Backup: The trial of the century in Gotham City begins to draw to a close, and no one will be left happy with the results…except for one Alexis Kaye, a.k a. Punchline!
Comic WatchWith both the lead story and the backup poised to barrel into their final chapters, The Joker #13 is both a solid individual issue and an intriguing setup for the final page in both tales. The lead pairs exciting action with visuals straight out of a horror film. Punchline pays off months of build with an answer to the lingering question of what will happen to Alexis Kaye. And now it's all over except the cleanup.
The Super Powered FancastThe Story: Tynion IV creates a tense and action filled narrative in the penultimate chapter of this series. I enjoyed watching Vengeance in action as she fought against the Sampson family. I also appreciated her reaction to the Joker’s entreaties. However, I was most interested in the Sampson family dinner. I think the commentary on wealth and depravity was timely and thought provoking. I look forward to the resolution of this plotline in the next issue. The B story delves into Punchline’s cunning and cult of personality. It also explored the Influence of the Royal Flush Gang. It will be interesting to see how this story will conclude. The Art: The illustration in this issue uses modern styling that heavily features realistic and detailed drawings. Both stories also have bold and realistic colors. These characteristics are both transportive and connective and do a great job complimenting the tone of the respective tales.
DC Comics NewsBane and his daughter Vengeance. Joker's back is against the wall. And Gordon still finds time to smoke a pipe. How can he not take out the Joker with all that the clown prince has done? As Batman says in the new film The Batman"."You're a good man."
Geek DadThe series has largely been a suspense thriller, but this issue has much more of the tone of a slasher flick. The thing that keeps it from being one-note, surprisingly, is Joker. Locked up and staring down death with gallows humor, he trolls everyone in sight and eventually comes face to face with Vengeance—taking beating after beating and responding with cutting barbs. Jim Gordon not having any lines in this issue is surprising, but by the end of the issue, every major player is in one place for what’s sure to be a bloody and explosive conclusion. The real star of this issue, though, has got to be the Punchline backup. This has been a slow-burn story as Harper Row battles to find the evidence to put Alexis away—but the sadistic henchwoman always seems to be one step ahead. This issue finally sets off the court battle, as one witness after another falls into Punchline’s traps. This even pulls in Cullen Row, as the trap laid for him is finally sprung and he makes a decision that could possibly ruin his life. This is really the conclusion of the main story set up since the start—which makes me wonder what the hell our resident killer clown has waiting for us in the finale next month.
Weird Science DC ComicsWe only have one more issue left of this series so what do we do here....... Well, we see Vengeance go all slasher movie on the Sampson Family. Yeah, maybe some more exposition would have been nice but we get all our key players where they need to be by the end of the issue and have a blood-soaked blast getting there. Yeah, action is the name of the game this issue and I had a fun time reading this and staring at the amazing art.
The Comicbook DispatchTHE JOKER #13 rapidly hits its climax only to putter out when everything was getting good. I thought the Sampson Family would have been a much better adversary than they appeared to be. Moreover, I was also under the impression that the JOKER would have a much bigger role than simply wanting to be killed for “supposedly” burning down Arkham. Again, the story weaves together masterfully until this point and felt like it just landed flat with one issue to go to iron out the details. Plus, Jimbo cashed in all his money, charged up credit cards, and flew to the JOKER’S safety to… not really do much of anything. Again, if you’ve been really digging the story to this point, it just doesn’t seem to hit the mark this week.
Lyles Movie FilesTynion sets up a nice cliffhanger bringing Gordon back into the fold, but his absence was definitely felt this issue making for one of the few misfires in this series so far.
ComicBook.comThe Joker as a comic series is at its pinnacle when the Clown Prince of Crime is the shark from Jaws, wading beneath the surface. While this latest issue doesn't lean into the series' strengths, there's still plenty to like here. Vengeance is certainly living up to her name and Joker is as deliciously evil as he's been throughout the comic, though the story once again suffers from the faux-Texas Chainsaw Massacre family, who are taken off the board so hilariously quickly, that you have to question their involvement at all. With the final page certain to bring in readers for the conclusion of this arc, let's hope that Tynion and Carmuncoli are able to stick the landing and get back to what made the series so special in the beginning.
The Batman UniverseIn the beginning, The Joker series promised much with a Jim Gordon-centric narrative of a broken-down ex-cop on the hunt to kill Joker once and for all. In this penultimate issue, the moody, noir-inspired detective story has been stripped away for your standard, run-of-the-mill action comic. It's not bad, but The Joker has lost what made it exceptional.
Batman-NewsThis issue takes a lot of what I was enjoying about this series and makes it so over the top it's no longer fun. It tries too hard to paint the Sampson family in a threatening light, and highlight their cannibalistic lifestyles. Equally it goes too far with the violence and instead of giving us an engaging standoff between the Sampsons and Vengeance turns it into more of a bloodbath than anything. If you want an issue that's jam packed with violence this is the issue for you, if you were hoping for something else you'll be disappointed.