DC Comics is kicking off another round of Looney Tunes/DC crossover comics this week and it’s all about the villains this time. One of the most anticipated is the Joker/Daffy Duck crossover since it involves two of the biggest, most insane villains in each universe. Okay, so Daffy Duck isn’t the most menacing villain ever created, but you have to admit the big DD is one of Bugs’s most consistent rivals. In this issue we get two stories mixing these two characters together and how enjoyable it is might surprise you.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
When Daffy Duck pays a call to the Acme corporate headquarters in Gotham City, he finds the company long gone and their abandoned building now occupied by The Joker. With a hit in progress, Daffy tries to sneak away, only to find himself in the clutches of the Clown Prince of Crime. But Joker decides that there’s some potential in this manic bird and forces Daffy to join his gang. Will he find a way to escape…or will he become The Joker’s new right-hand duck?
Why does this matter?
The main feature is written by Scott Lobdell with pencils by Brett Booth combining Joker and Daffy Duck via the Acme Corporation. It’s a fun story that stays true to Joker’s violence and insanity and actually uses Daffy Duck in a positive way. The backup is written by Joey Cavalieri with art by Luciano Vecchio and plays up the insanity of both characters very well. Together this is a very tight Looney Tunes/DC crossover.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The handling of both characters is quite fun and entertaining in both the feature story and the backup. I highly enjoyed both stories as they gave different sorts of stories using Joker and Daffy Duck in different ways. The first uses the characters in a more modern, realistic way, while the second is more cartoonish and plays up their insanity. If you like Joker or Daffy Duck (or both) you’re going to come away very satisfied.
The feature doesn’t get too silly, an easy thing to do, but instead uses Daffy Duck as a crazy character who rolls with Joker’s insanity. The use of Daffy — he becomes Joker’s manager of henchmen — leads the story down a route that stays true to both characters. It also integrates Batman well and ends up delivering on a story that makes sense. Staying true to the characters also means drawing in a realistic way which Booth does fantastically, rendering Daffy Duck in a Howard the Duck sort of way. The layout design is great too, mixing things up and never doing what you might expect. That suits the story since both characters are a bit mad.
The backup story is also quite good, using Joker in an evil, psychotic way and playing up Daffy Duck’s silly insanity against him well. It opens with a beautiful shot of Arkham reminiscent of the Batman: The Animated Series, which works well since Daffy is rendered in a cartoony way too. There’s even a great silhouette shot reminiscent of the cartoon.
It can’t be perfect can it?
In a bit of a surprise, this book is less for little kids and more catered for adults. Joker is killing people for instance, and even in the backup Joker is quite scary. I don’t know if this is a real negative, but I assume many will think this is an all ages experience.
Is it good?
A great crossover issue and possibly one of the best Looney Tunes stories DC has done yet. Everyone talks about the Elmer Fudd issue, but this may actually rival it.