The much anticipated Batman: Three Jokers story from DC Comics’ Black Label imprint just got a lot more real. Today at New York Comic Con during Geoff Johns’ spotlight panel, Johns and Jason Fabok, the artist on the book, shared secrets, concept art and details on how they’ve built what Fabok calls “the ultimate Batman story.”
“We wanted to tell the best Joker story” said Johns, “and the best Batman story that we could. Jason Todd, Barbara Gordon and Batman will be the main characters.”
Johns first approached Fabok about the project two years ago and after agreeing to the project, Fabok flew out to LA to work on the story together in person. A giant whiteboard covers one of the walls in Johns’ office and the pair plotted out the entire story together, page by page.
“When you’re working on a monthly book you cut corners to get it done as quickly as possible.” said Fabok, “This one we’re taking our time, and every page I turn in I feel really proud of. There’s a magic to this story. I had chills working through it.”
This isn’t the first time the pair has worked closely together. A few years ago after looking through Fabok’s work, Johns decided he had to work with him and proceeded to find Fabok’s number from Twitter and DM’d him at midnight, asking “are you awake?” to which Fabok replied “Yes, but it’s midnight.” Johns called him of course and the following conversation resulted in the two working on Justice League together.
“I’m a little bit crazy and I’m very particular.” said Johns, “I saw Jason’s work and knew he was so incredibly talented and I wanted to help unlock that.”
Batman: Three Jokers will be released in three giant sized issues, with 46 pages to an issue on DC’s new Black Label imprint, intended for mature readers.
Johns shared that Barbara Gordon, Batman and Jason Todd are the main characters because they’re the characters that the Joker has hurt the most. While the story will be in continuity, the intention from the pair is to create a timeless story like The Killing Joke before it. Brian Bolland, the original appearance of the Joker and the Joker of the ’60s heavily influenced the project.
Fabok told fans at the panel that they should expect a lot of Easter eggs to be found on every page that readers from of all eras of Batman’s history will recognize. You could tell how much passion Fabok has for the project as he walked fans through the different pieces of concept art and a few finished panels DC was kind enough to share (which you can see below).
“You’re going to learn about the characters and see things unfold about each of them that will change your perception on who they are and what they think of each other.” Johns excitedly explained, “You’re going to get to know Jason in a deeper way than you have in the past. Our goal is to explore these characters emotionally.”