The final issue of Three Jokers has promised to rock our world when it comes to Batman and Joker, but they aren’t the only ones dealing with things in threes: Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd have had to face their fears while learning that there are two other Jokers.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Batman: Three Jokers #3!
Issue #1 presented us with the idea, and issue #2 showed us the strain that was brought about when Jason killed one of the Jokers. This group of Jokers is trying to make a better Joker, and Joe Chill was brought back into the Batman story. Now, we finally can see what the plan was and how the players react to these events. Let us dive into and figure out the punchline!
Major appreciation goes to the art team of Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson for making these pages as striking as they were. So many panels in this series have been amazing and will live on in their own right, while also providing the moments that Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd fans will rally towards in their respective fandoms. There was such a great moment for Barbara where she is confronted by a Joker wearing a camera, a solid nod to Killing Joke — we know what that story meant to her character, but talk about amazing growth when she finally gets to step up to him and stick that camera in his face. This was so great a moment, and when you couple that with her returning to Oracle over in Joker War, it just seems like such a huge healing of what she has been, so that was a beautiful surprise.
Outside of the art, I would have to say the next big positive were all the characters who grew in this adventure. Bruce Wayne really had to face his worst nightmare, and he did take the high road when it came to Joe Chill. It was nice to see something new when it comes to these characters that we haven’t see in the comics. I wonder how that healing will play out if and when this hits the mainstream readers and writers. Jason Todd fans must’ve been hit the hardest with this story, as the character himself just took lump after lump in each issue and the relationship with Bruce just might have taken another turn. But again, I wonder if that will play out in any way in future comics.
Getting to the heart of the matter, how do I feel after reading this? I was entertained for sure; amazing spectacle and some great moments that I haven’t seen in all my years of reading Batman comics, but I don’t think this miniseries lived up to its own hype. This might ruffle some feathers, but I think had this been done around the time of DC Universe Rebirth’s release back in May 2016 after the revelation from the Darkseid War and before the Joker War, I feel like I would’ve been way more bewildered. Reading and reviewing both Joker War and Three Jokers felt like reading a set of multiverse stories that had the same scheme but different course of action, like Justice League theatrical cut vs. the Snyder cut.
In both stories, we see the Joker and Batman at the Monarch Theater and elements from Bruce’s origins are revealed by the Joker. Now, had it just been one of those stories doing it, that would’ve been cool, but seeing it in both weeks apart just didn’t deliver that wallop it should have had. The fan who goes to a bookstore months from now and picks up Three Jokers will be shocked big time by this, but for the comic book fan who dutifully reads every New Comic Book Day, it feels like just another gimmick.
Geoff Johns does a good job, don’t get me wrong, but I just feel disenchanted by all the reveals…like will they get picked up, or is that it? Barbara and Jason’s potential played so nicely in this story that it could’ve climaxed here, but Bruce’s knowledge of the Joker just feels like another cool mystery that might not get picked up. So I’ll enjoy what I got from this and make the most of it, but I still find myself hoping to hear of “Three More Jokers” just so those plot threads can actually mean something.
Three Jokers was a great story overall, but like with any joke, it always comes down to timing. Sadly, the release of Three Jokers after Joker War just doesn’t provide that wild revelation that I haven’t seen recently between Bruce and Joker.
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