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'The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing' #3 review
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‘The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing’ #3 review

‘The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing’ #3 reveals how one Joker can’t die.

The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing is a compelling new Joker story from Matthew Rosenberg and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Like a good joke, it keeps us guessing as two Jokers exist, but how can that be? Weaving actual jokes into the captions, Rosenberg continues to show one Crown Prince of Crime’s rise and the other’s inability to die.

The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #3 opens where we left off, as Red Hood aims to blow Joker’s brains out. So far, we’ve learned that this second Joker seems to be invulnerable to death, but he’s also dangerous and capable of easily killing. Still, he’s a bit calmer and nicer, as Harley realized the last issue. That won’t stop Red Hood, though, as he has one goal in mind. The problem is, Joker is very good at slipping out of dangerous situations.

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Much of this issue focuses on this Joker, who we follow along from close calls to actual death, eventually landing in the hospital. This is the meatier location of the issue, showing us how Joker pushes a doctor to “fix” him best. This scene lasts a bit too long, seemingly to show how much of a beating he can take without passing out or dying. So far, there’s no way of knowing who he is or how he survives, so it feels like more the same as seeing him survive repeatedly.

The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing

Joker takes a beating in this issue.
Credit: DC Comics

There’s a brief check-in with the other Joker, who takes a big loss in this issue. It’s unclear how this scene will play out going forward, so it feels like a dead end. Likely it’ll spur some reaction by the Joker in the next issue, but it’s too short of check-in to get much out of it.

Carmine Di Giandomenico draws a good issue, with great coloring by Arif Prianto. The visuals have a quasi-realistic look, with the colors adding a sense of volume and realism. Joker’s beaten-up face is on full display at times, and it’s pretty detailed and well-crafted. He’s seen better days, and you feel that in the art.

The backup continues to be a loony look at Joker and some C-Lister characters. Drawn by Francesco Francavilla, Joker gets thrown on some train tracks by Big Barda and cut in half. A running joke in this story is how everyone assumes he’s dead, yet he’s perfectly fine and not in any pain. Maybe this somehow connects to the Joker in the main story, that can’t feel pain or die, but likely it’s doing its own thing.

While I loved the backup in the last issue by the same creative team, this one doesn’t quite work. The joke that Joker can’t die and exists without a bottom half isn’t all that funny, and the chaos that arises due to his henchmen trying to get him help doesn’t work either. The story looks good, but it’s way too kooky, with little explanation to make much sense at all.

After the near perfect The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #2, the third issue takes a dip as we wait for some answers. This issue’s primary focus is to show how one of the Jokers is impossible to kill or hurt, but it gets old after a while. Plot progression is missing at this point, but the quality of the art and the bigger story is compelling enough to keep your interest for the next issue.

'The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing' #3 review
‘The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing’ #3 review
The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #3
After the near perfect The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #2, the third issue takes a dip as we wait for some answers. This issue's primary focus is to show how one of the Jokers is impossible to kill or hurt, but it gets old after a while. Plot progression is missing at this point, but the quality of the art and the bigger story is compelling enough to keep your interest for the next issue.
Reader Rating1 Vote
9
The art continues to look great throughout
The jokes told via captions are fun even if you've heard them before
Hammers home how invulnerable Joker is
Feels repetitive as we continue to see Joker get hurt or die and come back fine
Backup is too nonsensical to really enjoy
7
Average
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