Review – The Joker #10: Shattered

Comic Books DC This Week
The Joker #10 variant cover, via DC Comics.

The Joker #10 – James Tynion IV, Matthew Rosenberg, Sam Johns, Writers; Francisco Francavilla, Belen Ortega, Artists

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: The Tynion/Rosenberg/Francavilla interlude issues of this series have been just as good if not better than the main series, and that continues with this follow-up to the events of The Killing Joke. One of the worst parts of that story is the way that Jim and especially Barbara’s trauma were never really reflected after the fact. Jim recovered quickly, and Barbara was largely shuffled off stage until Ostrander and Yale brought her back as Oracle years later. This issue finally bares some of those early months after the Joker’s attack, as Jim tries to be there for his newly disabled daughter while shoving his own trauma deep down and trying to get back to normal. Complicating this? His ex-wife just brought his troubled son down to stay with him.

Aftermath. Via DC Comics.

Snyder and Tynion have obviously done a lot of work over the years with James Jr. as a full-fledged psychopath, but this issue takes place when he was still a boy and his disturbed nature was just creeping up. As Jim tries to get reinstated as commissioner, James Jr. becomes obsessed with the Joker and even gets dangerously close to his father’s gun. It all builds to a mysterious kidnapping by someone dressed as the Joker that comes with a disturbing twist. The dialogue here is top-notch, especially between Jim and Barbara, and this issue actually feels like an organic exploration of what the events of the infamous one-shot would do to a family. Francavilla’s art, especially that last page, is genuinely haunting.

The Punchline backup has really had a hard time keeping artists, with Belen Ortega now jumping on as we get closer to the finish line. Harper Row has gotten Kelly safely out of Blackgate, but now they have to keep her sane and alive long enough to testify. Meanwhile, Cullen has found himself deeper in the world of another villain syndicate—the Royal Flush Gang, to which his new boyfriend is loyal to. This issue has an intriguing twist about the gang’s true nature, but can we actually trust it? This is still an intriguing slow-burn mystery that has surprisingly little Punchline so far.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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