Review – Knight Terrors: The Joker #1 – Working Stiff

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Knight Terrors: The Joker #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Knight Terrors: The Joker #1 – Matthew Rosenberg, Writer; Stefano Raffaele, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: Matt Rosenberg, much like G. Willow Wilson, is taking his ongoing Bat-villain series into Knight Terrors, but he seems to be developing a more radical divergence from the main story. What scares the Joker? It seems the answer is… not having Batman to fight anymore. The issue kicks off with Joker, Gaggy, and some other minions fighting Batman atop a rooftop—at which point, the Caped Crusader simply slips, face-plants, and dies in full view of the Joker. Just like that, Joker’s purpose in life is over. He seeks a new motivation, trying for a massive heist aboard a Wayne Enterprises ship, but reaches a dead end. Losing motivation and binge-watching Real Housewives, he decides to seek another route to the Wayne Enterprises cache, but it’ll require him going where he’s never gone before—into the dark, corrupting world of a 9-5 corporate job.

The final showdown. via DC Comics.

How does Joker manage to get—and keep—a corporate job? The answer seems to be that the job makes as little sense as he does. He’s taking over for someone who met their end in scandal, and his twisted jokes are just taken as humor. A segment where his well-meaning boss explains just how utterly useless and irrelevant their division is absolutely hits the mark for capturing that corporate ennui. And slowly, Joker starts to lose his killer instinct, slipping into the everyday drudgery of life. One gruesome kill when the old Joker comes back aside, it’s very easy to see him eventually disappearing into his role. Rosenberg’s Joker series has had some issues until this point, with the split between the two Jokers making it hard to know who we’re actually supposed to be following. But this issue tightens the focus and gives us a fun focus on just how disturbing Joker is when he’s pretending to be sane.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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