Detective Comics #1, the launching title for Batman in the new 52, saw DC comics make one of their boldest moves since the death of Jason Todd back in 1988. It showed an incarcerated Joker willingly allowing the newly created villain, Dollmaker, to remove his face with a knife and plaster it on the wall. The reaction from fans was mixed to say the least. Some thought it was brilliant, others thought it was out of character and argued it ruined the Joker. Regardless it made a huge impact. Now, 12 issues later, the Joker is set for his official return in Batman issue #13 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” stated Snyder, “He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve been building in my head ever since I started working in Gotham.” Although his introduction was shocking, and for some poorly done, with an artist like Snyder most fans can rest assured the Joker will be handled with great care. Snyder has described this as his , “Killing Joke.” That it would be a darkest title he could create, and not for the faint of heart. Well from the few images leaked so far it would seem he was pretty close. It’s no doubt that the macabre factor is there, I can only hope that the writer and artist won’t fully depend on gore to make their readers cringe. Joker has always been a dark character, one that didn’t need depicted acts of violence to scare, or even shock, readers. His face alone defined him. A man who always smiled, even as he tore families apart and poisoned the water system of Gotham. It was that simple smile that showed just how evil he was. That detachment from reality was what shocked fans. No doubt the new images of the Joker are dark in its deformities, but will it be able to carry the same terror as when his face was just a smile? If anyone can pull it of it will be Snyder and Capullo.