The Joker origin has been “revealed,” and as is often the case with DC, if you haven’t been following decades of convoluted storytelling, then it will come across as mind-bogglingly stupid.
The Joker is easily Batman’s most recognizable nemesis after almost 80 years of existence, and with DC Rebirth, Geoff Johns and DC Comics’ stable of writers are hoping to get some extra intrigue and mileage out of it.
The problem is that the company has teased the true Joker origin for their latest reboot, but they’re trying to have their cake and eat it too with a “shocking reveal” that left anyone not entrenched in years of mythos scratching their heads.
Batman’s search for the Joker origin finds a useful resource in the Moebius Chair, which allows him to travel through time and space, seeking answers to all the big mysteries of the DC Universe.
Naturally, Bats decided to check up on his old pal The Joker, and what he found was troubling.
You should probably bolt at this point if you don’t want to know what Batman found as there are spoilers ahead, though they will make very little sense.
The Moebius Chair did not give Joker’s real name because — wait for it — there are three Jokers.
When Batman found this out, he was far too shocked to ask the obvious follow-up question — what are their names and how are they related?
Instead he just returned from his journey to deliver the shocking news to Green Lantern Hal Jordan.
Gamespot attempted to paint some degree of sense on this plot development by calling the idea of having three Jokers “a crazy and scary one.”
The website praised Johns saying that it was a “bold move” and that with “three different Jokers running around, it creates a whole new set of questions and changes the character in a big way.”
Contributor Tony Guerrero explains.
“Looking back at Joker’s appearances, the idea of there being three different ones does make a little sense. We’ve often wondered how Joker managed to keep escaping Arkham Asylum whenever it suited him. In 2012’s Death of the Family, Joker managed to attack Batman and his allies all over Gotham City. It almost did feel like there was more than one. Perhaps the biggest question is, what is their relation to each other? You would have to assume they are aware of each other’s plans and activities.”
The problem with this theory is that Joker has never been one to share power well with others. The idea that there is some kind of Joker governing body flies in the face of the character while simultaneously serving as a cop out to the Joker origin tease that DC has been propagating under its Rebirth line.
It also explains why DC now has so little comic book market share compared to Marvel and why they are getting killed in the film world with similarly convoluted decision-making. (See Batman V Superman. All of it.)
Comic books are published so frequently and over such a span of time — in Batman’s case — that it is difficult to keep things fresh without rebooting for a new generation every 10 to 20 years.
It’s only been about five years since DC last launched a company-wide reboot, and here they are at it again. But rather than going with a true reset, they’re holding over scraps of story and development from other arcs, making their current storylines even more head-scratching to new readers and general audiences (i.e. fans of basic storytelling).
So there are three Jokers now? I hope DC has them form a sketch comedy troupe, touring DCU college campuses and committing crimes.
— Steve Bryant (@SteveBryantArt) May 25, 2016
This Joker origin reveal was summed up best by one of the GameSpot commenters.
“Good lord… comics are f***ing dumb. ‘3 jokers’? At least Nolan’s Batman movies (first 2) were semi plausible within the context of their universe. This is just desperate writing after all other story paths have been exhausted over the past 7 decades.”
With Johns recently announced as the guy to take hold of DC Extended Movie Universe creative decisions, this doesn’t bode well for that either. But what do you think, readers?
Is the idea of having three Jokers terrifying to you or beyond stupid? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via DC]