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Reminder: Three Issues Of Batman Will Be Published In February For The Joker: Year One
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Reminder: Three Issues Of Batman Will Be Published In February For The Joker: Year One

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You probably don’t need an introduction to The Joker. The villain has been featured in various Batman media for decades, from countless comics, animated series, video games, and films. However, what you might need is a reminder. As you can gather from the title, three issues of Batman will be published in February – each focusing on The Joker’s early days of crime.

Titled The Joker: Year One, DC Comics promises the “untold origin story” of one of Batman’s most depraved rogues. This three-part story will “uncover the secrets of chaos” and vows to question everything you know about The Joker. At the same time, this exploration into one of comic’s most iconic villains will help set up future stories in the pages of Batman, continuing the series’ tales in the Dawn of DC publishing initiative.

Batman (2016 series) #142 panels by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Alejandro Sánchez.
Batman (2016 series) #142 panels by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Alejandro Sánchez.

While much of that sounds like publisher hyperbole, it could potentially be an interesting tale that explores The Joker in a new light. However, part of The Joker’s appeal is the element of chaos. Explaining too much about the character could dilute him – a habit of Big 2 comics, exploring every nook and cranny when it’s not always necessary.

Whether you’re picking the series up off the shelf, reading it digitally, or intrigued by the premise and want to check it out, the nature of this release means that it’s easy to miss out on an issue. (A pull list is a way to avoid that.) That’s because, instead of being published once a month, Batman will be published three times in February. For three weeks, throughout Batman (2016 series) #142-144, the title is going weekly for The Joker: Year One.

Batman (2016 series) #142 panels by Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart.
Batman (2016 series) #142 panels by Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart.

It’s unclear why DC is publishing the story in this method. To speculate, perhaps the publisher doesn’t want to spend too much time in the past at the expense of present-day stories and has decided to fast-track it. It would also mean that the big milestone of issue #150 is reached sooner.

Take a look below at details for each issue, including creative teams and release dates.

Batman (2016 series) #142
Written by Chip Zdarsky. Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Sorrentino, and Stefano Nesi.
Available 6th February.

Batman (2016 series) #143
Written by Chip Zdarsky. Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Sorrentino, and Stefano Nesi.
Available 13th February.

Batman (2016 series) #144
Written by Chip Zdarsky. Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Sorrentino, and Stefano Nesi.
Available 20th February.

The Joker: Year One is not the first time that DC has explored Clown Prince of Crime’s early years. 1988’s Batman: The Killing Joke offered a glimpse at The Joker’s origin, highlighting the washed-up comedian he was before the tragic accident. (Before someone says it, The Killing Joke was always intended to be canon.) There’s also Batman: The Man Who Laughs, a modern reworking and expansion of Batman’s first encounter with The Joker. (A piece of trivia: Batman: The Man Who Laughs is named after the Victor Hugo novel. The 1928 silent film adaptation features Conrad Veidt’s portrayal of Gwynplaine, who would become the visual inspiration for The Joker. Extra trivia: That film has just entered the public domain – just like Steamboat Willie) It’ll be interesting to see if The Joker: Year One works around and incorporates these stories or if they’re ignored/retconned.

Batman (2016 series) #142 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Tomeu Morey.
Batman (2016 series) #142 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Tomeu Morey.

The Year One concept is not new for the Bat-family of titles. It was conceived with 1987’s Batman: Year One, where Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli explored Batman’s origin and first year of crime-fighting. Other DC characters, hero and villain, have received the Year One treatment, such as Robin, Batgirl, Green Arrow, Two-Face, Scarecrow, and others. At this stage, the Year One concept has become so synonymous that other publishers have used it. Dynamite Entertainment is one of note – doing Year One stories for Vampirella, The Shadow, Green Hornet, Sherlock Holmes, Voltron, and others.

The Joker: Year One can be found at all good comic book shops, online retailers, eBay, and digitally on Kindle.

Batman (2016 series) #143 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Tomeu Morey.
Batman (2016 series) #143 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Tomeu Morey.
Batman (2016 series) #144 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Tomeu Morey.
Batman (2016 series) #144 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Nesi, and Tomeu Morey.

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