Writer: Marc Silvestri
Art: Marc Silvestri, Arif Prianto, and Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 1st, 2022
The Joker will go to any lengths to get Harley Quinn back after she is abducted by a strange culprit. But who? Mysterious, Joker-like monsters are stalking the streets of Gotham, collecting severed heads. But why? Jim Gordon is missing, and after receiving a package containing a bloody piece of Gotham’s commissioner, Batman knows he must be willing to do anything to save him. But how? When The Joker proposes an uneasy alliance with Batman, the answers to those questions begin to become clear as Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #1 by Marc Silvestri opens. This meticulously crafted tale of the Dark Knight’s deadliest team-up will introduce you to a grim and gritty Gotham that only Marc Silvestri could bring you.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #1 Review.
Way back in 2016, the release of more than one Joker in DC Rebirth seduced every comic fan’s mind. It brought up so many possibilities about the character and sparked some serious conversation. Fast forward to 2020 when fans finally got the Batman: Three Jokers story, which was a fantastic tale by Geoff Johns, and readers begin to get the impression that we very well might be done with multiple Jokers. However, as recently as last month with the kick-off of The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing, DC Comics has revitalized the multiple Joker concept once again.
So, why bring up multiple Jokers as Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo’s inaugural tale begins? Well, you guessed it! Multiple Jokers are back again! Nevertheless, these multiple Jokers are… different. As we know Mister J to be, he’s psychotic, demented, and deadly. Yet this new Joker is almost like a beast incapable of feeling pain or injury. This Joker beast appears to be a wild human being with its only drive to be killing. However, it has targets, direction, and … purpose. A sick purpose… but one nevertheless.
As far as Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #1 goes, Silvestri’s goal was to quickly set up the story, lay out the scenario in a very straightforward fashion, and provide a few dangling carrots to cause some minor questions as the opener comes to a close. Additionally, this story provides fans with some teeth. It’s got action, some well-articulate Batman monologuing, and a keen sense of the main character. The story itself takes place in the “Black Label” world of DC Comics which also provides the excellent playground for Silvestri to unfold a wickedly violent tale with constraints. And if I was to suspect, I think that’s the avenue Silvestri is planning.
Are any 90s comic fans out there? Well if so, other than Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri is probably the next person who comes to mind. Silvestri is an icon making it rather difficult to sit here and critique his work, especially his illustrations and inks. Geez readers, his work is so recognizable. You could pick out his style from anywhere, which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch.
Focus solely on his pencil work and notice just how close and formed his designs are, especially in terms of human anatomy. His Batman is tight and crisp. His panel layouts and progressions are the perfect sizes to depict the flow of the action masterfully. He draws attention to the characters on each panel and makes them the focal point of the page instead of blending them into the background or quickly sketching a muddied appearance to redirect the reader to the background. He makes the character design important which is oftentimes forgotten by new artists today. And again, his brilliantly bold design should be a huge draw to any 90s comic fan looking to dip their toe back into comics while the new fan should dive into Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #1 to see not only an amazingly new Batman comic but to also witness some stunningly authentic history in the making.
It was way back in 2018 when fans were teased a Marc Silvestri Batman comic with a Black Label feel. And now, we finally get it almost four years later. My goodness DC Comic fans, it’s been ages since Silvestri has done work at DC Comics. So, how does this uneasy alliance kick-off between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight? And, was the four-year wait worth it? Well, Batman fans should be incredibly pleased by the beginning artwork and story design. Silvestri practically holds the reader’s hand to get them exactly where he wants them providing an opportunity for ANY fan to jump on this series, which is an exceptional idea for any creative team debuting a new series.
Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo is graphic, action-packed, bold, and incorporates an overarching concept that all fans should flock toward a partnership between Batman and the Joker. However, readers will quickly discover that everything isn’t quite as it appears which should change that hand-holding into some investigative reporting before Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #1 wraps. Sure, in a market where we aren’t starved for Batman comics, one might question whether or not to buy THIS ONE. Well, the simplest, easiest answer is yes! Fantastic art, powerful designs, a unique story, and solid character voices promote a stellar beginning all fans can hop on board with and enjoy. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!