Writer: James Tynion IV
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Lorenzo Ruggiero, Adriano Di Benedetto, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Tom Napolitano, and Arif Prianto
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: January 11th, 2022
THE JOKER needs to be prepared for what’s in store. And, it’s about to get real… fast! The Clown Prince of Crime is about to discover the brutal truth of the adage “Don’t Mess with Texas”! Let’s dive into THE JOKER #11 by James Tynion as the Sampsons procure one Mr. J back to their ranch for a dinner party! Can anyone guess what’s on the money?
THE JOKER #11 gives readers a very informative, and wickedly gruesome backstory involving the true villains of this monstrous tale, the Sampsons. And as to any good narrative, it provides some much-needed answers and direction to this newly inspired horror story with even more delectable questions you’ll have to wait to sink your teeth into. Tynion has most certainly stepped up his game by providing fans with a recipe of for a Psychological Thriller mixed with maniacs, serial killers, and Texas-sized cannibals!
More importantly, Tynion uses Jim Gordon perfectly as the narrator, the guide, and investigator in this tale that certainly involves THE JOKER but no more than the crux or linchpin to the series. Sure, some could argue the title of this series is deceiving… and I can see that to a degree. But ultimately, this story DOES involve Mr. J as a focal point that can’t be denied.
Furthermore, THE JOKER is so much more than your average BATMAN or Gotham narrative. It’s an archetypal, psychological horror, surrounded by mystery, uncertainty, and even paranoia. Tynion cleverly orchestrates emotions and mental fears with Gordon, as well as that of readers, evoking an unsettling sense of dread woven within the human condition. There are some creepy layers to this onion that will be unearthed as this series progresses.
Giuseppe Camuncoli excels when drawing thin, creepy villains that come across as eerie and unsettling. His JOKER is spot on and the lead character’s from Texas are equally as twisted and diabolical thanks to Camuncoli’s renderings. Camuncoli has immense detail and sometimes goes a bit too overboard with the older characters and their wrinkled faces to hammer home the point. Yet, it makes them come across a bit more frightening. Plus, he adds an extra element to his oversized muscular villains that make them appear even more menacing and threatening. Moreover, the colors and inks by this entire team are dark and add even more terror to this terrifying tale.
There is a lot to digest in this week’s THE JOKER #11 that Tynion has been setting up well for quite some time. And quietly, this series has remained consistent, interesting, and clever while creating an element of fear that’s simply unsettling. THE JOKER may not take center stage but this series by Tynion is so much more and needs to be on everyone’s pull list.
Jim Gordon needed a series like this to help progress his character forward who’s been hibernating in recent years. Plus, for those who imagine THE JOKER as human evil at its core, look to this series and uncover something that seems to be far worse. If you haven’t been following along to this point, I highly recommend picking up past trades and getting caught up now. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!