Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Nick Filardi, and Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 7th, 2023
The shocking and brutal conclusion has come…Joker versus Joker in a bloody, no-holds-barred battle for supremacy! Let’s dive into The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12 by Matthew Rosenberg to see how this series concludes.
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So, in terms of this week in DC Comics, I just have to begin by saying that I read Batman #139 before I read The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12. Now, the reason I say that is because in this issue there was a reference and editor note to look at this series. So, I got excited! I thought that The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12 would have some type of killer ending with a big reveal. Turns out, I was wrong. In fact, I was so wrong that we end without any confirmation as to which Joker is still around, who survived, the exacts as to how the other one was made, or even a proper ending at all. It’s almost as if Rosenberg set this entire story up as a joke, which made this reviewer feel like he wasted his time.
Moreover, Rosenberg semi-fixes Red Hood after the events of the Gotham War. Now, that might seem all fine and dandy except that the Red Hood angle was a big plot point that’s already back to normal. Sure, it shows the teamwork of the creators. However, at the expense of the story. Plus, how do the events of this book even weave into Gotham War? It just doesn’t fit. They’re trying to squeeze too much into a small time frame and it just doesn’t work. Additionally, there was even a scene with Batman in The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12 that didn’t make much sense given the outcome of Gotham War and Batman #139.
Truthfully, it felt like Rosenberg was heading in a certain direction with this story but was somehow trumped by DC Editors to go in a different direction that fit with events spanning out of the Batman book. I know I could be wrong but The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12 just doesn’t jive with the prior issues at all.
Speaking of not jiving, the climax of this series rested on the two Jokers fighting between a blimp and a train filled with Joker Toxin that somehow Batman wasn’t aware of because Jason somehow was able to lure him away. Really… That’s not even believable. Plus, the fight between the Joker was anticlimactic which just abruptly ends the series. Overall, I left The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #11 with high hopes for a strong ending and a huge showdown between the two Jokers with actual answers. However, I got quite the opposite.
The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12 certainly brings things to a close in that we only have one Joker left between the two. However, we get no closure, have no idea which Joker survived, and have no direct knowledge as to how this other Joker was created. Sure, it seemed as though the “fake” knew he was a fake. But why did the Joker do any of this in the first place? Plus, the confusion as to which one was the West Coast Joker and which one was shot in the head became murky as the story continued to unfold.
My point is that with the lack of clarity and build-up that led to a non-ending, what are we to make of all of this? To me, this last issue simply felt like a big joke from Rosenberg and made me feel like I wasted my time with this entire series. Is that Rosenberg’s fault or was it a DC Editorial switch to follow the Batman book? Honestly, we’ll never know. But something sure felt different in this issue compared to the rest. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!