Everybody’s favorite Batman villain is getting an all-new miniseries with Joker: Killer Smile, a mature, dark, and “horrifying” new story released under DC’s prestige Black Label this Halloween.
The series has just been announced from writer Jeff Lemire (Green Arrow, Gideon Falls, Essex County) and artist Andrea Sorrentino (Green Arrow, Gideon Falls). The clown prince of crime is already hands-down one of the darkest characters of the Batman mythos, if not all of comic book history. And with Killer Smile, Lemire and Sorrentino are ready to tell their version of his story.
In this new series, the Joker is locked away in Arkham Asylum (no surprise there). With his infamous partner in crime Harley Quinn getting her own HARLEEN series from Black Label, this new tale finds Joker under the care of not Dr. Harleen Quinzel, but a new mental health professional doctor, Dr. Ben Arnell. As we’ve seen in the past, Joker will do anything to get his way, and it doesn’t seem like things will be different in this miniseries. As the series’ plot synopsis warns, “as he gets his hooks deeper and deeper into the mind of his prey, Joker sets off a chain reaction of mayhem that will threaten to tear down not only Gotham City but the soul of this idealistic man, and his young family, too.” The Joker knows his best chance at getting out of Arkham Asylum is to get his doctor on his side. Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?
However, rest assured this is a whole new story, and a new interpretation of the Joker. One intended to show the true depths of his depravity, promising a version that is “new” and “horrifying” which, for the Joker, is saying something. Letting him into your life is always a bad move, so what story will pull Dr. Arnell in when everyone in Gotham knows Joker is an unsolvable problem? Will he go to bat (pardon the pun) to protect, or possibly even free the Joker? And if so, will this new character’s story be cut short as quickly as seems likely?
“Getting to work with my long-time collaborator Andrea Sorrentino on a Joker story is very exciting,” shares Lemire. “The Joker is an iconic character and we wanted to create something that challenges readers to look at him in a new and horrifying way.“
Sorrentino adds, “This story has pushed me as a creator to aspire to new heights in storytelling. That little spark of madness in the Joker gives me an opportunity to play with the pacing, the layouts and the storytelling in a way that few other characters would allow.”
The fact that this story is being released as part of DC Black Label means it can go places normal Batman comics can’t, going even darker and more twisted than some readers may expect–thanks to the books being targeted squarely at mature audiences. Joker: Killer Smile is a three-part story that will debut October 30, 2019, releasing every other month following.
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