It was only a matter of time before current Batman scribe Chip Zdarsky squared up to take a swing at a Joker story, and that time will be this February, in a weekly-published story told in three parts. And Zdarsky isn’t giving himself any easy outs, titling the arc The Joker: Year One.
Batman: Year One, any Batman fan can tell you, is the most influential Batman comic of the modern age, so invoking the Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli classic is no small thing. Similar to how Batman: Year One published over four issues of the Batman ongoing series, Joker: Year One will run for three issues of Batman: #142, #143, and #144. It will hit shelves on three Tuesdays in February.
“The Dark Knight will discover the terrible secret behind his greatest enemy!” boasts DC’s news release. “The tragic ‘death’ of the leader of the Red Hood Gang in a vat of chemicals has become the subject of myth… but what is the heartbreaking and gruesome tale of the monster who walked away from that violent birth?”
As each issue’s main story uncovers the Joker’s past, a back up story will reach into Batman’s future, featuring a revived Red Hood gang, a virus, and “a future where The Joker looms over everything.” The main story will feature art from Giuseppe Camuncoli (Hellblazer), while the backups will be drawn by Andrea Sorrentino (Gideon Falls).
With a three part story, there’s bound to be speculation that Zdarsky will pick up on the dangling maybe-canon-maybe-not reveal that the Joker has actually been three different guys this whole time, but we’ll probably have to wait until February to find out the real truth. I’d be pretty skeptical of it, but if Chip Zdarsky can even get me to like a Batman of Zur-En-Arrh story, he can probably do anything.
Check out art and covers from The Joker: Year One below: