After much anticipation and hoopla, Three Jokers, Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s comic event, has reached its conclusion. The series started with subtle homages to The Killing Joke, and it finished out with a whopper of a reference to the most famous attempt to give the Joker a concrete origin story.
In Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke — more famous for maiming Batgirl than for its Joker backstory — cast a pre-transformation Joker as an unnamed standup comedian struggling to support his pregnant wife. He takes on a gig with some petty thieves to make ends meet, she dies suddenly from some faulty wiring, and the combined trauma mixes together into the grinning man we all see before us today.
Three Jokers throws a twist on that, in a way that’s just as blunt as the last time Johns dabbled in Moore’s oeuvre.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
Batman: Three Jokers #3
See, in Three Jokers, it turns out that Joker’s wife went to to police to tell them that she was afraid to be around him and afraid he’d hurt her if she tried to leave, and instead of, I dunno, arresting him, the cops “pooled together” some of their own money to help her fake her own death and set up a secret new life in Alaska and then when she was safe still didn’t arrest him and Batman has known about this the whole time.
In case you’re wondering, no, Three Jokers is not set within main DC canon.
Immortal Hulk #39
Just when you think Al Ewing and Joe Bennett probably won’t come up with a new, even worse, body-horror splash page in Immortal Hulk, something like this happens.
Giga, a new series from Alex Paknadel and John Lê at John Vault Comics. Once upon a time, giant robots used earth as their battleground, and then one day they all shut down. Now humanity’s survivors live inside their big abandoned bodies and have weird religions and salvage them for parts and stuff. If that sounds like your kind of thing, then this is a comic you should definitely pick up. Also! It’s got a wheelchair-using protagonist, which is pretty rare for post-apocalypse fiction.
Suicide Squad #10
This is just to say that Bruno Redondo and Adriano Lucas make Suicide Squad a joy to look at every month and I’ll be sad when it’s over.
Speaking of being sad that it’s over, Wynd — a fantasy comic where magic is a metaphor for queer identity but also is full of queer teens who have cute crushes on each other — had a really solid first arc and I’m only mad that it won’t be coming back until next May.
X of Swords: Stasis #1
This is Pogg Ur-Pogg. He’s one of the swordbearers the X-Men have to fight. His sword is also named Pogg Ur-Pogg.
I love Pogg Ur-Pogg.
Sex Criminals #69
Sex Criminals came to its happy ending this week. Hug your local brimper, once you check for enthusiastic consent.
RUNAWAYS IS BACK. This is the first issue of Runaways since the Diamond shutdown — lemme check my watch — over six months ago. What’s going on with everybody’s favorite teens with difficulties? They’re defeated, demoralized, and reassessing everything. So, typical stuff.
The Department of Truth #2
A second twist for The Department of Truth, a series set in a world where, if enough people believe in a conspiracy theory, it becomes true — about the secret government agents to monitor conspiracy theorists to make sure they don’t alter reality. Cole, the newest agent of the Department, has a personal relationship with a specific conspiracy theory. He now knows that the night terror and boogeyman implanted in his memories as a child could actually become real.