Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review: Joker/Mask (2000)

In the first half of 2000, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics got together to answer the question that was plaguing the minds of comics fans everywhere: What would happen if the Joker got his hands on The Mask?

The answer came in the form of a monthly 4-part series called JOKER/MASK.

The story starts with the Joker and Harley Quinn breaking into a museum with destruction in mind. Seems the Joker thinks masks of sad clown faces are an insult and he seeks to blow them up. Oh, and those school kids in the museum? Well, what better way to ingrain the value of art in their minds than with shrapnel?
So, during the heist a few things go wrong: Harley took the detonators out of the bombs because it made the clown faces look tacky, and his henchman sets off the alarm when he takes a certain Mask out of its case. When the police arrive, the Joker is sad to learn he doesn't even rate a SWAT Team anymore.

The henchman puts the Mask on first and the Joker learns of it's abilities and after tricking the dude to get the Mask off he puts it on and the fun begins.

Naturally the first thing the New Joker does is quickly and nastily dispatch the Dark Knight who of course shows up. With Batman out of the way, Joker begins his Joke Reign over Gotham City which leads all the way to the highest rated television show on earth: Access Joker. Yeah, only with the Joker can this happen.

The drama in this series (?) is between Joker and Harley who misses her 'puddin' and wants him back. Joker sees more for his future through TV and dumps Harley in favor of hot Jokettes, and trying to force his humor on the whole city and world.

The story is great, as you read it you can actually 'hear' the Joker mannerisms made popular in the Batman: The Animated Series program and even with the green jack you can still see Joker in there.
Which brings me to the art. It's very kinetic and full of energy. Joker looks great even with the Mask on and the Batman is imposing as he should be. Everything about this was fun. It's been years since I've read it, about 10 to be exact, I haven't read it since I bought it in early 2000, but it still read very easily and deserves to be spotlighted here and other places!

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