The Joker #3 (REVIEW)

May 11, 2021

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The Joker #3
DC Comics

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Guillem March
Colors by: Arif Prianto
Letters by: Tom Napollitano

As far as storytelling goes, James Tynion IV is up there with the best. Panel after panel, page after page, Tynion is a master at building suspense and intrigue. While The Joker #3 is light on the action, the storytelling and anticipation drive this issue. 

While I initially expected to get another story filled with violence and chaos with this series, we’ve instead been given an engrossing and complex psychological thriller. What makes Joker so fascinating is he can be both enthusiastically psychotic and also wildly charming. Tynion taps into this perfectly. The evil and destruction Joker has caused, especially at Gordon’s expense, has been atrocious — and what we see between these two throughout The Joker #3 is absolutely riveting.

Additionally, enough cannot also be said about March’s art — in general, not just throughout this series. But March’s work this issue was something else. So much of the story is told strictly through the art. Visceral, suspenseful and jaw-dropping, March delivers some of the most important moments of this story. With one of the silent panels at the end, March may have created my favorite moment of the series yet.

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Even though we’re very familiar with the title character, Joker remains fascinating under Tynion’s watch. He’s incorporating all the things we enjoy about the character, but with a fresh feel. The slow build throughout The Joker #3 was worth the lack of action because it led to the series’ most shocking moment yet. 

In addition to The Joker #3, we get Punchline Chapter 3 written by Tynion and Sam Johns, with art from Mirka Andolfo, colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. and letters by Ariana Maher. This may be the best chapter yet in the story of Punchline. Much like the story in the preceding issue, there is a slow build-up of tension that ultimately leads to a jaw-dropping moment. Punchline continues to be an engrossing story that is quickly making her one of my favorite villains to read.

9/10

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