Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A look with a magnifying glass: Brian Azzarello’s Joker. (Written by guest columnist Drazar)

Brian Azzarello’s and Bermejo Lee’s Graphic novel Joker has been regarded as a deep, disturbing take on the Joker that even rivals Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. Now, some people do believe due to the similiar Joker look that this is based off of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Joker... That's false. The book actually was originally suppose to be called Joker: The Dark Knight (similiar to Azzarello’s + Lee’s Lex Luthor: Man of Steel), but due to DC being worried of angry phonecalls from worried parents (due to the mature story of the book) they simplified the name to simply: Joker.

I’ve seen a lot of people not seeing all the little tibits and even Joker’s jokes on the book, and as a big comic book nerd, there's nothing more lovely than taking a gold look with a magnifying glass and sharing all of this information to people. So the next time they read it, they can say, “Oh, so that's what it means!” But before I begin, I am in no way saying I found all these little tidbits by myself. The great Internet community helped find all these great little details! Now let's dig into Joker!

PS. If you haven't read this comic, the story is told by one of The Joker's thug named Jonny Frost. So, when you see me talk about Jonny you now know who the hell he is.

Joker leaving the Asylum, page 5: Looking at the second panel, you see gargoyles on the Arkham Asylum rooftops, but if you look closely, you can also see Batman sitting on there, how do we know? Look two panels below and you'll see after the lightning that Batman is gone, and Joker is giving the finger to Batman, not the asylum.

How 'bout a rabbit joke: I have to admit I never truly got this until someone told me what it is. So, we see Joker spreading his pockets (white, long) infront of Croc and saying, "How 'bout some rabbit?" Now the joke here essantually is that the pockets are the bunny ears and Joker is the rabbit!

Pedophilia in Joker?: All credits to this great find goes to frakkingoff of Superherohype.com forums. This is a scene where Joker robbed a bank without triggering the alarm or killing people. Now take a look at these:

See how even the Joker is trying to avoid touching the picture? We all see loads of red but look at the leg/skirt area of the little girl. It's white... is that really sperm? Now, this book got heavily edited due to it being even more disgusting than it already is, but could the blood there literally be red herring?! I mean, even the Joker is disgusted to touch the picture... You know something's wrong. Johnny throws the picture away in disgust and says, "Are you kidding me?" Which Joker replies with, "Birds and Bees, Honey?" Now we all know bees are used as a sexual term, but are birds also? Maybe so. This whole sperm thing comes even more evident when Joker says, "I dig driving people, Jonny" So, did Joker really robb a bank by either masturbating to the bank owner's daughter or worse (as the text implies) he made the bank owner masturbate to his own daughter?!

Why does Joker call Penquin as Abner?!: This one is either really far fetched, or too simply to be noticed. The simple answer may just be that Joker simply calls Oswald as Abner because he knows he doesn't like being called "Penguin." So he mocks him with another nickname. Now, I don't think there are any fat people known with the name Abner, but in the very old USA newsletter comic strips, there was Lil' abner who had a pig pet... Yeah, far fetched, I guess, but i'd say it's just Joker being himself.

Joker's & Batman's relationship with each other
: So, now we know Batman was at the asylum, and the great mystery lies how Joker was allowed to leave the asylum just like that. We see in the comic how Joker claims Batman is watching him from the city rooftops, seeing how Joker is doing his dirty work for him, and this is essantually true because most people Joker kills in the comic are infact mere thugs and criminals. Now, is Batman using the Joker to takedown the small fishes of Gotham's underworld so he can take them down alltogether when Joker has gathered them up? This is a big thing implied on the book since Batman does appear at the very end when he becomes aware of Joker killing off civillians and planning to murder Harvey Two-Face. Now this may seem, "Woah! This isn't my Batman, at all," but we do have to remind ourselves that this is an elseworld story, so things can be taken to the very extreme.

Hope you all enjoyed this little extra look on the Joker graphical novel, and I hope you can have extra enjoyment out of reading it after this! Please leave any questions or even more inside looks if you spotted any.

- Drazar


  1. Very interesting. I will have to look deeply into this novel!

  2. One of the best graphic novels out there. Very well written Drazar.

  3. Haha - three years later and you're not going to believe this, but I'm the "Frakkingoff" from SHH of which you speak. Thanks for the shout out.

    After discussing it on the SHH forums, later I actually had the opportunity to talk to Brian Azzarello at a convention. He informed me, after some initial hesitation to talk about it, that it was his intention that the white "bodily fluids" were from the Joker, not the bank owner.

    Incidentally, "the birds and the bees" is the sexual term - not just "bees."