DCAU #80: The Killing Book

IN THIS ONE... The Joker kidnaps a comic book artist and forces him to draw his victory over Batman.

CREDITS: Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett.

REVIEW: A fun comedy issue, with the Joker in good form and seeking attention not through a the television medium as is usual, but through comics! Well, it makes sense, and though the satire could be a little more pointed (or is it and I just don't know who's being made fun of?), I love the crazy editorial offices of "Gotham Adventures"' publishing house, with its wrong-headed J. Jonah type who needs to be "translated" by an impeccably diplomatic staffer. And of course it allows for a couple of meta comments - not too many, just enough - and chapter titles spoofing non-fiction works about comics ("Seduction of the Innocent", "How to Draw Comics the Joker Way", and Comics and Sequential Death!".

The comic book conceit might have gotten old, but the schemes the Joker has the artist chronicle are fun in and of themselves, whether it's the way he uses cryptographers' body positions to leave Batman a message in Morse code, or his mini-golf death trap. Even before then, he has his goons drag the harbor for pieces of a hopefully exploded Batman, and uses a mobile ice cream vending unit to carry out his crimes. Good dialog throughout.

I guess my one real gripe is the cover, which doesn't hint at the issue's true premise. Could have been lots of fun, but feels rather generic instead.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: The comic the kids read is titled Gotham Adventures, which would become the successor to this series in 1998.

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A really fun Joker issue.


googum said...

I've been meaning to dig this one up again, since I think there's a cameo of the book's creative staff getting fired!

Siskoid said...

Yes, that happens. If you spot faces you recognize, please let us know!


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