DCAU #145: Joker's Last Laugh!

IN THIS ONE... After Batman becomes the subject of several billboards, Harley tries to cheer the Joker up.

Written by Ty Templeton; art by Brandon Kruse and Terry Beatty.

REVIEW: Shades of Mad Love, in which Harley also tries to appeal to Mr. J by doing something funny and lethal to Batman and gets the same rebuff that only HE's allowed to do things to the Bat, Joker's Last Laugh feels a little redundant at times, and entirely too violent besides. There's an early scene, for example, where Harley drops a bucket of napalm on a henchman's head, which at first looks terrifyingly sadistic, and then turns out to have Looney Toon levels of consequence. It's an ill-judged and extended moment that turns this into a mean-spirited comic, and I know that's not Templeton's objective. So when we're reminded later on that the Joker enjoys hitting women (Harley specifically), it feels really toxic.

That's not to say there aren't some good gags here. The Joker may not think much of Haley's suggestions, like the giant seltzer trap or the giant pie/wrecking ball combo, but they're classic shticks. He sells her short, as usual. The musical montage, complete with musical notation at the top of each panel, is a valiant try at something televisual (or teleaudible). The final pie throw should have worked on the Joker, because it's a pretty clever incident, but what ends up working is as good if more subtle. Lovely that it still came from Harley, but he doesn't need to know that.

I'm ambivalent about Terry Beatty as a new inker on the series. I don't know what it is exactly, but where Kruse's pencils looked expressionistic and old-fashioned under Burchett, here they jump from cartoon to doll-like verisimilitude, especially where Harley is concerned. She and the Joker look off-model. Is it Beatty's thick line, or is he just not as adept at hiding Kruse's weaknesses? I don't know.
REREADABILITY: Medium - Some nice gags, but there's a tonal issue with the violence, and I've seen better art from the series.


Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear what the music actually sounds like. Seems like it would be simple enough to type it into a program and turn it into a MIDI file or the like. Can't find any evidence of anyone having done so yet.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine