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‘Joker: Killer Smile – Book One’ (review)

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Published by DC Comics


I don’t think that there is a book in the Black Label line over at DC that I have been looking forward to as much as this.

Jeff Lemire is an amazing comic book creator. His collaborations with Andrea Sorrentino are always amazing.

This is another fantastic work by both of these creators. I was blown away by the whole thing right from the very first page.

The opening narration has the Joker talking about how he just wanted to create beautiful things.

Things that nobody else has created before. It is intermixed with some destruction that the Joker has caused. Then Batman comes along and punches the Joker in the face.

This gets the story going in a nice and unique fashion.

The next scene we get to see the Joker meeting with Dr. Ben Arnell.

Dr. Arnell is a hotshot psychotherapist who thinks that he is going to be the one to unravel the Joker’s mind. The brief scene in the beginning of the book between them is tense. The way that Lemire writes the Joker and the way that Sorrentino draws him is completely unnerving.

From there, we get to follow Dr. Arnell to his house. We get to see him interact with his family. We get to see the children’s book called Mr. Smiles. Then, the family goes to sleep. But Dr. Arnell is awoken by a noise. That is when the story becomes completely creepy.

The rest of the issue has another meeting between Dr. Arnell and the Joker. Things get a lot deeper and darker. There is even some killing that occurs. And it is all completely brutal and unique, especially for a Joker story.

Lemire and Sorrentino work wonderfully together as usual. The story is sharp and the art is fantastic. They really know each other’s strengths and this book is both exhilarating and smart.



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