Batman #23.1

Event\Storyline: Villains Month Writer: Andy Kubert Artist: Andy Clarke Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: September 4, 2013 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 31 User Reviews: 16
5.2Critic Rating
6.8User Rating

The Joker has FOREVER been the face of EVIL in the DC Universe...but what led him on this devious path of treachery? Andy Kubert pens this early adventure showcasing the maniacal exploits of the Crown Prince of Gotham-The JOKER!

  • 9.0
    IGN - Melissa Grey Sep 4, 2013

    It would be easy to have the tale of an extremely abusive childhood position the Joker as a sympathetic figure, but the creative team paints a portrait that is anything but. On the one hand, we cringe as we witness the childhood terrors that played a pivotal role in warping the character's mind, but the knowledge of his trauma does nothing to mitigate the horror we feel at his present-day actions. It's a tricky tightrope to walk, but Kubert and Clarke pull it off admirably. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Newsarama - Lindsey Morris Sep 5, 2013

    The main storyline is vivid and impeccably detailed, while the vignettes into the childhood of the Joker (where he really shines) are sketchy and dark. Taken at face value, this comic is highly entertaining and well worth the read. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Booked - Jeff Hill Sep 6, 2013

    All in all, it was well worth the extra dollar for the awesome cover. Kubert has established himself as a more-than-capable writer. And Andy Clarke's artwork has never been better. Especially in the flashback sequences. Joker's abusive aunt was by far the biggest strength of this issue for me as a reader, but I can understand where some people won't like her inclusion into the mysterious origin of the character. Excluding the fact that Snyder had nothing to do with this and it didn't really add anything new to the character, this was a fun little ride through Crazy Town and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    Good Kind Of Geek - Nikki Yuan Sep 5, 2013

    Despite the maybe impostor Joker, this is what I want from a Villain's Month title. We go deeper with the villains and see how the come to be who they're now. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Fortress of Solitude - Byron Hendricks Sep 21, 2013

    Fortunately, we managed to secure a rare 3D cover copy of Batman #23.1 Joker, thanks to Readers Den. Feel free to contact the staff at Readers Den, they may be able to secure a 2nd print for you. They are also running an awesome competition where the winner will receive one of these much sought after Joker 3D lenticular issues. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Eye On Comics - Don MacPherson Sep 4, 2013

    When all's said and done, I have this to say about this comic book: I'm not going to sell it on eBay. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    The Pop Cultist - Josh Elliott Sep 4, 2013

    Clarke's pencils bring out the drawn, skeletal nature of the Joker, especially in the many childhood flashbacks we get. Kubert gets it here too, as he writes a Joker who is sentimental for all the wrong reasons. That insane sentimentality is what drives this story, and what makes the payoff so fun. Though not a flagship-type story, Joker #1 is worth the read. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Behind The Panels - Richard Gray Sep 4, 2013

    Andy Clarke draws the Joker like we've rarely seen him before, expressive and emotional. Perhaps we've just forgotten after months of him running around without a face. Either way, Clarke shows some terrific versatility between the two time zones, with the flashback scenes truly nightmarish at times. It's surrealist and completely bonkers, but here they seem like admirable traits. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Batman-News - Andrew Asberry Sep 5, 2013

    I doubt there's a better drawn Villains Month comic out today, but the story here is not only pointless but there are many who will view this as Andy Kubert breaking the Cardinal rule of Joker stories– you don't give him an origin. I think if you can assume that the memory is fabricated then what you get is a really insane tale about a homicidal maniac raising a Gorilla to be a henchman, which is just as strange as it sounds. Andy Clarke gets some spectacular visuals out of that but the story being told is not a memorable one you'll find yourself revisiting in the future. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck Sep 5, 2013

    The story is loaded with enough murder and cruelty to satisfy any horror fan, as the Joker vents his murderous hijinks on an army of victims - and one especially innocent creature. It's vile and disturbing - not my cuppa tea at all. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Spectrum - Shawn Hoklas Sep 11, 2013

    This book was entertaining, it's just very difficult to agree with DC's choice to show the Joker's origin. By making us feel for the Joker and trying to give us reasons for his insanity, I feel it actually disservices the character. Although it was well done, it took away from this character and in a way, makes this New 52 Joker less intriguing. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero Sep 4, 2013

    It's possible the wacky and...odd nature of the story was intentional because we're talking about the Joker. Maybe I'm missing the point. With so many Villains Month titles fighting for our dollars this month, this was a little disappointing. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    DC Comics News - Z Sep 11, 2013

    Sadly, Batman #23.1 is the book to skip this week. It features a decent story, but has no business being a part of Villains Month. Definitely skip this book if you only plan on reading Forever Evil tie-ins or origin stories. Read Full Review

  • 5.5
    Hyper Geeky - ClumsyG Sep 12, 2013

    It's a shame that the Joker's story fails to deliver on the goods. For a character as prankish, devoid of morals, and insanely funny, Batman 23.1 feels like the kind of story idea left on the drawing room floor that writers bring up on occasion. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Major Spoilers - Danielle Luaulu Sep 16, 2013

    This book is one of those stories that can be classified as "meh." Other than the hurtful subtext of 'victims of child abuse will become psychopaths', the story is only okay at best. It's not the best Villains Unleashed story out there, but it's also not the worst. The holographic cover is very good and Clarke manages to create a more emotive character, but it's really not enough to save the book. Overall, this is, disappointingly, one you could probably skip. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Comics: The Gathering - mahargen Sep 5, 2013

    This was a fine story with decent artwork. It wasn't what I wanted, and I don't think it's what we needed. Hopefully Villains Month picks up from here. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Dean Stell Sep 5, 2013

    This is a must read if you are someone who had to readeverythingwith the word Batman on the cover. For the rest of us, it isn't a poor comic, but it is extremely skippable. This is precisely the type of comics I wish Marvel and DC would stop shoveling at us. Read Full Review

  • 4.8
    Entertainment Fuse - Nicole D'Andria Dec 7, 2013

    It feels like Kubert broke an unwritten and sacred rule: don't reveal Joker's origin. In a way, it diminishes the character and makes him like every other sympathetic Batman villain out there " and we have more than enough of those. The artwork may be good, but even that didn't get me to crack a smile in this joyless issue. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Weird Science - Jim Werner Sep 4, 2013

    This issue seems more like a missed opportunity than a must read.  Why Andy Kubert tries to make Joker a sympathetic character is beyond me.  The story is average and totally unnecessary.  Let's hope that the rest of Villains Month rises above the low bar set here. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Geeked Out Nation - ComicNerd11 Sep 9, 2013

    This is one of the more disappointing issues so from Villains Month. Most villains month issues have been a tie in into the current ongoing event "Forever Evil." Most people, including me, were curious about how The Joker would contribute due to his disappearance in the event "Death of the Family." This issue is a flashback from years ago, revolving around The Joker's "son" monkey that he "adopted." Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Multiversity Comics - Matt Dodge Sep 5, 2013

    This book seemed to be poised as a flagship title in Villains Month, featuring one of the most recognizable bad guys in pop culture, and in the end "Joker" feels like a misfire. The ideas in the main part of the story " Joker grooming a sidekick, mimicking Batman and Robin " are interesting, but suffer from a lack of real development and an odd semi-conclusion. The flashbacks to the Joker's past, sure to be a main draw, are far too similar to many other villain origin stories. Solid art, especially in the flashbacks, is in many ways the saving grace of the book, but even that's not enough to keep "Joker" from feeling like a missed opportunity. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    All-Comic - Derek Baker Sep 5, 2013

    With Villains Month now upon us, DC has graced us with the Clown Prince of Crime right out of the gate. Unfortunately, the final product leaves us feeling angry and a little jilted. Hopefully, one of these other 900 3D cover books will take this bad taste out of my mouth. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    The Comic Book Revue - Jay Mattson Sep 10, 2013

    Batman #23.1: Jokeris a missed opportunity to give the Joker more depth. Introducing the character Jackanapes may have sounded good on paper, but by the end of the issue, it didn't feel like a Joker comic book much at all. Mostly, it felt like DC wanted to introduce Jackanapes and didn't know how else to do it, which is not a good enough reason. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Gotham Spoilers - Gotham Spoilers Sep 4, 2013

    This issue truly was a swing and a miss. Despite the gorgeous art from Andy Clarke and Blond, this really disappointed me in every other department. Didn't make a whole lot of sense, didn't justify the story being told, and violated a cardinal sin of the Joker, and thats to give who he is context. Seeing Joker's childhood just left me saying "no, I don't want this" and I'm not quite sure many others would want it either. This issue just felt unnecessary, to be honest. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Den Of Geek! - Marc Buxton Sep 4, 2013

    There was no purpose to the violence of this issue: a guy slowly being eaten by a giant snake, the Joker somehow (there is no explanation) transforming a councilwoman into a some kind over muscled ape-like freak, and the torture the young Joker must endure at the hands of Aunt Eunice are all just noise that serve no real story purpose. There's actually a flashback sequence of the young pre-Joker being fed three peas for dinner by Aunt Eunice juxtaposing with the Joker feeding Jackanapes a big ice cream sundae, and the Joker as a pathetic Dickensian orphan just doesn't ring true. The art by Andy Clarke is beyond gorgeous as he draws the mishmash of violence with a gritty style that is suited to the character. He would be the perfect Joker artist for a book that actually understood the character and showed a modicum of restraint. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    ScienceFiction.com - Ben Silverio Sep 8, 2013

    If I were to judge a book by it's cover in this case, I'd say that this comic was stellar and out of this world. However, the story behind it just didn't live up to the caliber of villain that they were looking to showcase here. I hope that the rest of the 'Villains Month' titles stepping in for 'Batman' aren't as upsetting as this one. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Shadowhawk's Shade - Abhinav Jain Sep 4, 2013

    Bottom-line: this issue is, sadly, a waste of time and money. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Comic Book Resources - Kelly Thompson Sep 4, 2013

    Short of some compelling, albeit horribly disturbing, visuals by Clarke, there's nothing of interest in "Batman" #23.1. In fact, it's odd that it even exists as a comic book. It's an idea (and execution) that should have been left on the cutting room floor. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Sep 5, 2013

    DC editorial couldn't have created a bigger mess if they tried. This comic book manages to snub its nose at any loyal follower of the Snyder/Capullo book while chopping Kubert and Clarke at the knees by putting their story in the flagship book. How DC editorial allowed this incarnation of the Joker into the main Batman book is completely unreasonable. This story hidden away in some other Batman book would have been a decent effort but jamming it in here gives it no chance of surviving. If you've missed all Batman books for the last 20 years then you might like what you find in here. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    Imagination Centre - John McCubbin Sep 13, 2013

    This may appeal to some people, but it certainly didn't to me, being too ridiculous. It also felt very rushed, and didn't have a lot of character interaction. It was however fun to a certain point, and showed that Andy Kubert understood the character, but at the same time also showed that he couldn't execute it into a decent story. Due to all this I wouldn't recommend this, as it's not worth the gamble to see if it's for you. Read Full Review

  • 0.0
    Crave Online - Iann Robinson Sep 4, 2013

    To put it simply, Joker deserves better. Read Full Review

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