You got a friend in me.
I’ve loved the backstories in Endgame but this knocked it out of the park.
The Joker’s ability to manipulate people into situations beyond their wildest dreams is something that has been used to great effect before, and James Tyrion IV manages to live up to that.
Roge Antonio is a par artist for the course, and has some good visual moments – inserting the creepy into the Joker for one thing.
How do you define a friend? Someone who understands you? A people unafraid to call you out on your hyprocrisy?
Well, think what happens when someone does this to the Joker….
This has been lightly explored previously in both comics and Batman The Animated Series (Joker’s Favor), but Tyrion uses the full range of Joker’s psychosis and attachment disorder.
Basically, a veteran war correspondent Thomas Blackcrow (innovative name, huh?) believes the Joker to be nothing more than a hack and while witnessing a moment where he kills a henchman – tells the Joker the ‘hard truth’.
That he tolerates people, and hasn’t got a friend in the world.
Well, Joker takes him up on his offer as he first kills his roommate, then when he changes name and house, is tracked down – with the Joker leaving him a bloody message of love.
One year later, Joker takes Thomas’s wife hostage and makes them watch his victims with running commentary. Thomas begs to be killed but Joker says what best friend would do that.
During Death of the Family, Joker pays Thomas (now separated) another visit through the police find nothing – resulting in him being admitted to Arkham Asylum.
There he finds a good friend in one of the doctors there – Eric Border aka The Joker.
The way in which Tyrion makes Joker deliver otherwise innocuous lines is nerve-wracking visually and mentally.
One of the most terrifying characteristics of the Joker is his empathy. He shares that with Batman and Thomas Blackcrow. If you get on his bad side, you end up dead. But if the Joker likes you even a little, you get tortured so much you wish you were dead.
No-win situation really.
Blackcrow’s empathy towards the Joker (he laughed after the Joker shot acid into another man!) was his downfall – but by the end, it is the clown only who becomes his only friend. Batman can relate to this in a twisted fashion, which makes Endgame that much more poignant.
Some great psychological themes and good ‘character study’ for the Joker makes this a worthy tie-in to Endgame.
You get a glimpse into how the Joker views relationships – and the fractured people left in his wake.
The artwork evokes the creepy atmosphere the book is attempting towards, and it’s a success.
So, I give it 9.0 out of 10.
+The psychological themes
+A great Joker oriented issue
+The art is on par with the plot
+Supplements the main event well
-Still filler and divergent from the main plot