Considering Todd McFarlane‘s obvious favoritism in the DC Universe for all things Batman, and all things creepy overall, this was inevitable. Who could resist a chance to make three different Jokers at once from the same story? The most popular villain in comics as three different characters allows kids to play with all three in the same scenario. And collectors to tell themselves they’re not just buying more variants of the same guy. In Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s Three Jokers, the Clown Prince of Crime reveals himself as three separate characters to have used that identity over the years.
Not everyone agrees that the story counts as DC canon. But if it does, it explains changes to his personality over the years. The original Bob Kane Joker presents as The Criminal, a more classic noir villain with a German expressionist-inspired face. The Silver Age Joker, campier and more into lethal pranks, up to around the Death in the Family era, goes by The Clown. And from The Killing Joke into the modern age, the most psychopathic, sadistic Joker can be considered The Comedian. By the end of the story, only one will prevail.
Without actually using actor likenesses, there seems to be a hint of Jack Nicholson in The Clown, and maybe a touch of older Cesar Romero in The Criminal. The Comedian, on the other hand, looks pure Brian Bolland design. (As good as Heath Ledger’s take remains, face paint is simply not DC canon for Mister J.)
McFarlane Toys hasn’t yet announced a release date. But when they show a first look, preorders usually follow soon behind. So expect the Three Jokers to arrive sooner than later. Possibly alongside more character variants from that particular story.
Which Joker is your favorite? Let us know in comments.
Recommended Reading: Batman: Three Jokers Hardcover – November 17, 2020
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