Gotham City has had it pretty easy since the launch of the New 52. A span of newly created bad guys shook things up but all in all, it has barely had to deal with the villains that have made Gotham one of the most dangerous places in the DC Multiverse.
That’s been a bit of a problem, really. The relaunch of all of DC’s titles was a huge step in courting new writers but people looking to see the machinations of Two Face, Mr. Freeze, The Riddler, Mr. Zsaz and The Joker have been vastly missing out.
According to a newly posted teaser on the DC comics blog, that’s not going to be the case much longer, as The Joker makes his first major appearance in the new continuity since Detective Comics 1.
The good news of all of this is that Tony Daniel, the writer who had the first issue with the Joker in the new continuity, won’t be heading the Clown Prince of Crime’s return and is blessedly leaving the Batman brand. He’s been involved with Batman for a long time and really has never been able to handle the character that well, usually reducing the dark knight to little more than a bruiser and padding out stories with cheap shocks.
Instead, Joker is getting his first plot arc in the pages of Batman, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo. I couldn’t be happier with this, as I’ve been consistently happy with Snyder’s work and he’s the perfect person to mix the terror and mystery that a good Joker story deserves.
The new arc, titled “Death in the Family,” a clear homage to the classic arc which left second Robin and current Red Hood Jason Todd dead, Snyder teased that the appearance of the Joker would lead to big shakeups as the villain attempted to do as much damage to the Bat-Family as possible. That being said, he’s sure to encounter some problems in attempting to do so. DC has announced that both Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke” as well as the original “A Death in the Family” arc both remain in continuity, meaning Barbara Gordon and Jason Todd will both have plenty of motivation for hunting the villain down. Jason already had a shot at Joker right after “Wargames” but I wouldn’t expect time has eased his thirst for venegance and the recent Batgirl arc has shown that she is still looking for closure after she was shot in “The Killing Joke.”
I fully expect Snyder has big plans for the character and the Joker’s small appearance in “The Black Mirror” proves that he knows how to write the character. I like many others, will be eagerly awaiting what Snyder has planned for the Bat-Family as Joker returns to the city.