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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

The Joker's Last Laugh


Authors: Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty
Artists: Pete Woods, Marcos Martin, Walter McDaniel and others
Titan Books
RRP: £12.99, US $17.99
ISBN: 978 1 84576 843 0
Available 27 June 2008

They say that dying is easy, while comedy is hard. But what happens when you combine the two? For the Clown Prince of Crime, a diagnosis of terminal cancer means that it's time for his final performance - and it's going to be a real showstopper. Because if the Joker is going down, he's going to take everyone with him - and all the heroes of the DC Universe may not be enough to stop the laughter...

The Joker's Last Laugh collects together the 6-issue Joker: Last Laugh miniseries from 2001.

For nearly fifty years, he's terrorised Gotham and the world. Batman's greatest nemesis, he crippled Batgirl and killed the second Robin. His name is the Joker... and he's dying. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour while in the super-prison Blackgate, the Joker hatches his most deadly and desperate plan yet: a mass breakout of super-villains, all turned into "Jokerised" versions of their normal selves.

Can Batman and his allies save the day? Will prison governor Shilo "Mr Miracle" Norman escape? And when it appears Robin has again been killed, who will save the Joker from Nightwing?

Batman hardly appears in this collection, with the heroes really being Huntress, Robin, Oracle, Spoiler, Nightwing and a host of other CD superheroes as they attempt to infiltrate the Joker's stronghold and take out the jokerised criminals who are protecting him.

At the end of the day there's a good, solid tale here that has something for everyone. I particularly enjoyed the question mark hanging over whether Killer Croc has killed Robin, and the fact that the Joker is annoyed as he was going for a hat trick.


Pete Boomer

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