Joker set to return in Batman No. 13

By Herb Scribner


Nobody rips the Joker’s face off and gets away with it.

The Clown Prince of Crime is returning to the Batman universe in October with issue 13 of The New 52 Batman series. No official release date has been announced.

The Joker’s been gone since another Dark Knight enemy, the Dollmaker, literally ripped his face off.

The new issue will be written by Scott Snyder, who also wrote the recent Batman Court of Owls arc. Jonathan Glapion and Greg Capullo will handle the art for the project.

Snyder realizes the power that comes with the Joker, a favorite villain among fans.

“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder said to The Source, a monthly magazine. “Not just in comics. In everything – film, books, TV. He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve been building in my head ever since I started working in Gotham.”

Snyder said this is his “big exploration” into the Joker, and the project’s scope will be bigger than that of “The Killing Joke” or “Arkham Asylum,” which are both Joker-heavy tales.

He said he’s not holding back with this new Joker story, either.

“Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell,” Snyder said. “This is Joker completely unleashed.”

While not much has been revealed on plot details for the upcoming arc, Snyder told The Source that Joker has a serious axe to grind with Batman – when doesn’t he? – and he has an important secret that he’s holding onto.

“It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride,” Snyder said.

The Joker’s last big hurrah was in Detective Comics No. 880, also written by Snyder, in July 2011. He escaped from Arkham Asylum during that series, and he was beaten in a battle with the Caped Crusader, who thought the Joker was at the head of a poisoning on Commissioner Jim Gordon’s wife.

The Joker also made an appearance early on in The New 52, a complete revamp of all ongoing DC comics that began in 2011. He appeared in Detective Comics Vol. 2 in September 2011. He was his normal, homicidal-self in Gotham. He was captured by Batman and thrown into Arkham once again, where he eventually met with the Dollmaker.

The Dollmaker then ripped the Joker’s face off.

So when the Clown Prince hits the pages, it’ll be a year in the making.

“He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up,” Snyder told The Source. “And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened … And wait ‘til you see him. Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills.”

Capullo said he was very excited when he was told he’d be completing the new Joker story with Snyder.

“Talk about a dream come true!” Capullo told The Source. “For me, the Joker is the ultimate rogue and the villain I most wanted to draw.”

But it has been anything but a dream, Capullo said.

“I gotta tell you, after hearing what the story is about, this isn’t a dream come true. It’s a nightmare!” Capullo said. “A macabre and bloody, flesh crawling nightmare. We hope you’ll have the nerve to face what’s coming. Warning: It ain’t for the faint of heart!”

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Scribner.