Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Some thoughts on Batman #663

UPDATED 5/20/07




Well, that was a creepy bit of punk pulp in Batman #663, wasn't it? The all-text approach seems to have met with a generally chilly reception on the Internet, as did the CGI art. I don't mind an occasional experiment, myself, and I imagine that at 663-plus issues, Batman will survive. I enjoyed this not-a-comic, overwrought prose and all, but then, I expect occasional nuttiness from Grant Morrison. Your mileage, etc...

Actually, I don't know if I can say I "enjoyed" it, but it definitely had my attention.

The Joker has undergone extensive reconstructive surgery after being shot in the face by a Batman impostor. The bandages come off at midnight, at which point the Joker plans to reinvent himself yet again. He comes out looking, well, cheerful, at least:

Okay, that's freaky. Batman #663, by the way, falls under the category of Batman Comics to Be Kept Away From the Boy. My son loves him some Batman, but I don't think he needs to see that nightmare fodder.

Apparently, Joker's trademark grin is now permanent, with his mutilated mouth now fixed in a scarred rictus grin. From this panel, I thought his nose had been chopped back to a snout, but the next page shows it intact:

Okay, so he's got this fixed grin now, and no eyebrows, which is eerie in itself, and he's even crazier and stabbier than ever before, I get that...

But here's the part that threw me:
So, what, the Joker can't talk now?!? How's that gonna work? "Joking" is kind of his whole thing, yes? I'm not really panicked at all, mind. I know there are all sorts of ways these changes can be undone, and I'm sure they will be, one day. Even in the story, Morrison states that this is just the latest of many Jokers. The colors red and black are also a recurring motif in the story, suggesting that the Joker may abandon his purple and green motif for those hues. We may end up with a red-and-black clad, mutilated and mute Joker. Weird, but that's Grant Morrison for ya. Whatever he's up to, I trust he has a weird and mind-bending plan for Joker Nouveau.

UPDATE: In this case, the comic may have been paving the way for the same scarred grin Joker in the Dark Knight. If this is a real pcture from the new Batman Movie. I'm not crazy about this look, but nobody asked me, did they?




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