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  1. #1
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    Default Which Batman-Joker comics should I read?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm not really into comics but i really like Batman and even more, the Joker. I loved the Joker in the dark knight, and the arkham games by rocksteady also had an great joker and I'm really looking forward to the new joker movie. I Don't know if the Joker in the comics is comparable in any way to the one in the movies or games (but i guess he kinda is).

    So, do you think its an good idea to get into the comics? Which are the "best batman and Joker" comics anyway? does it make sense to only read the ones with the joker or am i getting confused for not reading the others? I heard the killing Joke is pretty good but i dont have any clue about the others

    Would appreciate if any comic pro could help answer me these questions

  2. #2
    Incredible Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    If you care about stories that are contained within themselves, The killing joke is a great start. Joker, written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Lee Bermejo is also amazing and I highly recommend it. The Man Who Laughs, though not in the same level as the previous stories, is also a great self contained story.

    Recent stories that you may like are Death of the Family; Endgame (both wittten by Scott Snyder) and War of Jokes and Riddles written by Tom King

    Going with more classic stories, I love Joker Five Ways Revenge by Dennis O'neil and Neal Adams; the two part story written by Steve Englehart in Strange Apparitions and the first Joker story in Batman #1. The Joker has a great role in Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller too. These stories are part of bigger storylines or can be found in collected editions, so maybe you think it's spending too much on a tradepaperback or hardcover where Joker isn't the main villain and only has a couple of showings
    Last edited by Chubistian; 04-29-2019 at 10:49 PM.
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  3. #3
    Incredible Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david77 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I'm not really into comics but i really like Batman and even more, the Joker. I loved the Joker in the dark knight, and the arkham games by rocksteady also had an great joker and I'm really looking forward to the new joker movie. I Don't know if the Joker in the comics is comparable in any way to the one in the movies or games (but i guess he kinda is).

    So, do you think its an good idea to get into the comics? Which are the "best batman and Joker" comics anyway? does it make sense to only read the ones with the joker or am i getting confused for not reading the others? I heard the killing Joke is pretty good but i dont have any clue about the others

    Would appreciate if any comic pro could help answer me these questions
    Most would say The Killing Joke. I disagree when people say it is self-contained. And it's, in my opinion, not the best Joker story you can find.
    I would rather recommand you to start with Batman: Year One (yes this first one in not about the Joker) followed by The Man Who Laughts.
    If you're into muder, you can follow with Batman: Death in the familly (be carefull of the "in", otherwise it's an all other story).
    My all time favorit, this one is really a self contained one, is the graphic novel Joker by Brian Azzarello. Very dark.
    But lot of people might suggest the more recent (part of the New52 era) Batman: Death of the familly (notice the "of"). To me it is a poor story. But if you're a completist, you can read before it Detective Comics: Faces of Death (you'll know why the Joker's face is missing - also a poor story). And you can also read the full crossover by also reading The Joker: Death of the Family. And you can conclude with Batman: Endgame (not so good as well).
    Then you can also read Gotham Central: Soft targets #12-15, but I recommand to read the full Gotham Central serie (an awsome title). Just to mention, this serie happens after the big No Man's Land event.
    And of course as sayd below by @exile001, you can also read to rebirth story (so very recent) War of Jokes and Riddles.

    As also sayd below you can pick up the collected book The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years which contains:
    -- Batman #1 - "Batman vs. the Joker"
    -- Batman #5 - "The Riddle of the Missing Card!"
    -- Detective Comics #64 - "The Joker Walks the Last Mile!"
    -- Batman #25 - "Knights of Knavery"
    -- Batman #32 - "Rackety-Rax Racket!"
    -- Detective Comics #168 - "The Man Behind the Red Hood!"
    -- Detective Comics #180 - "The Joker's Millions!"
    -- World's Finest #61 - "The Crimes of Batman!"
    -- Batman #85 - "Batman -- Clown of Crime!"
    -- Batman #163 - "The Joker Jury!"
    -- Batman #251 - "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge!"
    -- Detective Comics #475 - "The Laughing Fish!"
    -- Detective Comics #476 - "Sign of the Joker!"
    -- Superman (Volume 2) #9 - "To Laugh and Die in Metropolis"
    -- Batman #427 - "A Death in the Family, Chapter Two"
    -- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #66 - "Going Sane, Chapter Two: Swimming Lessons"
    -- Detective Comics #726 - "Fool's Errand"
    -- Detective Comics #741 - "Endgame, Part Three: ...Sleep in Heavenly Peace..."
    -- Detective Comics #826 - "Slayride"
    -- Detective Comics (Volume 2) #1 - "Faces of Death"
    -- Batman (Volume 2) #15 - "But Here's the Kicker"

    Have fun with that to start with.
    Last edited by jb681131; 04-30-2019 at 09:40 AM.

  4. #4
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    The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years has a lot of the classic ones.

    Going Sane is also good.

    There is also a imo pretty good one set during the Knightfall era, were Joker is directing a movie, but I don't now how it is named.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    I forgot Death in the family, as said by jb681131 the "in" and "of" make for two very different stories. I'm not a big fan of Death in the family, but is an important story in the Batman/Joker dynamic
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  6. #6
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    I'm always going to say give comics a try, as they're awesome!

    It sounds like you'd be a lot more into the recent books, rather than really old ones. There's a disjointed nature to books like "The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years", as comic book history is long and has many differing eras. The first few stories and dark and violent, but then the next third or more of the book will be very cartoony and light. Then they jump to a more realistic style before getting darker and nastier again. It is a fantastic read, though, and contains many of Joker's greatest stories, including his first appearance, Joker's five way revenge (he starts murdering again), the laughing fish (becomes full on crazy again) and slayride (a really creepy Christmas story). All classics.

    I'll absolutely say The Killing Joke, it simply is one of the best Batman/Joker stories you can read.

    After that, I'd suggest the collected edition of "The war of jokes and riddles", as it is a pretty recent book and don't need too much extra knowledge to follow. I would suggest "Death of the family", but be aware that Batman has MANY sidekicks and allies in this one. They don't play a huge role and you don't have to know the ins and outs, but are essential to the story. These have a less "comic book" feel and aim for a more cinematic approach, so should be easier to digest. And they're very good.

    I'd also suggest "Under the Red Hood", which becomes more of a Joker story as it goes and was a heavy inspiration for Arkham Knight.
    Just. Be. Nice.

  7. #7
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    I like "White Knight."

  8. #8
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Not a book, and I don't consider it the classic everyone else does (Under the Hood and Dark Knight Returns were both better films), but I still think Joker vs Batman in that ruined tomorrow land carnival place was great in Mask of the Phantasm. Actually the DCAU had a lot of great Joker moments, Joker in a flying wing in World's Finest, Return of the Joker being my favorite stand outs.

    Can't offer anything comic wise that hasn't already been recommended...except, I forget, was Joker in the plane trying to gas everyone during Christmas in Long Halloween or Dark Victory (got to reread both, think LH)? More of a Two Face story obviously, but that was a great Batman vs Joker scene.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Not a book, and I don't consider it the classic everyone else does (Under the Hood and Dark Knight Returns were both better films), but I still think Joker vs Batman in that ruined tomorrow land carnival place was great in Mask of the Phantasm. Actually the DCAU had a lot of great Joker moments, Joker in a flying wing in World's Finest, Return of the Joker being my favorite stand outs.

    Can't offer anything comic wise that hasn't already been recommended...except, I forget, was Joker in the plane trying to gas everyone during Christmas in Long Halloween or Dark Victory (got to reread both, think LH)? More of a Two Face story obviously, but that was a great Batman vs Joker scene.
    Long Halloween, New Year's Eve.

  10. #10

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    I'd recommend:

    Batman: The Killing Joke
    The Dark Knight Returns
    Batman: Death in the Family
    Batman: The Man Who Laughs
    Soft Targets, Gotham Central

  11. #11
    Amazing Member Deku's Avatar
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    The Joker's Five-Way Revenge (Batman #251)
    The Laughing Fish (Detective Comics #475)
    A Death In the Family (Batman #426429)
    The Killing Joke (Graphic Novel)
    The Man Who Laughs (One shot/Graphic Novel)
    Under The Red Hood (Batman #635-641, 645-650, Annual #25)

    It's not a "Batman and Joker story", but Soft Target from Gotham Central (Gotham Central #12-15) is also a great Joker story.
    PLUS ULTRA!

  12. #12
    Incredible Member signalman112's Avatar
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    My All-Time Favorite JOKER story is from Batman #321.

    Batman321.jpg

  13. #13
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    I'm happy with my TPB of THE GREATEST JOKER STORIES EVER TOLD (1989). This includes two of my favourite Joker stories:

    "The Joker and the Sparrow"--from the BATMAN newspaper strip (1945 Sundays). Written by Alvin Schwartz with art by Jack Burley and Charles Paris. This is an interesting take on Joker having a female partner in crime (something that happened several times before Harley Quinn entered the picture).

    "The Joker's Utility Belt"--from BATMAN 73 (October 1952). Written by David V. Reed with art by Dick Sprang and Charles Paris, who also did the phenomenal cover.

    Two other favourites, not reprinted in any Joker collection (but reprinted in different collections):

    "The House the Joker Built"--from DETECTIVE COMICS 365 (July 1967). Written by John Broome with art by Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella, and an awesome cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.

    "Duel of the Crime Kings"--from WORLD'S FINEST COMICS 177 (August 1968). Written by Jim Shooter with art by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito. My favourite Luthor-Joker team-up. The two Crime Kings use a time device to fetch from history three famous fellows to join their gang. Lex picks Leonardo da Vinci and Benedict Arnold. While Joker selects Baron Munchausen.

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