Comic Reviews: Joker’s Daughter and Wolverine and the X-Men!
Of all of the Villains Month one shot issues, this was the one to get. People have been going crazy trying to find it. Of the issues sent to retailers, this was the most allocated. It’s averaging $50 on eBay, and one issue even went for $150. So, is this book worth your time (or all that money)?
Joker’s Daughter #1 is the strangest, most schizophrenic comic I’ve read all year. You may think that that’s the point considering the character, but it’s not. There were pages that I read (and reread) multiple times and I’m still not entirely clear on what the issue was about.
Joker’s Daughter (whose real name is Duela) is traveling through the underground sewers in Gotham, looking for…something. Along the way, she finds Joker’s face (that he was wearing throughout the “Death of the Family” story in Batman), and puts it on. She then comes across a group of vagrants that live in the sewers that looks down on women, having them cook, clean, and work. JD then leads these women in an uprising, and takes over as their leader.
That’s it. Writer Ann Nocenti does nothing to convince us that Joker’s Daughter is all that menacing. In a lot of ways she seems like the weird Goth girl you knew in High School that found a Slipknot mask and refuses to take it off. There’s no connection to the Joker outside of her finding his face and putting it on. By the issue’s end, when the other men of the tribe (who have been “branded” by JD) tell their leader that they want to try and see what it would be like with the women in charge, it seems completely out of left field.
There’s nothing here that makes me understand Joker’s Daughter’s reasoning for being a villain, or why she acts the way she does. The attempt at her origin is told in the most confusing way possible. She’s a girl who didn’t like that her parents were perfect and wanted her to be perfect. That’s it. She hates beauty too…. I think.
If there’s one thing that remotely saves this book from being a complete travesty, it’s the art. Georges Jeanty does the best he can with this script, and does a great job of making JD’s face look really, really, gross. But even that can’t save the fact that this book was not good. At all.
It’s sad but not all that surprising that the most popular and sought-after book of the Villains Month gimmick was also the worst. Joker’s Daughter had potential to be something different, even if she doesn’t serve a purpose when the far superior Harley Quinn is running around. Save your $50-$150 bucks, Joker’s Daughter #1 is not worth it. It isn’t even worth the $4 cover price.
“Battle of the Atom” rages on in the pages of Wolverine and the X-Men #36, and after 4 installments of the future and current X-Men yelling at each other, they finally come to blows. From the psychic battle between old Jean Grey and her younger counterpart to the double Scott Summers’ optic blasting fools, this is the issue of “BoA” to beat.
Writer Jason Aaron takes over the reins from Brian Michael Bendis, and the book doesn’t miss a beat with him at the helm. This issue is the most fun of all the current X books, which makes this installment of the current X-Men crossover the best one yet. The future X-Men have confronted their younger selves, and have now drawn a line in the sand: the younger X-Men are going home to their own time, or else. Well the “or else” happens, and happens pretty quickly. Aaron easily jumps around the battle to show us the physical battle between the two teams and the psychic one between old Jean Grey and her younger self (with an assist from Emma Frost and the Stepford Cuckoos). At the same time, we also get an update on what the younger Beast and Ice Man are up to back at the Jean Grey School, which leads to a pretty excellent cliffhanger for the next installment.
Giuseppe Camuncoli handles the art duties, and man o human, is his work a sight to behold. The Superior Spider-Man artist delivers some absolutely fantastic work here. The battle sequences are truly awesome, and Camuncoli’s facial work is extremely good. While it was strange to not see him draw Spidey, I found this to be a welcome change from what I’m used to seeing from him.
Just when I thought “Battle of the Atom” was starting to lose me, Wolverine and The X-Men comes in to kick the event into high gear. If you’ve been waiting for the dramatic turn of the event to hit, it’s here in this issue. As long as the creators can keep up the pace, “Battle of the Atom” could be an X-Men event for the ages.