Comic Book Review

The Joker: Year of the Villain #1


The Joker: Year of the Villain #1

Written by: John Carpenter & Anthony Burch

Art by: Philip Tan & Marc Deering

DC Comics


In the Year of the Villain, what’s a Clown Prince of Crime to do when the world has started to accept doing bad as the only way to live? Out-bad everyone else, of course! The Joker is on a mission to get his mojo back and prove to the world that there is no greater villainy than the kind that leaves you laughing.

This is a one shot story that takes place in the overarching event, “Year of the Villain”, which follows the aftermath of the “Dark Nights: Metal” event. I decided to review this simply as a standalone story rather than how it connects to this universe spanning crossover event as a whole. This story sticks out from the other comics from this event as it features an intriguing character study of The Joker and asks the question: What would The Joker do in a Bane controlled Gotham City where all crimes are legal and have no consequences?

The story is co-written by an all-star team up of legendary horror master, John Carpenter, and “Borderlands 2” writer, Anthony Burch. With these two at the helm of this story, I knew I was in for a ride. I ended up being correct as the writing is as raw, intense, and brutal as any comic that focuses on The Joker should be. The story is told from the perspective of Jeremy, one of Joker’s henchmen who goes by the alias Six of Hearts. Throughout the story, Jeremy is forced to tag along with Joker on a crime spree, but Joker becomes increasingly frustrated in a world where his crimes come with no punishment, destroying the very “game” that defines who he is. This forces Joker to try out a new game by playing as a vigilante for “good”, but in a twisted way that only makes sense to The Joker himself.

In flashbacks, we discover more about Jeremy’s backstory and how he had developed his mental illness due to the traumatic childhood abusive inflecting upon him and his mother by his father. An interesting aspect of this story is whenever Jeremy compares his own mental illness to Joker’s chaotic personality as well as his questioning of whether The Joker is truly insane or just evil. The artwork by Philip Tan and Marc Deering is well done and helps bring the dark, gritty, and manic world that these characters currently inhabit to life.

Overall, this was a great read and an excellent addition to other Joker focused stories from the character’s long history. If you are following the “Year of the Villain” event, then this will definitely be a highlight in this crossover for you. If you are not, then I still recommend you checking out this story for the great writing and for a fascinating look into what makes Joker tick.



The Joker: Year of the Villain #1

An interesting look into the mindset of The Joker and an excellent addition to the "Year of the Villain" event.


Nicholas grew up reading J.R.R. Tolkien's books, watching Disney and Studio Ghibli films, and reading Marvel comics and Japanese manga. The superb storylines and characters ignited his passion for writing. He graduated from Full Sail University in 2015 with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment. During his writing career thus far, Nicholas has had numerous short stories and articles published in an array of literary magazines and websites.