Book Review: Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson

Hi everyone! I hope you’re well. It’s Friday again, and time for another review. Today, I am reviewing the graphic novel Batman: Three Jokers.

Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson was first published in November 2020 by DC Comics and is 160 pages long.

The story follows Bruce Wayne as he discovers that three distinct personas make up the one character known as “The Joker.” One of them is a young man who was driven over the edge after facing relentless bullying; another is an older criminal mastermind whose twisted sense of humour plays on his victims’ fears; and then there is the third version, a mysterious figure who seems to have been around since before even Batman began his crusade to clean up Gotham.

The Characters
Batman/Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne begins the story by reminiscing with Alfred over all of the scars on his body left by his enemies (of which there are many of both) when he learns that The Joker has killed the last remaining members of the Moxon Crime family. When Batgirl and The Red Hood also connect the murders they are each investigating to The Joker, Batman concludes that the killings are a diversionary tactic to distract from The Joker’s real plan: stealing a truckload of the same chemicals that made him The Joker.

Later, at the crime scene of a murdered judge (another of The Joker’s victims), Batman finds the fingerprints of Joe Chill, the man responsible for murdering his parents. When he investigates, he finds out that Chill who has been in prison for years, has terminal cancer.

In Joe Chill’s cell, he discovers a load of unsent letters addressed to Bruce Wayne in which Chill apologises for killing his parents.

This story – more than any other I have read – gives Batman some closure (finally) over the death of his mother and father, and when Joe Chill is captured by one of The Jokers to be turned into a ‘perfect Joker’, Batman saves him.

The Red Hood/Jason Todd
Jason, feeling left behind and replaceable by Bruce, is still dealing with the trauma of his death and resurrection (who wouldn’t be?), which is made even more challenging when he is taunted with memories of his torture at the hands of The Joker by one of the three he and Barbara are holding captive. The Joker tells him that he fully intended for him to survive the attack knowing it would cause tension and pain for Batman and Robin later since Jason even offered to switch sides and be The Joker’s Robin if he let him live. Ultimately the taunting and goading are too much, and Jason snaps, shooting the Clown Joker, much to Barbara’s horror.

Later The Jokers capture Jason and tell him of their plan to create a perfect Joker to antagonise Batman, then they torture him and leave him for Batman and Batgirl to find.

In the safety of Barbara’s apartment, she and Jason share trauma stories leading to a kiss, which Barbara stops.

Towards the end, Jason writes Barabara a letter and sticks it on the door of her apartment, in which he declares his love for her and tells her that he will leave The Red Hood behind if it means they can be together. He also gives her the option of pretending their kiss did not happen. However, Barbara never gets to read the letter as it falls off the door and is picked up by a janitor. Because he gave her an out regarding pretending it never happened, it is left to readers to wonder if Jason thinks this is what Barbara has decided.

Batgirl/Barbara Gordon
In Three Jokers, a scarred but physically healed Barabara is still dealing with the trauma of the events in The Killing Joke (though she seems to have forgotten that she is supposed to be Oracle, not Batgirl).
When The Red Hood kills the clown Joker, Batgirl is enraged and wants Batman to do something about it. He can’t, though, because if The Red Hood is arrested for killing a Joker, she will have to be unmasked since she is a witness to the crime.

When Batman and Batgirl rescue Jason from The Jokers, Barabara takes him back to her apartment. There, they confide in one another about their lives and tragedies. Barbara tries to explain to Jason that none of them knew he was alive, not even Bruce, and by the time they discovered he was, he had already become The Red Hood. They start connecting on a deep level and kiss before Barbara pulls away.

Joker 1 – The Criminal
The criminal Joker is very serious. He claims that it actually hurts him to laugh. His main goal in the story is to turn Joe Chill into another Joker – one with a name and identity and who will be a worthy adversary of Batman. He wants the name Joker to have real meaning for Batman and thinks that since Chill killed Bruce Wayne’s parents and caused him the most significant pain of his entire life, Chill will be a terrific choice for the ‘perfect Joker’.

Joker 2 – The Clown
The clown Joker is theatrical and likes to show off.
While he is fighting Batman, Batgirl and The Red Hood in Gotham Aquarium, which is inhabited by Joker-fish (and an enormous Joker-shark), he brags that he is, in fact, The Joker responsible for killing Jason Todd (in Batman: A Death in the Family), causing The Red Hood to shoot him.

Joker 3 – The Comedian
The comedian Joker is the most psychotic of the bunch, with his twisted sense of humour and creepy smile. He is not too interested in the name Joker having any specific meaning for Batman, preferring to be the personification of chaos.
When this Joker and Batman are alone near the end, it is heavily implied that this is the ‘real’ Joker and even more so later when Batman reveals that he has known the true identity of The Joker since a week after their first encounter and that his family who was thought to be dead (see The Killing Joke) are actually alive and well.

This graphic novel dives deep into the lives of its characters, something that can be lacking in other comic books. Each one, especially The Jokers, feels real and relatable – and scary – in their own way, which makes this story all that much more compelling.

Writing Style
The writing in this book is excellent; Geoff Johns does an incredible job of creating suspenseful scenes that keep readers on their toes. He also does a great job of exploring the backstory of every character as well as their motivations so that readers can truly understand what makes them tick.

The book is brilliant; it captures the essence of Batman while exploring themes of identity and morality in a thrilling adventure that will keep readers on their toes, its story and its characters will likely stay with you long after you turn its last page, thanks to its beautiful artwork, memorable dialogue, and captivating plot.

The Artwork
Jason Fabok’s illustrations for Batman: Three Jokers are simply stunning and complement Johns’ writing perfectly, capturing both the action-packed moments and the quieter scenes between characters in a beautiful way. Each character is intricately detailed and expressive, allowing readers to better connect with them during their journey. Fabok also does an excellent job at capturing the mood of Gotham City, and colourist, Brad Anderson’s use of colour creates an atmosphere that captures both the darkness of Gotham and its inhabitants and adds depth and vibrancy to each panel.

Final Thoughts

The book is beautiful. Its artwork brings its characters to life, allowing for the telling of a thrilling story that keeps you guessing until the very end. If you’re searching for a great read with plenty of action, suspense, and drama, this is certainly one to check out!

Three Jokers is an exciting and engaging read, and I highly recommend it to both fans of superhero stories and to those of us who enjoy a good psychological thriller.

If I had to pick one thing that bugged me a little, though, it would have to be that the burgeoning romance that seemed to be starting up between Barbara and Jason was left unexplored. It could have been a great story point, though, I have just learned that a sequel is in the works, so hopefully, that little thread might be resolved later. I’m interested to see where the story could go in a follow-up, and looking forward to reading it when it comes out.

I am giving this book a solid 9/10.

If you are looking for a great read or simply want to read something new from your favourite superhero franchise, grab a copy of Batman: Three Jokers! You will not regret it!

Have you read Batman: Three Jokers? What are your thoughts?

As always, thanks for stopping by and giving this review a read. It really does mean a lot!

Until next time,


© 2023 GLT

Categories: Book Reviews, Reading

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: