broo1232's Batman #23.1 - Time to Monkey Shine review

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Even Joker wouldn't find this funny.

It’s the Joker need I say anything else? Yes probably the Joker is not my favourite DC villain, but I still think he’s a fantastic villain, and he’s a classic, and a chance to see a past adventure of his grabbed my interest immediately, although I was still sceptical about this considering Andy Kubert was writing it, and although I love his art, I don’t think he’s ever written anything before.


In the past you see Joker as a child being treated badly by his aunt, and his aunt tries to clean him with bleach. In the present Joker is at the Gotham zoo with some of his minions watching a man being eaten whole by a snake, but he spots a Gorilla child that reminds him of him, and takes it in as his own gassing the gorilla’s mother.


I did not like this issue at all, and this is one of the worst comics I’ve read in a while, and I had quite high hopes for a comic about Joker’s early days, before he had his face cut off. Yet this is probably the worst villain’s month issue of the week, and possibly one of the worst of all the villains one shots. This isn’t however a downright, should be burnt, abomination of an issue though there are a few redeeming points however, but the bad definitely outweighs the good.

The Good

  • · This is one of the few covers I got in 3D, and works pretty well, and the background detail is impressive, as well as the moving mouth which was a nice touch.
  • · The origin sequences set in Joker’s child hood are told in an interesting way even if the fact that it even happened is a disservice to the character, but the art looking very jagged, and rough which worked very well to give a different feeling to the book, and this flashback.
  • · The Joker is written very well, and you see at the end that he really doesn’t care.
  • · The action is good for the most part, and the bit with the Gorilla and his training is done in an interesting way.
  • · An interesting point to this issue is how Joker bringing up Jacknapes is very nice, and then in an adjacent panel you see Joker’s childhood, and the fact that in some panels the composition is similar works well, but this is only in a few places.
  • · Redeeming ending showing how Joker is truly mad.
  • · Andy Clarke is undoubtedly the best part of this issue drawing some spectacular Joker images, and the layouts for some of the pages and scenes are amazingly done, with one double page spread of the training of Jacknapes looking particularly impressive. The action even though there isn’t much is pretty good as well, and Clarke handled it very well. The scene near the start in the zoo with the Snake is pretty well drawn as well. Clarke can draw some good Gorillas, and of course the aforementioned flashbacks are good as well.

The Bad

  • · I will try to keep this simple, as I could say a lot on this subject, Joker should not have an origin he works very well as a mystery character, and giving him an origin ruins him because then there is less of a sense of the unknown with him, but what’s even worse is how this is about as generic an origin as you could get he had a horrible childhood, heard it before, most villains have had bad childhoods I mean come on for Joker something more creative should have been used. Also Kubert could have explored one of the most interesting aspects of the Joker that he sometimes tells multiple Origins, and that was caused by him being so insane, but instead it goes to a tale on a gorilla.
  • · Plot with Gorilla is enjoyable but it is rather silly, and I’d rather this was an issue more focusing on Joker rather than what appears to be a villain for Kubert’s upcoming Damian series, it’s campy, and stupid, and takes away from what this issue was meant to be focused on.
  • · The parallels between Joker, and Jacknapes was one of the more interesting parts of this issue, but that point is just lost later on, and it just looks like Joker’s childhood against Jacknapes childhood, it worked better when the panel composition was the same, but clearly things were different.
  • · There is one moment towards the end (this is the spoiler point) where Joker, and Jacknapes go after someone on a blimp, and they supposedly let something off that somehow managed to turn people into monsters with the due to vibrations in the ear? How does that work? What would changing something in the ear do other than make them deaf? It would not change their whole biology, this point just annoyed me so much, and I just groaned when I read it.


I do not like hating on comics, but I did not like this issue at all, and while some points of it were good those points were often countered by a bad point so something would literally be half good. Don’t pick this issue up, it’s a waste of money, and for the joker I was hoping for something a little more than this, and such good artwork.

2 stars

Other reviews for Batman #23.1 - Time to Monkey Shine

    Joker's origin? Nah man, I ain't buying that THIS is his origin. 0

    Ever wonder what made the Joker, Joker? Well writer Andy Kubert, accompanied by artist Andy Clarke, have the answer to that simple question! But, you might not like the end result. The GoodBefore I get into the "Bad" of this issue, I will say something that will kinda conflict what I'm gonna say later. I DO like the idea of Joker's origin story being told. We live in a world where there are few mysteries, so living in one where the Joker's story isn't told seems to be doing readers [or mainly ...

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    I Find it Kinda Funny, I Find it Kinda Sad. 0

    After reading this issue I saw Joker in a whole new light, not just as some murdering psycho but as someone who also has emotions regardless of how deranged he is. I am getting pretty tired of the whole childhood trauma stories that almost every villain seems to be having but I guess if they didn't have the trauma they wouldn't have a reason to be villains. The art on this issue is a contras or something bright and colorful to something dark and almost life-less so it's very pretty to look at an...

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