Last issue my main point of praise came from the story’s ability to manage three simultaneous plots seamlessly but boy have we lost that here! The chase is still on but it feels so hamfisted as Bryce and Jackie get caught up in the chaos. I’m really not liking this offshoot of Batman White Knight anymore even if I think it’s passable as a story.
Let’s start off with the dialogue. The first two issues kept having Jackie and Bryce repeat the same problem over and over again, how one is seen as the goodie two shoes and one is seen as the problem child. That’s a dynamic that Katana Collins and Clayton McCormack could do something interesting with, if it could go anywhere at all. Even though I can confidently say they moved on from that in this issue, I can tell you they haven’t really moved onto anything else sadly. The dynamic between the two siblings doesn’t explore their characters but just has them regress into blank canvases as they do all the things the script needs out of them.
This is in stark contrast to the overly explicit dialogue between Neo-Joker and Harley Quinzel. Neo-Joker pouring her heart out in a way that leaves zero room for interpretation. The way that these two characters barge into the lives of Bryce and Jackie is the writers’ way of combining the loose threads but it honestly felt like the two duos never even interacted when they were together. A couple quips and action shots don’t make up for the fact that these kids are basically isolated from the other two.
As for the way the other stories get pieced together it’s really disappointing how much of the b plots have to get cut for the main story. It makes the chase aspect seem secondary and overbearing. While it’s fine to have introduced the Jokerz as a fun little element unique to this world they really don’t get their moment to shine. They exist in the small vacuum they were forced into and then quickly vanish. Once again making it feel as though the natural evolution of the story is being sacrificed for simplicity. Instead of exploring the world through the plot we’re greeted to a bunch of plot points that allow characters to stop in their tracks and deliver unnecessary heartfelt speeches.
I was pretty surprised to find out that Mirka Andolfo was once again the artist behind the latest issue of Generation Joker. The first two issues had some solid art but there’s such a different feel here. Andolfo presents a much more detailed background to get invested in with a sketchy feeling that kind of works with the hectic storytelling. The character designs are really pulling their weight too as the Jokerz feel like an authentic mish mash of venerating Joker fanatics. The main characters also get many moments to shine with panels and pages showing off their abilities and sick looking outfits.
The coloring by Alejandro Sanchez definitely solidifies the sketchbook feeling of the art. I love the way that the city has this overall beige look that gets disrupted by the intense colors of explosions and actions. The result is that anything we should focus on ends up having a clear visual impact on the page. The sketchbook style also lets the warmth of the colors contrast each other between fiery inferno and heated lamps. While the first two issues were lacking in background detail I really think the art in this issue has upped the ante!
Special shoutout to the lettering by D. C. Hopkins who’s slight touches create big splashes. While I’ve raved about the sketchbook style, the aspect I want to commend when it comes to the lettering is easily the digital look of Joker’s speech and sounds. It’s jagged and layered at some points which creates a clear contrast with the softer world around it.
- There’s nothing else to read
- Everything else you bought is worse
- The art got you curious about the story
Why is this a mature 17+ story??? That actually boggles my mind because any self respecting comic fan who’s old enough to read and understand complex stories is going to be thoroughly disappointed by how boring and tame this is. Pick up anything by Le Marquis de Sade if you want mature works. Pick this up if you’re a cool adult who needs to find a gift for your teenage niece/nephew/nibling. Cause while I’m losing interest right now I could still see a younger me really liking the story for how it talks to the many insecurities and need for rebellion we feel at that age.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman-News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.